A Boring Dresser Gets an Epic Suitcase Makeover

8 Materials
$20
2 Weeks
Easy

Don't you just love those pictures of vintage suitcases stacked one on top of the other. There’s just something about the look that makes me think of a life well-traveled and filled with adventure and I really wanted my own stack of suitcases sooo badly. But they’re so hard to find and terribly expensive. We needed to make another plan. And the plan involved this boring pine chest of drawers.

And a whole bunch of broken suitcases .........

I picked this one, and a few more, up for the under $5 at a local thrift store. They were all really, really, really badly damaged.

There was even an old handbag or two thrown into the mix.

We salvaged all of the locks, handles, straps and other bits that were worth saving.

Some of the bits were easy to remove and some of them required brute force and a really sharp craft knife

Once we had enough "suitcase hardware" in our stash, we could get cracking on prepping the chest of drawers for the makeover of the decade. We removed all the drawers and old wooden knobs and gave her a good sanding down before staining her with a beautiful rich, warm brown polyurethane wood stain.

It took us about two week to complete the makeover. I wanted to make each drawer special and different. Some were painted......

.....and on the others we used contact adhesive to glue whatever bits of leather we could salvage from the suitcases on the front of the drawers.

All the suitcase handles were glued and screwed on. No ways did I want a handle coming off while I was hunting for my favorite T-shirt

And slowly,but surely that boring pine dresser transformed into this beauty.

What do you think? Does it work for you? We added a few labels too. Luggage isn't luggage if you can't see where it's been right!!?

I'd love to hear what you think of the makeover. And if you're looking for more tips on how to transform a boring dresser you can get the full tutorial on the blog.


P.S. Don't throw any salvaged leather suitcase scraps away until you've seen how you can turn them into this  vertical garden.

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Michelle Leslie
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Frequently asked questions

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3 of 109 questions
  • Tammy Tammy on Mar 17, 2021

    I feel like I’ve started reading a book, and have just been introduced to all of the characters. And I develop a different bond with each one of them!

  • Robbie Robbie on Mar 17, 2021

    This is the best, most creative project that I have seen on Hometalk. I wish you had given a little more detailed instructions about each drawer.

  • Kathy Lindenmuth Kathy Lindenmuth on Mar 18, 2021

    I love this! Great work I think I'll try this!

    Any ideas for a long dresser with no drawers or mirror?

Comments

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4 of 1722 comments
  • Nancy Nancy on Jun 25, 2021

    GIRRRRRL!! YOU WIN THE GRAND PRIZE! I have done probably a thousand DIY projects myself, over a lifetime and seen thousands more, but this project is a stunner! A winner! The best I've seen. EVER! I'm so attracted to old leather suitcases, buckles, handles and hardware, and now I know what I can do with it ( other than making my cats cool suitcase beds!) Thank you and congratulations. I am astounded. I can't wait to do this. Bravo!

    • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Jul 05, 2021

      Thank you, Nancy, so happy you like it and I would love to see that cool cat suitcase bed or yours. Our purr babies would love one of those

  • PATSY PATSY on Jul 04, 2021

    At first I wondered, waited and then saw! Still can't believe my eyes! Stunning!

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