Really the most difficult part of this project is in finding the right vintage suitcase and even that is not too hard. Many antique stores have a good supply of these on hand in a variety of different styles. You can also check Etsy, Ebay, estate sales and maybe even grandma’s house!
I have found that quite often, when you open some of the cases, they can have a bit of an odor like moth balls. However, no worries, I also found a great solution! All you need to do is fill a dish with fresh coffee grounds, stick it in the case and close it up for a few days. The coffee grounds soak up that smell and leave you wanting a cup of coffee.
The best deals on suitcases are the ones that need a little work on the inside….I love the worn look on the outside of most! If you are willing to put in some elbow grease, you can save a bit of money.
There are several different ways to finish the inside of one of these suitcases that don’t require relining with fabric. You can use a pretty wedding pattern craft paper, paint and almost anything that you can think about for embellishments.
I had to tear out the fabric on this suitcase, which actually came out extremely easy since it was so old, and redo the inside. You can see the full tutorial for this at my diy wedding card box tutorial.
Here is some more inspiration for other vintage suitcase card boxes that I found:
This one looks like it had a great original interior. Just clip your letters to the inside pouch with mini clothespins and you are all set!
I love how the inside of this suitcase was re-purposed with chalkboard paint in the cover! This is a great idea for when you are left with the wood base after ripping out fabric.
If you are lucky enough to find a whole collection of vintage suitcases, then stack them right up for a great focal point. The larger suitcases then become your “gift card table”.