Vintage Style Makes You Smile


As you may know, I have a thing for vintage luggage.  A while back, I bought a set of three, ugly, vintage suitcases for $5.00 on Kijiji, an on-line classified site in Canada.

Before Reburbishing

Before Refurbishing

If only the seller could see them now!  They’re all renovated with a fab aqua Sunbrella fabric. I also nixed the bland grey exterior with a fresh coat of vanilla.  You might have seen my original post here .  It was actually one of my most popular posts ever (thank you everyone) !

Painted & Relined

Painted & Relined

It’s always fun to incorporate vintage into the craft room.  I keep my die cuts and Big Shot in them.  All tidy and out of sight.

Now My Craft Room Storage

Now My Craft Room Storage

When I knew I’d be able to celebrate with my dear friend Alys (of Gardening Nirvana) on her birthday, I started thinking, “what can I make?” That’s when I spotted this vintage train case at the  Old Strathcona Antique Mall in Edmonton.  I just knew it’d be the perfect thing to personalize just for her.  The original interiors actually weren’t in too bad of shape, all be it, boring and faded.  They simply would NOT do for my sweet friend, no no no, not at all !! 

Alys's Gift Before DIY

Alys’s Gift Before DIY

But after Boomdee was finished with it, the interiors went from, “meh” to this…….

Alys's Gift After DIY

Alys’s Vintage Train Case After DIY

I wanted to share this awesome little trick I use for measuring the interior lid and bottom of  vintage luggage.  I learned this trick in a lampshade making class.  Simply press a piece of aluminum foil into the bottom of your luggage, scoring into the corners and down the sides.  Lift out your foil and trim to your scored edges. Test pattern for accuracy.

Makes Vintage Luggage DIY Pattern Pieces Perfect

Makes Vintage Luggage DIY Pattern Pieces Perfect

You’ve now created a perfect pattern for cutting your new materials.  I use this pattern piece to mark and cut the new cardboard liners and fabric inserts.

The Perfect Fit

The Perfect Fit

Remember to mark and cut the FABRIC 1/4 inch larger than your tin pattern (more on why in my next post).  Come on back Friday to learn a few more tricks to refurbishing your own vintage luggage finds.

Tricks & Tips

Vintage Luggage Tricks & Tips on Friday

Alys can now travel in style to her next weekend get-away, use it in her own office or even come see me 😉  I just couldn’t help myself, vintage style makes you smile.

Happy Birthday Alys

Happy Birthday Alys

Where’s YOUR next holiday trip planned to?

More Vintage!

A fellow Canuck shops vintage on Vancouver Island at Creartful Dodger

Vintage Clunky and Funky by Boomdeeadda

Vintage White Is Out Of Site – by Boomdeeadda

Vintage View Master – Anniversary Gift – by Boomdeeadda

This Ones For Steven :D

This Ones For Steven 😀


50 responses »

  1. I don’t redo things but I admire your gorgeous results for both your traveling case snd one for Alys, too. I enjoyed the fact you used aqua inside your own with a buttery vanilla exterior, Boomdee. I like reading about Alys, since she is a friend of yours and Pauline’s. 🙂

    • hello hello! how totally nice of you to visit back to this post. I got totally hooked on old luggage and you know, it’s really easier than one might think to refurbish one. The vintage one’s are pricey here now, everyone wants them. So I’m glad I scored them when I did. Aloha!

  2. Absolutely gorgeous! I got a lovely teal coloured vintage suitcase a while ago and have been thinking about jazzing it up – after reading this I’ll definitely go for it! I love the colours you chose here 🙂

      • Brilliant, thanks Kelly! You’re a star! 🙂 hoping to get around to it soon but I can’t decide on what fabric to choose now – it feels like a very important decision to make!

  3. This is amazing and you have the best ideas and so much patience and talent! I love, love, love the idea and the colors and the fabric and the paint and everything about it! My Mom had suitcases like this when I was a kid and I couldn’t wait to get one of my own when I was finally on my own and in need of my own train case. Unfortunately, I never even thought of recycling one-I did buy one that I still love to have and to use but this is so special and so fabulous! (like you) Can’t wait to read even more about how you made the magic happen. You are just the cutest, most talented, sweetest friend. You and Alsy (like I always say) are just the cutest and it so much fun to hang out with you both!! XOXOXOXOX

    • (((( Betsy )))) you are absolutely a sweetheart. Thanks for showering me with your love, hugs and cheer. I wish we could hang every week! Coffee’s, pancakes, falafals, sunshine, you, me and our sweet Alys. I need a green card LOL.

      What colour is YOUR Train Case hon? When we were at The Island, they had a few there that were priced really well. I should have bought another. That store is awesome.

      I just ate a whole wack of that salt water taffy we bought at the candy store. I just couldn’t stop…ha. My tummy feels a little ooozy, or maybe it’s just me missing you. xoxoxo Love You!

      • I will post a picture of it to show you-it is a pattern and for some reason I have no idea-there is green in it (I think) I am not a fan of taffy-you were so cute trying to fill up that huge bag-I prefer fudge, When my parents used to go to Monterey when we were kids, they would always bring back a box with a big hunk of fudge and a little tiny plastic knife. I would try and sneak little slivers of it so my Mom wouldn’t notice. (although she always did!)

      • LOL, I think I might have tried that with pie and Mr B..hehe. Great minds think alike. I’ve never been to Monterey but hear it’s beautiful. Wait a ‘sunny California minute’…’s only 71 minutes from San Jose? We need to cruise on out there next time. My hubby would love to golf in Carmel. I should just move there, I have too long of a list 😀 OH BOY….a dream come true. xoxox PS, that Taffy is 1/2 eaten already 😀

  4. I love it! I got some beautiful orange hard-sided luggage (at least I thought they were beautiful) as a gift when I graduated from high school. I used the suitcases for years (it was always easy to spot when it was on the luggage carousel at the airport). But eventually the linings all pulled away from the sides so, with great sadness, I threw them out. After reading your posts, I now know how to fix them, and if I ever see any old orange luggage at a second-hand store I’m going to replace those suitcases.

    • What a great grad gift, were they hoping you’d pack up and leave the nest? hehe.
      I’m sure I’ve given away stuff and regret it too. But you can’t find room for everything right? Orange….was it the 70’s? My first house had a lot of Orange in it, built in ’75 😀

  5. I saw this lovely creation and and I was blown away to the great details Miss B put into it. Down the personalized touches of the monograms and the matching purses and make-up bags. Yes indeed – wonderful!

    • HI Hon! What’s up in San Jose tonight? You’re so dear to come an cheer me on, thank you! I guess you had your first week at the new job, hope it was fab! Those were the first bags I’ve ever made with a zip…YouTube is invaluable. I think you could almost learn anything there. xox

    • Awww, thank you Laurie. I wouldn’t even begin to know how much to sell for and I’m not sure I’d want to do for $$. They’re a labour of love and it’s only really fun if you are doing them for someone you adore I think. But so nice for you to say.

  6. These are amazing!! I’m going to share your blog with my crafty friends, especially those who love vintage! You are so talented!
    I’m sending a photo to your email …

    • Fabulous! Thanks for sharing LB. Ohhhh vintage loving friends! Do you hit the flee markets with them? I’d need to have a U-haul behind my bike, you’re in a great area for it. Thanks too for cheering me on! What a great way to wake up 😀 I’ll go check email xK

  7. Reblogged this on gardeningnirvana and commented:
    I feel like Marlo Thomas in That Girl! This charming vintage suitcase, lovingly refashioned and restored into a one-of-a-kind traveling case made its way from Alberta, Canada. As a girl I dreamed of having one of these suitcases. I can barely believe the circumstances that brought both the gift and the giver into my life. If you’re not already following her blog, be sure to take a look. Thank you, Boomdee for pop-popping the suitcase hinges of my world.

  8. Those cases turned out beautiful. Alys’ looks almost like Christmas inside. I’ve had to get rid of so much in my moves, darn it, and had no idea you could paint the outside. i do like the idea of using them for storage. You are so full of wonderful information. I was always trying to measure the inside of baskets to line them. The foil would certainly make that easier. Thanks so much for sharing the wealth. Hugs

    • Wonderful, generous you! Cyber hugs….wait….tighter! LOL.
      I think we’ve all disposed of things we wished we hadn’t, me included. Glad you can make use of that trick with your own projects. I certainly didn’t come up with it, but as I mentioned, another crafter showed me and I’m more than happy to pass it on. People need to share ! Makes it more fun. What are you working on these days?

      • I agree with the sharing makes it more fun. I’m working on shirts. I have no winter clothes and my britches are falling off. Those i had to buy but need to hem. I’m short on one end. Wondered what kind of paint you used on the cases that would handle the use? They turned out so nice that if very many people see them, no one will ever find another vintage case anywhere. Thanks for the hug. I needed it today.

      • You’ve really been so successful on your weight lose program. Be really proud of it Marlene, it’s not an easy thing at all. I’m failing terribly.

        Thanks for your question, I’ve always used a combination of paint. The vanilla colour is Tana Shoe spray. If it can manage on your shoes, I figure it’ll last on a suitcase. The strips were Trem-clad (I think) because they have great colours. I’ll be posting a few more details. 😀 Happy Thursday!

  9. That was an amazing transformation, for all of those vintage cases. I bet Alys loved hers! I am also stopping in to say thank you so much for the comment you left on my blog about Moonlight, your words really meant a lot and I am so thankful for your friendship.
    Wishing you a great week Kelly XO

    • xo Dearest Kathryn, I’ve thought about you and Moonlight a number of times since. Thank you for your kind message, I really am thankful for you too and so glad we can connect here. I just love animals so much as I know you do to. Alys was really joyful for her gift and that made me so happy. Hugs to all, down there on the ranch and especially you! xoK

    • Oh ya, I’ve seen those on Pinterest. So darn cute. I love to see how other folks reuse vintage. It’s the original Recycle, Reduce, Reuse. Go Vintage Go! Thanks for your message Cody Cat 😀

    • Thanks Aunty Kathleen xo. We had a riot at Alys’s Birthday celebration. Just us girls that night at a really cute restaurant in a shopping district we love. The wigs were a scream. They sat a table of six men next to us who I’m sure wondered what on earth we were all about. We’re about having fun! That’s what! LOL. Yes, when Alys is in Edmonton, we’ll have to spoil her pants off. She sure does me! See you tomorrow LUL 2 xK

  10. That is so clever Boomdee! I have never done refurbishments of cases – I wouldn’t know where to start really – and much admire your abilities in this. The finished article is just superb! I have a feeling that tinfoil trick will come in handy for many a measuring/fitting dilemma…………. must remember, must remember, must remember ……. 🙂

    • Hi Pauline, you’d be surprised how simple it is if you know a couple of tricks. I have a detailed tutorial for email if you should ever want to give it a go. It’s totally fun to see it change. I added a few extras that I’d never done b4. YouTube is invaluable man.

      The Tinfoil trick is hand to measure any odd shapes for fabric. Like the panels of a lampshade or the bottom of an old metal picnic basket. I recently bought a super big vintage suitcase that matches the set of three I already have. I just can’t decide if it should be the same or do new fabric…stay tuned.

    • Thanks Sunshine! I hear you on the regrets. I’ve given away so many things I wish I hadn’t….now they’re twice as expensive. That tinfoil trick is how you get the panel shapes onto fabric to recover a lamp…so handy.

    • That’s so awesome to hear, many thanks for your generous message. You might be right about the practiced hand, each one gets a little easier because you learn a little more. I’ve done 4 in total now in different sizes. I just love how you can update old things and make them funky.

Talk nerdy to me………..

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s