Dear Creatives, I have always wanted to diy / re-purpose a case, train case or suit case. I actually have medium size suit case to do, but have not wanted to take on the task as I never had tried covering any suticase with fabrics & papers before. Never say never because you can! Let me share some tips with you that I found helpful when recovering mine. Yes, I finally dove in & re-purposed a vintage cd case that was calling for a new life. I wanted to start small, saving the suitcase for later. Here are some photos from the process along with a tutorial & tips so you can make this yourself too when you find your perfect case or suitcase.
Here is what it looked like before in the inside. It was a vintage cd case (you know the cassettes that were prior to tapes prior to cds, ya vintage!) I found it at a thrift store for $3.00, had fabric left over from a project…Any way, it called for new life inside & out. I really wanted to redo this case as I am going to be teaching Sammie to sew some more, what a great gift to give her to keep some of her sewing goodies.
Here is what it looked like on the outside.
Here are a few photos of the process & some tips for you if you decide to tackle a case or suit case.
- Make sure you wipe case clean inside & out, then let it dry
- Pull off any peeling vinyl or coverings
- Have all of your supplies ready & by you *(supply list later in post)
- Have a clean wet towel & dry towel handy
- Measure twice, cut once
- Write measurements down if you need
- Pre Iron fabric (I had it already washed & dried)
- Have iron hot & ready for pressing edges of fabric ( for details around closures & handles )
- Work on a surface by a sink if possible *lifesaver
Work on the inside last. It is the easiest part. But I did take out the plastic cd inserts with an exact o knife prior to beginning the project! I used these cute Valentines scrapbook papers I had & cut out the small squares for some extra bling on the inside back which I left red.
More Images Below of it completed
Sorry I can’t you the exact amount of fabric needed ( at least 1 yard? ), but I decided to use fabric to cover the entire outside. Here is a little tutorial about this part.
- Work on one area at a time
- Cover sides & bottom first ( ensure your sides fabric stretches flatly over part of the bottom) Glue with modge podge
- When you get ready cover the bottom measure the exact measurements but add enough to fold over and iron seams (edges) to those exact measurements!
- Now iron measured fabric to ensure you fold & iron to the exact bottom measurements
- Go to the case & double check fit of bottom adjust as needed then glue down. Make sure to flatten edges well & use plenty of glue let dry a bit
- Repeat process for the top but allow for a little fabric from the sides to go upwards gluing flat against the top. (the final top layer will cover it)
- To create handle area drape fabric over top and cut a slit that will allow handle to slip through * be careful not to cut too wide
- Then lay it over the top covering while measuring entire top plus a little extra for folding & ironing to exact measurements
- Fold & iron then place material back onto top with newly ironed seam edges & if looks correct glue down or adjust as needed & glue down
- When gluing around any metal closures or handle use a flat thin object to slip fabric tucked under or into needed areas ! Now the closure that shuts the case you will have to make sure to leave open or cut where they meet so it can actually close.
- Remember go slow, use plenty of glue & flatten down surfaces as much as possible!
- Make sure to smooth out all air bumps
I had one corner that has a little bump but all in all not bad for the first time. I put some vintage supplies of my grandmas & some items for her in the right side, then as she accumulates more items I’ll hopefully have another case done to store my grandma’s treasures. Here is a list of supplies for doing it yourself.
- exact o knife
- measuring tape
- iron & board
- mod podge
- scrapbook paper from 2 12×12 pieces
- fabric * amount varies on size of project or you can use scraps & make it quilt like (allow for miss cuts or use rule measure twice, cut once!)
- wet towel
- dry towel
- sink & soap
You do a lot of going back & forth for measuring fabric, ironing down edges then gluing. So working by a sink is best for washing & drying hands prior to measuring fabric, then ironing. Work on a covered surface area picnic oil table cloth?… or in my case I have a glass table that wipes clean easily. I used the wet (damp) towel to wipe glue from handles & closures as I went along. Dry towel for that also. Oh, you can seal it with varnish or a spray. I have yet to do that.
Anything that was a showing edge I ironed seams flat & clean prior to gluing. If you have a question or two, just ask I will be happy to answer! It is easier than it sounds, but it is time consuming. I did it in an afternoon about 3 hours if I remember right. If you have younger kids this might be a project to do when you have someone to help with them.
Now if you find one in better shape like this one you can just add some cute details & put your stash in pretty quickly! My finds needed quite a bit of help. Can’t wait until spring to check out some yard sales! I’d love to cover one like this! Sew Cute!
Have you ever covered a case, train case or suitcase? What tips can you add to this?
Is this a re-purpose project you might ever try?
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If you find a broken suitcase you can still make this; A pet bed & here is the tutorial!
My Pin Cushion – Sewing Kit Tutorial in case you missed it!