Another Gift Card Holder – Using A Suitcase And Chalkboard Paint

A favorite diy project, here at SB, is to transform a worn vintage suitcase into a decorative gift card holder to use at weddings.

There are just so many different ways that you can accomplish this feat that it is easy to come up with something that is totally unique to you and the style of wedding you wish to have.

The actual suitcase that you choose can also help to define your style.  I absolutely fell in love with this case when I spotted it at an antique store last summer.  The graphics on the lid and the worn condition already made it look so shabby chic!

vintage suitcase cover

I immediately decided that the inside of this one would have to be a shabby chic style that would be especially perfect for an outdoor or rustic chic wedding.

However, it was going to take a bit of work!  Because, like most vintage suitcases, the interior was funky looking and just a little too worn.

I took this picture mid way through the process of peeling the blue plaid contact paper off and I had already replaced the bottom of the suitcase with a burlap liner.

vintage suitcase

It was a tedious job but eventually, all the paper came off and I was ready to apply my finishes!

I thought there was nothing better for a shabby chic style than to convert the inside lid to a chalkboard.  It was a simple process to do with the brush on chalkboard paint.  I applied two thin coats and let it dry completely (for 24 hours) before preparing it for chalk.

Once the paint was ready, I rubbed a piece of chalk over the surface and then wiped it off.

Instead of using just regular chalk to write my message, I used a chalk marker for more staying power.

First I wrote out my message (I chose the popular wedding verse I Cor. 13:7 ) using a regular piece of chalk.  This way I could easily erase any mistakes that I made.

Once I was happy with the layout, I went over my writing with the chalk marker which darkened and defined the words.  They also won’t rub off now if bumped but still can be erased with a damp cloth or a magic eraser.

gift card holder

I added a few more shabby embellishments to the lid.

gift card holder

shabby chic embellishments to wedding suitcase gift card holder


Now, there are ways to make fabric flowers easily like any one of these twenty ideas offered by The Crafty Blog Stalker.  However, I went an even easier route by using recycled fabric flowers.  The flowers came off of a t-shirt that I no longer wore.  Luckily, I thought it would be a good idea to cut the flowers from it and they came in handy here!  I did add the sparkly beads to the centers though.

I didn’t want to put anything too permanent on the suitcase that marked it as a gift card holder.  After all, it will most likely be used for one day as card box and then it can easily transition into some fabulous home decor.

So…I simply made a tag, to hang from the berry garland, using die cut letters to spell out the word “cards”.

I was almost done but had one more little adjustment that was highly necessary.  As the suitcase was, it would not stay open on its own unless it was leaned up against a wall.  This simply would not do!  So I had to replace the missing straps that held the lid from falling backwards.

I went to Joann looking for leather strips and came home with bracelet chains…….much more shabby chic I think!

suitcase chains


All I had to do was tack the two ends in place with common thumbtacks.  They pressed into the wood quite easily and the chains hold up perfectly.

Here is a picture of the final gift card holder:

gift card holder


Leave a Reply