Repurposed Suitcases: From Cabinets to Tables

Jan 19, 2009 by

I have a deep, dark, and not-so-secret obsession: vintage suitcases!   However, considering that the hubby does not understand why I insist on dragging home vintage suitcases when I already have a dozen, I constantly need to find ways to repurpose and upcycle my collection of vintage suitcases.  Here are some ideas from yours truly and others who also find themselves in the suitcase repurposing predicament.


While I use a vintage suitcase for my styling kit for photo shoots, another sits faithfully by my desk as a filing cabinet.  I used an accordian file (the ones that frustratingly never want to stay upright or open), and enslited velcro tabs to attach the organizer into the suitcase.  When I open the suitcase, the accordian file expands – and conveniently stays vertically open by my desk!  This is an easy, five minute project perfect for tax time.


Regardless of the shape or size, your trusty vintage suitcase can become a chic side table, making a perfect conversation piece.  This collection is made by T.O.M.T, otherwise known as “The Other Man’s Treasures.”


If you don’t have the time or inclination to make your own, stop by LisaKathrynDesigns on Etsy, where you will find her version of chic and artistic upcycled luggage side tables.


Who knew that vintage luggage could have such furniture versatility?  The creative yorkpatty made this sassy repurposed luggage chair for her lucky sister-in-law’s birthday.  Even the fabric is upcycled from a sheet, accented with hand-stiches.


T.O.M.T also ingeniously repurposed vintage luggage into the most intriguing medicine cabinets!  Isn’t this so clever and creative?

repurposed-luggage-for-craft-booth-displayHad I seen this adorable booth in person, I would have swooned!  Lockette makes gorgeous paper and fabric stationery, creatively displayed in tiers of suitcases – which make it perfect for both setting and packing up.  I love how she uses mini clothespins to hang her lovely cards – more of which can be  seen at the Lockette Etsy shop.

Of course, you can always use your vintage suitcases to store your belongings.  Country Home transformed an antique suitcase into the perfect crafting treasure box.   Line the suitcase with paper, and then using either hot glue or velcro, you can create your own traveling craft store.

Do you have the vintage suitcase bug?  I’d love to hear about how you have repurposed your vintage luggagge!

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  25. Jim O'Neil

    Thank you for your post. Very creative.
    I screwed 4 post tops (available at home improvement stores) for legs on the bottom of a large travel trunk. I also put on some suitcase travel stickers from around the world. It sits at the foot of my bed and is great for storage and as a conversation piece.

  26. I to have a deep, dark, and not-so-secret obsession with vintage suitcases. No one seems to understand so Im soooo glad you posted this!As of the moment I just hav mine sitting around with fabric stashed inside
    I do use one for a bookend so I guess thats kind of repurposed hehehehe

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