How can you repurpose an old suitcase?

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My parents flew over to visit for Christmas and left behind a scruffy old suitcase that they said I should throw away (it had been full of presents — yay!). The thing is, the suitcase is actually pretty cool, and I’d love to find a way to repurpose it and use it in the house somehow.

But it isn’t small (about 100x75x30cm) and we don’t have a big house (it’s a tiny little Irish cottage we’re living in while renovating). So whatever I do with it can’t take up too much space. We always need more storage, too. One option is to stuff it with junk and put it in the attic, but that seems like a waste.

Any ideas on how to repurpose a cool retro suitcase in your home? -Loubelou

how can you repurpose an old suitcase

Comments on How can you repurpose an old suitcase?

  1. Yes! My dad repurposed the luggage that his parents used for their honeymoon (one large rectangle and a small square) and made them into the table and side table for the living room. He had a furniture maker make legs with wheels so it can be moved around for space, plus they open so we use it for storage as well. The large one holds all the board games and the small one has coasters and some other things. It’s super cool!

  2. I have a red retro suitcase and whilst it’s not as good quality as yours I still use it to travel with. I often get compliments & I’m sure you would too especially if you could clean off the stickers and marks (Any tips out there?).

    When it’s not being used for travelling I fill it with other occasional bags (rucksacks, beach bags etc) and put it on the top of my wardrobe.

    • I regularly use vintage luggage if I’m not having it checked. I’ve had luck getting marks off with isopropyl alcohol. Stickers usually come off with very careful application of Goo-Gone. Even something like vegetable or baby oil would probably work. I wouldn’t use acetone or non-acetone nail polish remover on anything vinyl/plastic-y, since those seem to have a habit of destroying everything I love.

  3. We found an old wooden case at a flea market (basically a suitcase, though I don’t think it would travel well) and put it on a stool to turn it into a nightstand, which currently sits next to our guest room bed. Not sure if the top of your suitcase is flat enough, but it’s a fun way to display an old suitcase, and make it functional.

  4. I’ve been using a smaller piece of luggage to store all my makeup/hair goods, but you could probably take this a step further and turn the whole thing into a vanity! Pop some legs on it and put a mirror in the lid.

  5. Assuming they are the correct size you can replace the drawers of an old dresser with old suitcases. Pretty sure Pinterest has a bunch of tutorials. You could also stack them on top of each other (maybe affix them to each other so they don’t move) and use them as a funky side table.

  6. I have a vintage suitcase that I have used as a card holder at both a graduation and a going away party. I propped it open and strung the word “cards” across the top using some cardboard letters purchased at a craft store, twine, and miniature clothes pins. Guests then set their cards and small gifts inside the lower half of the suitcase. This made it easy to transport later — I simply closed the suitcase and toted it home. It was super cute and fit with the theme of the parties!
    Similarly, I could see a suitcase to be used to hold silverware or plates and napkins at a dinner party or get together!

  7. We used that amazing printed duck tape to cover a crappy “Dora the Explorer” kids suitcase I found at Value Village. If you’re looking for a simple project it’s an easy way to go. We actually use it for sleepovers/travel, but some of the designs on that duck tape are fantastic, and you could easily use it to match decor or whatever if you’re not going to be using the suitcase for its intended purpose.

  8. Open it up, pop it on a dresser and throw a mirror in it. Use it as a combination: vanity, jewelry box, makeup holder, etc.

    Anything smallish that might try to roll away on an ordinary dresser is now contained.

    bonus: secure the mirror to the back so it can be closed, to secure makeup and valuables from fur babies.

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