Tuesday, August 28, 2012

a twist on vintage suitcases...

i have been blessed with so many things in my life.
for the past two years, i was a nanny for the sweetest, most amazing family.
they were truly a blessing to me.
those three silly kids became such an important part of my life.
during the hardest of times, they were able to bring the biggest smile to my face.
during those long summer days in their home, i couldn't imagine my life without them.
a few weeks ago i spent my last day as their nanny.
leading up to that day was so hard.
hard as in- sobbing in the shower, hoping that no one could hear me, hard.
but as sad as it makes me to not see them every day, i am so happy that they were a part of me.
and they still are.
they will always hold a very special place in my heart. 

as my last few weeks were nearing, i had to get busy making something very special for them.
the girls had been telling me how much they wanted old vintage suitcases.
lucky for me, this was just right up my alley.
i love everything vintage!
so i headed to a local junk shop to find my suitcases.
we literally had to dig through old suitcases to find the perfect ones.
i finally found three that i was crazy about.
the sweet old man who owned the shop gave them to me for a dollar each.

 at this point i wasn't even sure what i was going to do with the suitcases.
but while i was at the junk shop, i spotted all sorts of neat items like old mirrors, baseball mitts, and jewelry. 
so i thought, what better thing to do than fill these vintage suitcases with vintage accessories, toys, etc??
and from there, i went crazy scouring local thrift shops looking for the perfect items. 

i displayed all of the items neatly and decoratively in their suitcases along with their names on pennants made of scrapbooking paper. 
 however, on my last day, they were leaving for Coeur d'alene, Idaho.
within a half hour of having those suitcases, they were jam packed full of clothes for their trip!
so much for all that work! 
but they loved those suitcases.
they carried them around all day.
and that's all that matters.

so here's a look into what i did...

george is 8 years old and ALL boy.
so i found this neat army looking suitcase that was perfect for him. 

the inside of his suitcase was lined with paper that was in serious need of a wipe down and some gluing.

george is very athletic so i wanted to fill his suitcase with sporty items.
i lined the bottom with burlap to give it a rustic look.
i found the sports illustrated book and the baseball mitt and ball at a second hand store.
underneath those things are some old vintage comic books and baseball cards, found at the junk store.
i found the frame at a second hand store with no glass or back to it.
so i found an old wooden clipboard from my house, cut it to size, covered it with chalkboard paint, and glued it in the frame.
i also painted the outside of the frame and glued some buttons that resembled balls from various sports.
i had to find some sweets to add that matched with the sports ensemble so i added some caramel corn that i found at a candy shop.

i hot glued some cards to the outside and added some ribbon to the handle.

 caroline is 8 years old and completely girly (bright pink room and all).
so i found a classic white suitcase for her.

the inside of her suitcase was lined with pretty beige satin fabric with lots of ruffles and feminine touches.
it was in need of a good scrub though because it was very stained.

 for caroline's suitcase i wanted to go for a very dainty ballet theme.
i lined the suitcase with a tutu that i made for her using tulle.
i found the perfect ballerina painting at an antique store.
i found a picture frame that i painted, distressed and added some buttons to.
i also found a small mirror that i painted and distressed as well.
i found a light pink cup that i used for a jewelry holder and i added an antique beaded necklace to it.
(all of these items were also found at various thrift stores.)
i thought that the perfect touch would be some vintage looking candy, so i found a taffy stick and three colorful candy canes.

the glass on the mirror was really scratched so i added a rub-on to distract from the scratches.

 i wanted to really personalize the girls' suitcases by adding fabric to the outside.
i adhered the fabric to her suitcase using elmer's spray adhesive.
the rounded edges were a challenge so i hot glued a lace trim to give it a finished look.
then of course, i added lots of ribbons to the handle.

audrey is 12 and very mature for her age.
so i found a blue suitcase for her that i thought had a sophisticated look to it.
(the buckles were my favorite.)

the inside of audrey's suitcase was very unique as well.
it was lined with a creamy vinyl in an adorable quilted pattern.
but it too, like the others, had to be cleaned and hot glued in areas. 

i lined audrey's suitcase with some light pink tulle.
 since she is older, i bought a couple of things for her suitcase that didn't come from a thrift store.
she is always on her ipad so i found her a very cute case from t.j. maxx.
i believe that the brand was urban expressions.
the stand for her picture was also found at t.j. maxx (i think).
it came in a set of three that i bought a few years ago.
i did find her frame at a second hand store, however.
and like all of the others- i painted, distressed, and glued some buttons to it. 
audrey has a dog as well so i thought the picture of the dog guarding the little girl was perfect- also found at a second hand store.
since i was going with bright colors as her theme, i found some old fashioned ribbon candy and bright candy canes.

i loved the finished look of this suitcase.
the light floral fabric was actually cut from an old sheet that i found at a thrift store.
i hot glued some piping to the edges to give it a finished look.
and...i topped it off with some handle ribbons!

so... if you are ever looking for a fun gift for a young kid, these vintage suitcases are a huge hit!


  1. Woo Woo...dang I want one of those for myself...

  2. WOW WOW WOW!!!!! Can I hire you to make props for my photo shoots? This is such a thoughtful beautiful gift you have made for your "kids". So pretty:)

  3. Absolutely wonderful! Love it Meg!

  4. sweet :**


  5. This is the most adorable gift I have ever seen

  6. These are absolutely AMAZING! so incredibly creative!

    Please make me one!! :D




  7. these are beautiful and so neat! very creative. good job, megan! i love them.

  8. You have so much creativity. I'm sure that the kids loved these.

  9. Wow you did an amazing job with all three, thanks for sharing the photos and lovely job!

  10. So much thoughtfulness goes into all your gifts. And, these are so clever! I could never have guessed what you were going to do with the suitcases. How fun for the kids! I hope you had fun creating them, too!

  11. This is the sweetest thing ever. These are beautiful. You are so creative - and thoughtful. Kids really do make such an impression on our hearts hey. They were lucky to have you!

  12. I am completely obsessed with this idea! WOW. Wish I was that creative!!

  13. These are adorable! I am pinning them!
    - Christy

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