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DIY Vintage Case With Fabric {tutorial}

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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.

Inside of CD Case

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.

In need of repair

Here is what it looked like on the outside.


Re-Purpose { click to enlarge }

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


Inside of re-purposed case

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.



Completed Re-purposed Case

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
Click to enlarge

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.

Supplies used:

  • exact o knife
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • 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!

Janes Apron

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?

Got one to share or something else to share join my link up! link up here!

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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!



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  1. What a great idea–we have quite the collection of old suitcases, these I wouldn’t cover, but we were just at an estate sale and there was a super cute suitcase almost exactly like the green one you have pictured, only it wasn’t in very good condition. Now why didn’t it occur to us to recover it??????????

    Great tutorial!!


    1. Hi Trisha, Thanks I am glad you like it. I know what you mean, sometimes I pass things up thinking I don’t have time or it didn’t occur to me in the moment then kick myself later. lol
      Looked at second hand shop for one today with no luck. Yard sales this spring! Look out!! xo

    1. Thanks Tonia, Yep now I have a little better idea of what I am getting into with the suitcase, but I will still look for a less damaged one to do this spring. Thanks for dropping over!

  2. I found a little, I don’t know I guess it’s heavy cardboard, case at a thrift store – the back has a Michael’s sticker on it. Previous owner had dressed it up but it’s very dated. I thought I would start with that … I’d thought of painting the whole thing white (I’ve seen that often) but honestly I’m so into color, lots of color with huge doses of red thrown in 🙂 … But I’m going to try this, thanks for the easy step-by-step tutorial. Hugs ~ Mary Oh BTW I found you at the Sew-Crafty Tuesday party at Ruby Jean’s. Hugs ~ Mary

    1. Hi Mary, I am so glad you found me via Ruby Jeans. I do hope you try it, its easier than you think just a bit messy due to the glue.

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