I just love 'before and after' posts, don't you? A new project.. a vintage suitcase, I am re-furbishing for my daughter's doll clothes. Honestly, when I started to hunt for one, I knew exactly what I wanted. An older, vintage suitcase, generous size yet small, in GOOD condition, a charming color, that need little to no work. Ha! lol! What was I thinking? No, really.. that's like asking for a man that cooks, cleans, brings home the bacon and rubs your feet! Well,needless to say, my searching left me empty handed. I did find this beast, in what appeared to be, rotten condition. After a very close inspection, the 'bones' of the piece were great! Solid wood, dovetail corners, hinges in working order and the lock, although without it's key, worked too..
The above shot shows me mid-stripping. I just peeled away all of the paper that was no longer fully attached. It took awhile but you need to get all the loose paper off, or the new layers of paper/fabric you put on will just bubble up.
I painted around all the hinges with red. A nice bright red to match my fabric choice. I probably should have primed it first, but hey, I like things done quickly. I did this so that I didn't have to get my fabric exactly to the edge of all the hinges and buckles. I like things quick, remember? It would not have been an easy task to do since the hardware doesn't remove and it has plenty of curves.
After the paint had dried (well, ok, I didn't even wait for that) I started with the bottom. (Get the hardest sections over with first, as whenever I start a project I am methodical and precise for about half of it, then the last half of the job I just fudge it.)
I looked for Modge Podge but Walmart was all out so I bought Royal Coat Decoupage Finish and it worked perfect. Slapped it on with a foam brush and laid the fabric on top. The corners were tricky. Can I tell you my secret? No, I did every corner completely different! It really is amazing that I get anything done... :P As best as I could, I cut away excess fabric, tucked, glued, pressed and pulled and voila! Nearly perfect! (the glue in the below picture hadn't been whipped off yet but you can see the curvy hinges, the corner folds and the 'before' condition..)
Isn't it charming!? I just love the fabric. I choose it for several reasons, (and yes, they are logical..) One, it had not been prewashed, so it was stiff and still had the sizing in it. Two, it was dark enough that the dark stripes on the case wouldn't show through and the grime from use wouldn't show either, and Three, well it's fabulous! It makes the piece feel very 'Cathe Kidston'don't ya think?
I haven't finished the inside yet. The top photo shows the inside partially covered with papers from the wonderful Melissa over at The Garden of Pink shadows. If I finish it though, then it goes into the hands of my 2 yr old and my 4 yr old... aahhhh well... atleast I'll get to see it everyday. And putting away their doll clothes will be so much more fun! I see more of these in my future. It was so much fun to do. Hhhhmmm.. I wonder what else I can decoupage? The dogs perhaps? They would look fantastic in a floral! heheehee...
There really is nothing like breathing life into a forgotten piece.. it stays out of a landfill, I save money, and my girls get a pretty case that should now last them a lifetime.
The girls love it! It works perfect for all the handmade clothes and knit accessories they got for Christmas.