Upcycled vintage suitcase side table

Upcycled Vintage Suitcase Side Table

I found a gorgeous mustardy yellow vintage suitcase, which I upcycled into a fabulous side table. Not only that, I added extra character to the case with some vintage luggage labels. You can download these vintage luggage labels here for free. This vintage suitcase side table looks great either bedside table or as a coffee table. The storage it creates is an added bonus.
My sister in-law has a fabulous collection of vintage luggage labels and hotel stickers from Bergen which she kindly lent me for this project. I have scanned these lovely labels into a pdf which you can download and use for your own projects (see below).
Upcycled vintage suitcase side table.  This tutorial includes a free download of vintage travel stickers and labels.
Bergen travel labels for vintage suitcase upcycle
Upcycled Vintage suitcase side table - with free luggage label printables.

Why Bergen ?

If you have been following my blog you will know that I like to personalise my crafty creations whenever possible. My husband’s family are originally from Bergen in Norway and it is one of our favourite places in the world. Being brought up in Hong Kong I have travelled extensively, especially around Asia and Europe.
Norway is the most stunningly beautiful country I have ever visited. If it wasn’t also the most expensive Paul and I would be tempted to live in the Fjords. I’d already made a map chair to celebrate my love of Norway, so I decided to continue with this theme when decorating my vintage suitcase side table.


Bergen Norway

Bergen http://www.all-free-photos.com/

Upcycled suitcase side table - Pillarboxblue.com
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How to make an upcycled vintage suitcase sidetable

I was lucky to find this suitcase at my local auction house, and because it was in a bit of a poor state, I managed to pick it up for just a couple of pounds. I’m always on the lookout for old suitcases at the auction or in charity shops. I can normally pick them up very cheaply as I’m happy to have the more unloved suitcase ready to revamp into something wonderful like my denim suitcase.
Part of the charm of this particular case was its colour and aged look so I didn’t want to do too much to the outside of it. I just gave it a good clean with some leather cleaner. I used wire wool to scrape away an excess rust from the hinges and lock.

PART ONE: Relining a vintage suitcase

  • The inside of the suitcase was in a particularly bad state so I ripped out the old lining and gave it a new one. In the past I have lined my suitcases with fabric such as my map case. However this time I decided to use wallpaper. The only reason I used wallpaper and not fabric is because I had some lovely Orla Kiely paper scraps left from previous upcycling projects that I thought would look great with this vintage case. The colour was perfect and the print had a lovely vintage vibe to it.

  • I cut out pieces of wallpaper to fit the sides and the lid of the suitcase with a small overlap. The wallpaper was applied using wallpaper paste.

  • As I was going to fit legs to my suitcase, I needed a firm base to attach them to. I cut a piece of plywood to fit the base of the suitcase, covered this in the wallpaper and inserted it into the case.
    Lining a vintage suitcase with wallpaper - Pillarboxblue.com

    PART TWO: Adding legs to a vintage suitcase

  • To turn this vintage case into a side table I needed to give it a bit of height. I bought four 6″ hairpin legs of amazon. Hairpin legs in various colours and styles.

  • To attach the legs to the suitcase I simply drilled holes in the bottom of the suitcase and using attached the hairpin legs by screwing through the bottom of the case and into the plywood base I’d inserted.
    Vintage suitcase side table _ Pillarboxblue.com

    PART THREE: Decorating the outside of a vintage suitcase

  • I printed out the luggage label and travel stickers pdf: Bergen Labels. I then cut these out very carefully.
    Bergen vintage luggage lables

  • Using a decoupage glue I stuck the cut out labels on to the suitcase. Some were stuck randomly, others were used to hide particularly bad blemishes on the case. I then covered the top of the labels with another couple of coats of the decoupage glue to protect them.

  • To complete the vintage travel look to my suitcase, I made a luggage label by printing out both sides of the Bergen Label pdf on to a cream coloured heavy paper and then sticking them back to back. I used an eyelet tool to punch a hole into the luggage tag and added a rivet and old twine to complete the vintage look.
    Vintage Bergen Luggage tag - Pillarboxblue.com
    I love this upcycled vintage suitcase side table not only does it look great with all those lovely old luggage labels and hotel stickers but it’s really handy for storing my magazines.
    Upcycled vintage suitcase side table and storage - Pillarboxblue.com
    Upcycled vintage suitcase side table - with free luggage label printables.
    Upcycled vintage suitcase side table with free luggage label printables.
    If you like the Vintage suitcase side table you may also like my nightstand post:
    DIY Nightstand from an old wine crate
    Or you might like my other vintage suitcase posts
    Easy no sew denim suitcase
    Brilliant vintage map suitcase

    54 Responses

    1. […] table with a free download for luggage labels to add character too! Get the full tutorial for this Upcycled Vintage Suitcase Side Table to make it […]

    2. […] 1. Upcycled vintage suitase side table – Pillarboxblue For this hairpin leg DIY, I used really short ones to transform a suitcase […]

    3. I like it better next to that great map chair. The travel theme works!

    4. Just pure awesomesauce!! I love so many bits, especially the snazzy legs, liner & stickers! Great upcycle – I’ll be featuring your DIY at this week’s Friday Favorites – thanks for linking up to #fridayfavs

      • Wow that’s great look forward to seeing it, thank you very much.

    5. This is really cute. I love the vintage labeling and would never have thought of lining the inside with wall paper. Love it.

      • Thank you ! Wallpaper is not just for walls I use it in loads of my projects.

    6. This really is very cool! I love that you lined it and chose the hairpin legs for it. Your choices for the details really keep with the style of the case. Well done! I hope you have a great weekend!
      The Curator’s Collection & Making Broken Beautiful

      • Thank you very much. The case was so lovely that I didn’t want to change it too much just tidy it up a bit.

    7. Hi Claire
      I knew you would find a great use for my labels, the whole project looks very cool. Very impressed:-)


      • Thank you ! Glad you liked it. Maybe you could get some more labels when Paul finally organises that trip to Bergen he’s been promising you.

    8. […] Upcycled Vintage Suitcase Side Table, by Pillar Box Blue This quirky square vintage suitcase may have gotten around some, but those labels aren’t quite what you may think! […]

    9. Kim

      What an awesome suitcase, but even more awesome is what you turned it into! I love it! #HomeMattersParty

    10. In a word ADORABLE. I love vintage luggage and you repurposed yours so cleverly.

    11. There was way more to this project than meets the eye! This is a great transformation Claire. While out thrifting I’m always on the lookout for old suitcases but haven’t found one yet. Thank you for joining us again this week at Celebrate Your Story link party and we can’t wait to see your next project!

      • Thank you ! & good luck finding a suitcase hopefully you’ll find one soon.

    12. Loving this upcycle! The labels make is just perfect. You did a wonderful job. So glad you shared this at the Dishing It & Digging It Link Party.

    13. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop

    14. That suitcase is really fabulous Claire! I love the funky wallpaper that you used on the inside. How fun to have those labels to decorate the outside. It makes a great side table. Thanks so much for sharing at Vintage Charm.

      • Thank you ! It was Orla Kiely wallpaper she has some fantastic designs all with a retro feel.

    15. A close friend of us is from Norway too, and we can’t wait to visit the Fjords. They go each summer to visit family, and I think it would be the best season for me too… cold and I are not big friends…
      Love that old suitcase, and it looks wonderful as a side table, really cool!!
      Thanks for sharing with us at Sweet Inspiration party!! I hope you have a wonderful week!!



      • You should definately visit Norway if you get the chance it’s an amazing place. Thanks

    16. Claire this is wonderful.
      And thank you for providing such a step by step tutorial.
      Plus the labels? Amazing!

      I hope you will share this at Thoughts of Home on Thursday this week.
      We would love to have you.

      Just stop by my blog at http://www.whitespraypaintblog.com on Thursday to join in.

      Enjoyed visiting,
      White Spray Paint

    17. What a great find, and I LOVE what you did with it!! SO COOL!

    18. OMG I love this upcycle! I am already a huge fan of vintage suitcases and labels, and Bergen is on my list of places to visit. So inspired right now. Thank you 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Thank you! You should definitely go to Bergen, even though it’s expensive it’s easy and cheap to get too and well worth the visit.

    19. Wow you did a great job on refurbishing that vintage suitcase and thanks for the instructions! The denim quilt on the bed is perfect too! Thanks for linking up with Funtastic Friday!

    20. wow, great project and it looks fabulous with the jean quilt! And those vintage luggage labels, fabulous. I would love to visit Norway and hope to someday, but sooner than later! thanks so much for sharing on craft schooling sunday!

    21. Wow! With all that TLC you’ve given this already character filled trunk more charm! Love it!

    22. Ohhhhhh how I love this Claire!

    23. Claire this is the coolest upcycle. I have an old suitcase I’m thinking to upcycle also. I’m pinning.

    24. Claire, love this suitcase table!! The labels look so awesome on it!! I have to ask about the wall with what looks like wallpaper, did you have a tutorial on how you painted or covered the wall, it’s really cool!! I would like to invite you to link up to our party, Sweet Inspiration Link Party that starts on Friday and runs until Tuesday. Hope to see you there!!

      • Thank you ! The wall is actually a frames wallpaper by Graham & Brown it’s in my dining room and makes for a handy backdrop for photos. Thanks for the invite.

        • Claire, it’s really cool wallpaper! I’m glad you came to the party!! 🙂

    25. This is such a wonderful project…I love your old suitcase and how you used it! Thanks SO much for sharing the Bergen labels! My husband’s family hails from this area, and we try to make art with meaning to us…he will love these! Hopped over from Vintage Charm party…

    26. This is so awesome, gorgeous and chic! So nice of you to make those beautiful labels available! What a cool project, I am excited to try it with one of my vintage suitcases. You rock, Claire!

      • Thank you very much you are very kind. Good luck with your vintage suitcase.

    27. Love this idea! It has so many uses. I was thinking it would work well in my son’s bedroom he is getting to be a teen or in a game room/TV room.

      • Thank you ! That sound like a good idea he could keep his computer games in it.

    28. Really clever, I love it, and especially that you can store magazines in it 🙂

      • Thank you ! I have a bit of a magazine habit so the extra storage is really handy.

    29. Very cool idea 🙂
      And thanks for the labels!

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