Monday, September 15, 2014

Suitcase Revival

As you have probably figured out by now one of my favorite past times is to go to garage sales.  I love the thrill of the hunt for that hidden treasure and the unknown of what is in the bottom of the 25 cent box.  I carry with me a list of items I am searching for that will complete my arsenal for numerous crafting and sewing ideas.  Recently my husband and I were out on our treasure hunts and came across on old cosmetics suitcase.

The suitcase had definitely seen better days but beneath the rough exterior I saw the potential of a new revival.  The case was a medium brown and had some of the edging broken off.  My husband was a little bit skeptical about the possibility of the case being reborn.

I had several ideas floating around in my head of what the "new" case would look like and it took me a few weeks to figure out which one would work best.  I finally settled on using an old dictionary and Mod Podge to cover the case.  This would allow me to cover the broken edging pieces with the dictionary pages and you would not know they were missing.

The case in it's original form. 

The broken edges I needed to cover.

The inside of the case just needed a coat of paint to spruce it up.

The process of applying the dictionary pages is rather simple.  You tear your pages into smaller pieces and then apply the Mod Podge type glue.  I used a simple recipe of half school glue and half water.  Since the case was a larger project I did not want to use up all of my Mod Podge.  The watered down school glue works just as well.  When I had covered the whole suitcase with the pages I then did a final coat of the Mod Podge followed by two coats of polyurethane sealer.

Here are the steps I follows to revive my suitcase:

I first spray painted the hardware, edge stitching and the inside of the case black.  Since my pages were black and white I thought this would make the hardware etc. stand out.

There was no reason to paint the portions of the case that would be covered with the pages.

The handle I painted with black fingernail polish and sealed with a coat of clear polish.  I felt this would adhere better since the handle was plastic.

Next I started applying my dictionary pages.  I tore the pages into random sizes and applied the glue mixture to the back of each piece.  You do have a few minutes when you first apply the paper to move it around and get it in the perfect location.  For the edges around the stitching I wanted a clean line so I cut the edge of the paper that was up against the stitching.  This gives the effect of a clean edge and looks better.  The pages are not all straight but I did try to make the words on the pages go in the same direction.  Meaning I did not turn an of my pages upside down.  You could turn the pages any which way and it would give you a more random effect.

I mixed half water and half glue for my Mod Podge variation.

This was an old dictionary we had around the house.  It was one of three.

I loved the size and style of the type.

The bottom of my case is where I started.  This allowed me to perfect my technique on an area that would not show.

The first stage of my case is complete.

It took several hours to completely cover the suitcase.  I wanted to add just a small amount of color to the case.  A hint of color makes the black and white of the paper really striking.  In order to add the color I selected different pictures of various objects from the dictionary and colored them with colored pencils.  Using the colored pencils gave me the hint of color without saturating the drawings.  It is kind of like coloring the maps we did when I was in school.  I then randomly placed the pictures on various locations around the case.

The fish I colored so it looked like a catfish.

I liked all of the diagram labels on the fish drawing.

The Revived Suitcase!
The case revival turned out better than I anticipated.  I am pleased with the transformation and plan to use the case as a display at my next craft fair.  It will work well to fill with my handmade jewelry.  My daughter ask me what I would do if someone wanted to buy the case.  I told her most likely I would sell it, but you never know.  Some treasures you just can't let go of.


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