DIY: Reupholstered Vintage Suitcase for Wedding Cards

Posted by bridalbuds on Sep 16, 2011

Are you ready for this?  This has to be my all time ultimate DIY project that I’ve done.

This past weekend, I worked on reupholstering this large makeup/suitcase I got from the flea market.  Since inside was pretty yucky, I knew I had to do something with it if I wanted to use it for the cards for my wedding.  The vinyl and cloth was coming apart, but the exterior and its functions was still in good shape.  Overall, it wasn’t too hard of a task, just a little time consuming.  It took me about 4 hours from start to finish.


Mock Decoration Trial for Wedding

Glue Adhesive Spray
Hot Glue Gun
Any type of Trimmings
1 yard of Fabric (I had half of it left, but you may need more depending how big your suitcase is)
Vintage Suitcase or Vintage Makeup Bag
Poster Board
#1. Clean your suitcase (inside and outside) with water.  If inside smells really bad, put a laundry sheet in it for a day to get the smell out.
#2. Take out the interior lining and clean again.
Note: If you can’t get some of it off, that’s ok.  Just make sure to get as much as you can out.

#3. Cut out poster board to the size of the bottom, sides, and top of the suitcase.  Try to make the poster board cut outs as close as you can, but not too tight!  Make sure to give a little leeway for the fabric to overlay on top of it.  I did a lot of estimating on this part.
Note: If you keep the old interior, you can use that as your measurements instead of measuring or estimating the size of the inside.

#4. Once you have all the poster board cut outs ready, cut out the fabric according to size.  I left about 1″ borders.  As you can see, it’s not exact.  =)  You won’t be seeing the back so if the edging is horrible, don’t worry.

#5. Spray one side of the poster board and quickly place the fabric on top of it.  Make sure to place the poster board in the middle of the fabric.  Also, make sure the fabric is as flat as can be so you don’t have any bumps showing on your suitcase.
Fabric Sticking to the Poster Board on Bottom
#6. Hot Glue Gun the edgings onto the backside of the poster board.
Note: When you get to the edges, it doesn’t have to be perfect.  All you need to worry about is to make sure the front is flat.  If you have a lot of fabric on the edges, cut some at an angle (picture shown below).

#7. Check if the poster board with the fabric fits into the suitcase nicely.  Not too tight nor not too loose.
Note: If you have gaps that are wider then 1/4″, you may need to redo it as it will show later on.  On the other hand, if you have a large trim that can cover it up, then you should be fine.

#8. Once all the poster boards with the fabric are placed into the suitcase (do not glue it down to the suitcase yet!), add your trims using a hot glue gun.

#9. Add as much trim as you want.  Trimming helps a lot to cover up those icky gaps and spots that aren’t very pretty.
Note: I added trim to the mid section of the sides because that’s where the two poster boards met.  I didn’t want to have a line showing so I added the trim to hide it.

Optional #10. If you want to glue down the poster boards with fabric onto the suitcase you can.  I didn’t glue down the bottom or top in case I wanted to go back and change the interior.  The only parts I did glue down was the sides.  If I didn’t glue it down, it would be popping out.  It’s all up to you and how snug your poster board fabrics are to the suitcase.

The Finished Product!

Optional #11. If you’re using the suit case for a wedding, party or decorations, you can add some embellishments just for fun!