Monday, May 12, 2014

Upcycled Suitcase Side Table

While down in the North Carolinas visiting my mother and hanging out at the Metrolina Antique and Collectibles show (which is amazing), I picked up many a treasure.  One of my very favorite finds was a selection of vintage suitcases.  Hard sided, flat on top, and begging to be loved again!

I had to have the bottom two and he priced them at $20 for both.  And then he was kind enough to throw in the top one for free.  I almost turned him down.  Why?  This is why.  Yikes.

Because I honestly didn't believe I could jack it up anymore than it already was, I chose this one to use in my first project.  And de-creepyfication was the first order of business.

Instead of scraping the paint and people off, I thought I could cover the top with a cream canvas hanging out in my fabric stash.  I laid it on top and traced the inside edge of the trim with a chalk dressmaker's pencil.

After trimming, I decided the best mode of attachment which would also be the best looking, would be to use upholstery tacks.  Be warned:  upholstery tacks are tricky little mctrickersons.  I found lining them up with the trim on the suitcase was the best way to ensure they were straight.  But the spacing required a ruler.  The tacks were 1/2" wide.  Measure from the center of one tack and make a mark where the center of the next should go which is 1/2" away.

I got MUCH better as I went along and had to remove the first ten to twenty just to make sure they were perfectly straight.  Yessssss.  No more creepy people.  And I love how the cream fabric brings out the cream trim on the suitcase.  (I wish I could claim that move as being purposeful.  It was not.)

Next step is to gut the base of the suitcase from the inside.  The padding on the bottom should get scooped out and trashed.  It was grosso and I probably should have worn a mask to keep from breathing in years of funk.  Yolo.  I kept the inner satin fabric to replace back once I was done with my tablefication process.

Remember those spindles I painted with my DIY Chalk Paint that I'm parading around calling table legs?  The ones from my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore (every DIYers bestest friend)?  Yep, those.  Come 'er, lil' buddies.

Time to attach.  Mark the bottom where you want the center of your legs to go.  I chose 3" over and 2.5" up.  Mark with a little pencil and drill a hole.  I used a dremmel as my full size drill rights have not been re-granted after the great crooked curtain rod incident of 2013.

Now, from either side of the suitcase, get a screw and attach the leg.  Prop the suitcase on its side and open it.  One hand with a screw driver on the inside, the other with the leg on the outside.

A drill is not a bad idea.  Also, a longer screw than what I'm using is a great idea!  Might need to go back in a place another screw for some more stability.  But to start, make each leg super tight and flush with the bottom of the suitcase with one screw in the center of the leg.

Oh, look.  You have a suitcase table now.  I just love how precious it is!

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