Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Vintage Suitcase Repurposed

For years I have used vintage suitcases to store items like computer disks and manuals, business items, my vintage Barbie collection and various craft projects, I've also used them to display items in my flea market booth- So it was a no-brainer that I was going to purchase this cute cosmetic case for under $2-
I've been seeing these suitcases relined and made into portable craft tool chests, so I knew this would be a great carrier for my crochet tools (my lastest obsession)- My thanks to Bitter Betty for her tutorial-
First I tore out the lid lining and used it as a template for the new fabric-
I also made a paper bag template of the top and used it to cut a piece of foamcore board- Then I laid out my hooks and things on  the fabric to get my layout- I drew two lines where I wanted to put elastic to hold my hooks-
I am trying to use things I already have for my craft projects- This fabric (thrift store purchase) was in my stash, the leftovers from someone's project-  I had some tiny elastic and red seam binding so I folded the binding in half and with the elastic inside, stitched the binding together stretching the elastic as I went- I hand stitched this covered elastic to the fabric tacking it down to leave spaces for the hooks- I marked where I needed holes for the scissor ribbon by laying the fabric on top of the foamcore board and using a crochet hook pressed in the right spots made little divots in foamcore-  I used my big Bite Crop-a-dial to make the holes-
For the needleholder, I made a crochet heart from this tutorial:
It is hand tacked into place and the fabric is glued to foamcore board with spray adhesive- The edges were hot glued, the corners were tabbed and hot glued, then I added seam binding trim to finish the edge-
The bottom is done in the same way, except that I cut out the side piece and folded and stitched one edge to finish it and stitched the seam binding to the top edge to finish it- I was fortunate that the locking mechanisms hardware came off easily- As I glued the sides on I cut slits for the locking mechanism hardware-
Every case is different and this one had a flap in the back, which I wasn't going to replace until I found that one of the hinges was broken and the flap helped stabilize the top of the case- I used a cereal box to back the fabric which is stitched on and then the whole piece is hot glued to the suitcase- Here is the finished case-
Things I wish I had done:  although I marked the straight lines for the covered elastic I didn't follow them very well and they are crooked- Also I should have made tack marks so they would be even on both strips- Once I started adding the hooks it became clear that there wasn't enough room on the lid to fit the larger hooks into both the elastic strips- right now they sit in one strip just fine, if I were to do it again, I would make a pocket for the hooks and stitch that in place instead of the elastic-
I plan to make a tag for my addy and ph # for the handle and some kind of decorative technique on the outside, for now: this will hold my current project work--
Linked to trash2treasures,Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, Under $100, Hookin up with HoH,Make it Yours, Transformation Thursday


Gypsy Rose said...


Mimi said...

I've been using vintage cosmetic bags and hatboxes for ages. Used one like yours to pack my picnic lunch bento box with my sisters during the summer.

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