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Vintage Suitcases for the Home

Updated on February 5, 2015

Vintage Suitcases for Storage, Home Décor, and More

Vintage suitcases are great to collect and use in your home d├ęcor. These old suitcases bring a sense of nostalgia and adventure as you wonder where they have traveled. They have charm and style and are a wonderful way to create a unique look. They can be used as furniture and they make excellent storage to help you be more organized. They can also be used in unique ways that may surprise you, but that you'll love.

(Suitcases photo courtesy of purdywurdy @ stock.xchng)

Vintage Suitcase Transformed into a Chalkboard
Vintage Suitcase Transformed into a Chalkboard

The Many Uses of Vintage Suitcases

Vintage suitcases can be stacked to make a table or tucked away underneath them. They can simply be used as storage for things such as cd's, books, vintage linens, fabric, children's play costumes or toys, etc.

By adding legs or casters they can be turned into other useful furniture such as a table, ottoman, or pet bed. Hang one on the wall and a suitcase can even become a cupboard.

Add new pockets, loops, and dividers to the inside of an old suitcase and it can become a portable carrier for craft supplies.

Old suitcases can even be painted to help you match your own style and vision. In the suitcase shown here a vintage suitcase has been painted with chalkboard paint so it can be used as a message board or sign.

The possibilities for vintage suitcases are endless.

New Ideas for Vintage Suitcases

Get your creative juices flowing for what you can do with your old suitcases by checking out these ideas and tutorials at the websites below. From pet beds to cupboards, how to reline a suitcase or turn it into a craft center, you'll find lots of creative and useful ideas and information here.

Where to Find Vintage Suitcases

Vintage suitcases can be found at a wide variety of places. Keep your eye out for them at second hand stores, thrift stores, consignment shops and antique stores. Those found at antique stores may be higher priced, but you also might find some older and better quality ones too. Don't forget pawn shops dealing in antiques may sometimes have old, vintage luggage as well.

Other places to hunt for old suitcases would be yard sales and estate sales. Check craigslist.com too. And if you're really adventurous you may even occasionally find some suitcases when dumpster diving.

But one of the best and easiest ways is to look online at places such as www.eBay.com or www.etsy.com

Finding Vintage Suitcases on eBay

eBay is a great place to find the perfect vintage suitcase you desire.

The hunt for vintage suitcases from yard sales, thrift stores, or antique stores can be quite fun. But when you get your suitcases from such places you can be limited in your selection, if you find any at all. But with eBay you can search for the color, type, brand, size, etc. and receive gratification more immediately.

Vintage Tweed Suitcases

Some of my most absolute favorite vintage suitcases are the ones often identified as "tweed" suitcases. These are suitcases that are either covered with tweed or material that looks like tweed. They are often a little bit older, but even if they aren't they still give a more old vibe.

Reproduction Travel Stickers

Reproduction travel stickers can be a great addition to your vintage suitcases. You can add them to your suitcases or be creative and use them in other ways, such as put them in small picture frames and use as works of art.

Antique Luggage Books

Vintage Luggage: A Case History
Vintage Luggage: A Case History

I really wish this book were not so expensive as it sounds really cool. If you buy this book tell me what you thought of it.

 

Books About Antique and Vintage Luggage

There are almost no books about vintage suitcases available, and the one I do know of (shown here) is out of print and incredibly expensive. There are a few books about old trunks and restoring them, however, if you care to search for them.

You can also find books about decorating and vintage items in general that may mention vintage suitcases in passing.

So in other words, information on the subject matter is scant. You'll probably find most of your info about suitcase online, and even there it is sparse.

Vintage Suitcases on Flickr

A lot of people share great pictures of their suitcases on the photo sharing website flickr. Get inspired by some of the ideas shown in these photos. I've found a few couple people on flickr who have generously given others the right to share their photos with Creative Commons attribution licenses. So check these out for inspiration.

From Suitcase to Sewing Machine Case

Flickr user "one tiny spark" found this vintage suitcase was the perfect size for her sewing machine. It hides the suitcase when it's not in use (and helps protect it from dust too). And the handle on the suitcase makes it easier to move the sewing machine around too. And it only cost her $3 at a thrift store.



Suitcase Table

Stacie had this great looking table made from an old suitcase shown on flickr. There was no mention of it, but it looks like an old table was used to make it as well. Her parents put it together for her as a gift. Shows what a little ingenuity and work with tools can do to a cool old piece of luggage.

You can read more about this project on her blog here.

Other Vintage Suitcase Goods

If you don't want actual vintage suitcases you can get the look of vintage suitcases with reproductions. Or if you don't have room for full sized luggage look for mini suitcases or even use art that features vintage suitcases for your walls.

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    • DreamsBloom profile image
      Author

      DreamsBloom 4 years ago

      @JoanieMRuppel54: That sounds really neat.

    • DreamsBloom profile image
      Author

      DreamsBloom 4 years ago

      @Frischy: Cool! I hope it works out well.

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 4 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      You have inspired me to get my old suitcases out and use them in my home. I think I know just the spot to put them!

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 4 years ago from Keller, Texas

      My step-mom gave me one of hers with real travel stickers on it. I put my vintage doilies in it and other linen type items changing the top layer as the season permits. My favorite is Christmas!

    • Diane Cass profile image

      Diane Cass 5 years ago from New York

      Love the suitcase end table. We have an old trunk that belonged to my husband's grandmother. We put a piece of glass on top and now it is a fantastic coffee table.

    • vetochemicals profile image

      Cindy 5 years ago from Pittsburgh Pa

      Great cases and ideas to use these vintage pieces, love it!

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 5 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      Vintage suitcases are a great way to add accent to a room.

    • rayray131 profile image

      rayray131 5 years ago

      Very nice lens on an interesting subject

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I love some of the vintage suitcase styles - and I've seen lots of cool ways to repurpose them too. Good lens

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      These are great ideas! I saw a vintage suitcase with legs added for sale on Etsy as a coffee table. I want to do that!

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 6 years ago

      A friend of mine has collected vintage suitcase for a long time as decorations for her home. I'll pass this onto Bobbi. She'll love it.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 6 years ago

      I still remember when I saw a stack of old suitcases, artfully arranged and wonderful looking addition to a studio apartment.

    • profile image

      pacevedo1968 6 years ago

      i want thme

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 6 years ago

      I have a friend who has decorated a ledge in her bedroom with vintage suitcases. I'm always on the look out for great ones. Nice lens.

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 6 years ago from New York

      Great suggestions! Blessings from the home décor neighborhood squid angel. We'll be adding a link to this lens on our page about bless-worthy lenses. (You can check it out at http://www.squidoo.com/lenses-blessed-by-this-squi... Congrats!

    • profile image

      ideadesigns 7 years ago

      Just love the look of old suitcases :)

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Awesome Vintage Suitcases for Vintage Décor! :)

    • hsschulte profile image

      hsschulte 7 years ago

      Beautiful vintage suitcases.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      I've always liked the look of a stack of vintage suitcases. Such great storage too.

    • sarita garg profile image

      sarita 8 years ago from Hisar

      Great lens.

    • sarita garg profile image

      sarita 8 years ago from Hisar

      Great lens.

    • profile image

      Chi-TownChica 8 years ago

      Awesome lens!