DIY Décor Transfer

6 Materials
1 Hour

Using an old suitcase, a décor transfer from Iron Orchid Designs, and this DIY tutorial, you can make a beautiful antique-look decorative piece.

Tools and materials:

  • Old suitcase
  • Adhesive remover
  • Cleaner
  • Rag
  • Adhesive décor transfer
  • Mineral paint
Iron Orchid Designs decor transfer

Prep the suitcase

Remove any existing stickers or decoration from the suitcase (I used Goof Off to remove existing adhesive.) Once everything is off, give the suitcase a very thorough cleaning (I used Krud Clutter for this step.)

IOD decor transfer

Paint the suitcase

Use a mineral paint (I used Fusion) for easy application and good sealing. Apply two coats of paint to your clean suitcase, including hardware and handle.

How to use a decor transfer

Distress the paint

Mineral paint is pretty easy to distress, but it’s best if you do this step quickly after the paint starts drying to limit the amount of elbow grease needed.

Focus on the hardware pieces and the handle for distressing. Spray water on a rag and rub the areas you want to distress until some paint begins to come off. If the water is not doing the trick, you could also use some extra-fine sandpaper.

Decor transfer tutorial

DIY decor transfer

Apply décor transfer

Choose an adhesive furniture transfer sheet that you like. I used one from Iron Design, and you can learn more about adhesive furniture transfers on the IOD website. You might want to use the whole transfer, as it comes on the sheet, or cut out the main element and use that in one place while using some of the smaller elements in other spots on your suitcase. You can see how I separated out the transfer elements on my video at 3:08 and 4:30.

Remove the backing paper from the transfer and carefully place the decorative elements onto your suitcase. Use the rubbing stick that comes with the transfers to help fully smooth it onto the suitcase. Then, press down hard to ensure the decorative element is fully transferred. Finally, burnish the transfer by rubbing it all over with the transfer paper backing. This will ensure it is fully sealed on.

Add a topcoat (optional)

Fusion mineral paint does not ordinarily require a topcoat, but if you want that extra protection on your newly decorated suitcase, go ahead and apply a topcoat.

That’s all there is to it! Now you have a beautiful piece to show off in a guestroom or anywhere you want this decorative accent piece.

Suggested materials:

  • Old suitcase
  • Adhesive remover
  • Cleaner
See all materials

Frequently asked questions

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