Tuesday, July 5, 2011

{Vintage} Suitcase End Table

Last summer, I found these great vintage suitcases at a garage sale for only $.50 a piece.  I was ecstatic because I had been forever wanting to make a suitcase end table for my living room.  The idea stemmed from a Before & After feature on Design Sponge.  I completely fell in love with it, but wanted to make it my own by adding some color.

The one color I had been itching to find a place for in our living room was a certain very warm and rich blue. Instead of painting the suitcases, I decided to cover them in a fabric of this color.  After a long search through stores both online and off, I finally came across just what I was looking for.  Of all places, I found my fabric at Joann Fabrics

Well, you've seen the before, now here is the after:

I'm pretty excited about the final look.  One of the best parts, I only spent $20. 

Here's what you'll need to tackle this project:

  • 4 wooden screw-in table legs 
  • 4 metal plates 

  • Material to cover suitcase(s)
  • Mod Podge
  • Brush or sponge to paint on Mod Podge (sorry, not in picture)
  • Screw driver (sorry again, not in picture)
  • Scissors (or even better a razor blade)
Step 1:  Lay material over top of suitcase and Mod Podge small sections at a time, letting each section dry before gluing the next section.  Don't start cutting yet! After you have covered the entire top section of the suitcase and it has completely dried, use scissors to carefully cut along the edge of the excess material.  If your glue is not completely dry, the material will just pull. A razor blade would be more efficient but be careful not to cut into the suitcase. 

Step 2: Cover the sides of your suitcase using the same method.  Be careful of the handles and locks.  They can be tricky.  Don't strive for too much perfection, though!

Step 3: Attach metal plates to all four corners of the base of the suitcase. 

As you can see, I used angled plates.  They also come in flat.  It took a little hunting for me to find these guys in the hardware store.  They are in the lumber section with all of the table legs.  Convenient since Step 4 is...

Paint your table legs.  That is, IF you want to paint them.  They are just raw wood when you buy them and can be used that way.  I spray painted mine black.

Step 5: Screw the table legs into the brackets.  Mine actually punched through the suitcase a little bit as well.  Didn't feel bad since I had just finished screwing 16 holes into the suitcase.  

And there you have it.  A brand new, completely one-of-a-kind end table.  

And Henry says is makes a great little perch, too.

Somewhat Simple
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  1. I LOVE that color with brown! Of course Henry makes it look even cuter!! :)

  2. I love these tables! I found some on craigslist last week and they were sold 5 minutes before I called...sigh. Great table:)

  3. Hi Jane ~
    I LOVE THESE!!!! Great job!!
    And Henry is so adorable :))
    ~~ Michella ~~

  4. That is adorable! somewhere in New York City, Nate Berkus is crying because he didn't think of this first! is I have a little blog party every Thursday called Simply Creative over at I'd love it if you linked it up!


  5. This is great! I'll be keeopng this in mind!

  6. Jane, I am always amazed at your creative nature! These are amazing! Can you come decorate my house??? ;o)
    I was telling your mom last night after we practised that I love your blog. Always makes me feel happy and doesn't last long though! (Creative that is!) ;o)
    Mrs. Monnin

  7. What a great idea! Thanks, I have two I have been looking for ideas for.

  8. Thanks for partying with me this week over at 365 days 2 simplicity's Simply Creative blog party. I can't wait to see what you come up with next!

  9. I love this look! The fabric is perfect and I'm so envious that you got these for .50 each! I featured this on my Friday 5! Have a great weekend!
    Modern Wivelyhood

  10. This is an amazing transformation!

  11. Love this! I'm going to pin it for if I am ever lucky enough to find some old suitcases for a reasonable price. I live in "Antique City" and the shops here think they are made of gold. That's a beautiful blue and Henry is a beauty, too.

    Oh, is the top suitcase is just stacked on top, not attached in any way?

  12. This turned out super cute! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  13. .50? are you kidding me? What a great deal! I have been looking for vintage suitcases as well...have not been so lucky yet. That is amazing.

  14. Awesome! I love your fabric touch. I want some. :)

    Shared this on FJI Facebook for SNS 92. :)


  15. @Melisa: The top suitcase is just resting on the bottom. Or else I wouldn't be able to get into the bottom one. I actually use these for storage. Very handy!

  16. I think it looks amazing! I'm always impressed when people can turn trash into total treasure! :-) Thanks for linking up!

  17. This is a gorgeous way to use the suitcases and Henry looks quite comfortable with his new "perch" as well!

  18. this is just beyond fabulous, luv the new recycling of the suitcase.
    I'm inviting you to join our linking party every Wednesday at
    Have a fabulous week,

  19. This is AWESOME!!! I'll be on the lookout for suitcases like this from now on, because I'm totally copying you! Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  20. What a great idea! I have an old suitcase I've been wondering what to do with and this may just be perfect!

  21. What a great idea! This is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing!!

  22. Fantastic! Thanks for sharing.... now to find some old suit cases.


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