Pimp my suitcase!


We found in our attic, completely covered in dust, an old wood and cardboard suitcase. This is how we brought it back to life. First we dusted the suitcase and removed about 50 years of dirt with a moist cloth and a mild rinsener, being careful not to ruin the leather covering. The old fabric was glued to some cardboard support, to replace it we decided to use the same method. So we cut from a cardboard box the shapes to replace the old covering. Two of the corners were damaged so we used wood specific vinyl glue to consolidate them. We also fixed the external leather cover to the borders with glue and stapler. Click on the images to enlarge.

We then cut fabric rectangles about 2 cm from the edge of each cardboard. For adding a soft effect to the fabric we covered the cardboard on one side with a 3 mm foam. We used some leftovers from the underlayer of a laminate floor we installed at home, but there are also for sale specific adhesive foams or felt sheets in craft shops that are a lot more expensive. To fix the fabric to the cardboard we used vinyl glue (fold the fabric evenly over the cardboard and glue it on the back only), to keep it in place while the glue was drying we used masking tape, that we left there to support the glue. Click on the images to enlarge.

After this we fixed with some staples the original leather string that kept the suitcase from opening completely. We did this before fixing the cardboard panel in order to hide it. We then removed with caution some old stains from the outside of the suitcase scraping them with a sharp blade. Unfortunately the original locks were forced open and they were ruined beyond repair, so we removed the bended and dangerous parts and we painted the locks and all the metal parts with a black water-based enamel. The original handle was missing, so we replaced it with a new one made of black braided fabric.

Then we glued all the cardboard supports into the suitcase pressing them with clamps or weights for at least 10 minutes for every piece to allow the glue to adhere. Click on the images to enlarge.

And this is the final result after polishing the leather parts with a little bit of shoe polish. Click on the images to enlarge.

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