You could look for a small side table that is close to the same size and display the suitcase open and display other vintage objects Or you can look for some vintage looking pillar candle holders and put battery operated candles with timers in the open suitcase. If you have anything from your dad like old ties, you can arrange them inside or even weave some of them into a little mat to drape over the sides. Or you can put a few plants in with the battery operated candles. Just make sure you put the plastic liner under the plants so water doesn't ruin the suitcase.
I've seen people make tables using old luggage which is pretty cool.
Here's a clipboard by @Clover House, DeeDee with 10 ideas for repurposing a suitcase: http://www.hometalk.com/b/153616/suitcase-love
Ah yes! Thank you @Miriam I! And I just added a few more that I had missed! Cute stuff!
Thanks @Miriam I! I just added a few more I missed too!
@Kathleen Margaret there are several postings oh HC as Miriam has indicate, and there are lots of sites on the web for repurposing suit cases as well. Here is a link to a google search https://www.google.ca/search?q=repurposing+old+suitcases&rlz=1C1AVSW_enCA372&aq=1&oq=repurposing+suit&aqs=chrome.2.57j0l3j62l2.8711&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
I stacked three leather suitcases next to my sofa to make the perfect side table. I put some magazines in the bottom two to give them weight and stability.
One of best uses I have seen is an straight chair or stool (to your liking) with the suitcase on it closed. Inside towels, bath cloths, soap, shampoo, hair dryer, etc., in a guest room for your guests to use.
I did not have an end table so I used my mother's old suitcase with another one under it and stored my throw blanket in them..made perfect end table and storage.
I have a doctor's satchel from England which looks like the Paddington Bear suitcase. The leather is cracked, dry, but other than that, in good shape. Been trying for years to figure out what to do with it which would not just "display" it, but have some use. The best comment I have seen is the one from Jeanette S. on this site... ... any other thoughts?
Put it on legs - x work well. Then screw yr suitcase to it. Then use it to display yr pretty whisky, cognac and liquer bottles. Use as a liquor cabinet. Otherwise u could use as a storage u it for books. Playing Cards or table games. Great unusual storage.
To restore old leather, you must FEED it. Spend some time rubbing in saddle soap which, as its name suggests, is available from outlets specialising in saddles, harness, etc. No matter what the state of the leather is, provided there are no actual tears in it, just keep on rubbing it in, allowing time for absorption - you'll be amazed. THEN you can decide how to best use it.