DIY Storage - Faux Vintage Suitcase

8 Materials
Whenever I’m out at thrift stores or garage sales I’m always drawn to crates and wooden boxes. They’re great for storage and I just love the warmth and character they add to a space. I came across this little gem one day for $5 and, although I had no idea what I would do with it, I scooped it up anyway.
Fast forward 6 months and I spotted this cute little vintage suit case at Hobby Lobby. What a cute way to store things…
The set was $79.99 and it was on sale for %50 off but I thought, as many of us DIY'ers do, I can make that!! Turns out, I had the perfect piece to use! As soon as I got home I got the thrift store box out and started thinking about what I would need for this project including what materials I would use for the straps, rivets and a handle. Here's what I came up with:

Straps - 1" black gross grain ribbon - perfect for the texture to show through

Rivets - upholstery tacks

Handle - old leather belt

Hot glue gun

Chalk paint

Distress Ink

Sand paper

I gathered all of my supplies for this thrift store upcycle and got going. First, I decided I wanted the box to be white so it would be more versatile. I gave it a couple of coats of creamy white chalk paint.
Now for the straps. I used a hot glue gun to attach pieces of ribbon where the straps would be, about 3 inches in from each side.
Then I added the "rivets" using a hammer.
Somewhere along the lines I thought the black ribbon was too dark so I decided to paint it white to tone it down and match the color of the box. I wasn’t crazy about it but went with it because I wanted to see what it looked like all put together so I moved on to the handle.

The old leather strap was easy to cut with scissors and was also attached with the tacks.
Once the handle was on I realized I definitely didn’t like the white straps. It was just too plain so I painted them espresso brown. So much better! Not as dark as the black and matched the handle and the worn spots of the wood. It did look a bit too new, though, so I hit it with the sand paper in places it would “wear” and then with some Vintage Photo distress ink. It was exactly what I was looking for…
I love it mixed in with the globe, antique binoculars and old books. It’s got a vintage travel feel.
This thrift store upcycle went from an old wooden box that cost $5 to a faux vintage suit case. It adds personality to the space, is great for storing things and is versatile enough to be used in any season. I actually had the ribbon, the tacks and chalk paint on hand from other projects but it still would have been about $15 to make it if I had to buy everything. It's not exactly "theirs" but it's exactly what I wanted.
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  3 questions
  • Stephanie Campbell Stephanie Campbell on Mar 17, 2017
    Love the box! I am doing a dresser like vintage luggage and I wondered if you thought the leather handles on the box would work on a dresser ?

  • Shirley Turner Wishard Shirley Turner Wishard on Feb 13, 2018
    Why white?

  • Charlet Daniels-Tindle Charlet Daniels-Tindle on Mar 12, 2018

    What about adding some stickers from Paris, London, N.Y. etc, like old luggage used to have stuck on it. Sure wish I jad my oldest sister's luggage from the 40's & 50's. Great looking faux luggage.

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