Gary Hardman
Gary Hardman
  • Tutorial Team
  • Springboro, OH

Suited For Better Things, The Suitcase Upgrade

7 Materials
8 Hours

For several years I have watched people make suitcase tables. It was always on my crafters bucket list but these vintage suitcases were always $20-30 dollars wherever I went. Until last week. JACKPOT!!! Three 1940’s suitcases at an estate sale for $5 each.
suited for better things the suitcase upgrade
So the first step was to gather materials. In the deep recessses of my garage I found old stair spindles and 1x3 pine boards.
suited for better things the suitcase upgrade
Step two I cleaned the suitcase throughly inside and out thinking about how to put together these pieces. I turned the suitcase upside down and started arranging the spindles and wood until I came up with a plan. I decided to box in the spindles at the top and at the bottom.
suited for better things the suitcase upgrade
In step three I measured and cut all the pieces using a small table saw. The pieces fit one inch inside the perimeter of the suitcase providing a solid base. Using two inch finish screws I assembled the top and bottom of the frame encasing the spindles. I learned that if you start all the screws part way into the wood then it’s easier to put pieces together.
suited for better things the suitcase upgrade
Step four. I sanded the frame down. To give the frame a cleaner look I countersunk the finish screws leaving a 1/4th inche crater in the wood. I filled the screw holes and any cracks with Durham’s Water Putty. When dry, I sanded the putty down to the wood. I then painted the frame with Oatmeal chalk paint. A great color to compliment the dark blue suitcase. A coat of finishing wax completed the frame.
suited for better things the suitcase upgrade
Step five. Attach the suitcase to the frame. Using 2 inch screws and washers I drilled through each corner into the top of the 4 spindles. Note to not drill through material. The drill bit caught on the material and ripped the whole bottom out.....Yes cover your ears because swearing was involved. A trip to fabric store, hot gluing material back into bottom and we are finished.
suited for better things the suitcase upgrade
This was a relatively easy project and is now suited for any room in the house. It is also great for storage....
suited for better things the suitcase upgrade
or as a charging station for computers or phones.
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