I LOVE vintage suitcases. I wish I had space for them and uses for them… but this place has quite a few built-ins… I actually wanted to organise my craft and stationery supplies into suitcases… but I do like to see my craft and stationery on show like a store!! (But behind glass so dust collection is minimised.)
I guess I wanted to explore what others have done with vintage suitcases and inspire us in our constant need for more storage, more style and more chic-ness in our lives. Of course, we can’t do a post on vintage suitcases without addressing the more usual ways like:
Keeping off-season clothes
Past years’ tax files
Now, a peruse on the Internet and reading around…. I found these other great ideas :)
Filing organiser and noticeboard:
Tutorials and information on Design*Sponge
For something less usual, less humdrum, Etsy seller VanityCase can turn a vintage suitcase into a vanity cabinet. I bet you can even select your own suitcase.
Letter writing or gift wrapping storage
I do love this one… keep my writing supplies and bits and bobs in a little vintage suitcase via Craftzine
Side tables and ottomans
Simple instructions on DIY Maven on Curbly.
The only problem I can see with this is that nothing can be on top, so you can easily access your belongings…
… Like if you use it as a knitting station beside your lounge as you watch TV.
Create a chic pet bed for your pooch or kitty. Of course, this was a huge hit on design and DIY blogland. First appeared in Apartment Therapy and then on Design*Sponge
I love Design Sprout‘s version for her teeny tiny pooch. Quick and easy for human sleepovers!
It also means you can hide your pooch at work under your desk and have it living in the lap of luxury!
What about carrying small pooches around? Via Retro To Go:
Reminiscent of airplane carts, you can salvage a large aluminium suitcase into a storage solution with custom shelves… Install a few MDF shelves with some brackets… and it can be vanity storage, bar storage…
A collection of suitcases make a great table base… Like this foyer in the Oakland’s Waterfront Hotel.
Personally, I find these vintage suitcases very useful. Now my one-of-two sits on a dresser in the guest bedroom holding guest toiletries. It has held important documents and vintage purses.
I use a pink metal suitcase that was 75% off at a local organisation store (a bowl was missing) to store Hannah’s few jigsaw puzzles. It keeps the pieces all in ONE box.
‘Course, I actually use a vintage vanity case for toiletries etc when I travel.
I did put on my thinking cap… Some other ways to use these cute vintage suitcases or vanity travelling cases:
1. New mother kits!
A friend giving birth soon? Want to be in a small way involved? Most new mothers walk around the hospital after the birth looking like wet rags… (I know I looked worse!). Scour eBay or vintage stores for a vintage travelling bag… and fill it with thoughtful, girly, just-mums things… like:
- calcium tablets
- new hair brush
- some pink hair rollers (while she breastfeeds!)
- facial wipes
- lip balm
- hand cream
- magazines she loves
- a romance novel (all those hormones, you know??)
2. Cute laptop storage
In Australia, if you decide to give birth in a public hospital, even spouses are not allowed to stay past visiting hours. So if you’re a new dad, why not outfit a small pretty vintage suitcase with a small laptop, like the Asus eee pc so your wife can diary out her first days as a mother. Pop in her digital camera and the USB cable so she can upload photos.
3. Lunch bag
What about celebrating your friend or spouse or child when they get that new long awaited job. (I’d say children too, but more kids prefer the popular kids shows themed bags…). Get a few colour themed things like:
- Pink Thermos only US$9.99
- Tupperwares with sticks of celery, carrot, fruit
- Teabags (Lipton Raspberry)
- Pink chopsticks
- A novel by her favourite author for the lunch hour break
- Some pretty pink serviettes
4. Spice rack
Ya know, a metal one like my pink one could well serve as a great now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t spice rack! Just get one deep enough for some straight, small glass bottles… Mount the deeper end on the wall. Fill the glass bottles with your chosen spices and label the lids. Just stack them one on another…. After cooking, close the lid. I do like that idea…
5. Clutter hiderer
If you’re messy but want to hide the clutter by your bed and hate the look of your continually messy bedside table, find a stand lamp and place it above a cute vintage suitcase (better yet, get a pair) mounted on vintage feet. Place your precious things inside the suitcase and when you leave for work the next day, close the cover and then you have it all neat and tidy!!!
6. Guest gift package
Got a special person coming to visit for a few days? Want to get them a special guestroom welcome? Fill a vintage suitcase with towels, soap, shampoo, small box of tissues, a book by a favourite novelist, chocolates…
I’m toying with the idea of purchasing more suitcases and pile them on as storage for Hannah’s different toys sets… and pile them up in the living room… maybe attaching a photo tag of the contents…
What do you do with your vintage suitcase?