Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Modified Suitcase and Mirror

I'm busy getting ready for The Nightmare Machine Con this weekend, but I have a couple of quick projects to share with you.

First of all, my husband bought a couple of small mirrors at a yard sale to use at our vendor booth.  I think he paid $.25 or $.50 for both.  I thought they looked pretty boring, so I decided to try some "distressed" painting.

I used a paint-on white primer from the hardware store as my base coat. I didn't sand or anything, just put two good coats on it so it was nice and white.  Then I spray-painted flat black on top of that.  I took some sandpaper to it and distressed it by hand so that the white shows throw in places.  I think it came out pretty good, though not perfect.  It's more interesting than it was before.

The other project is a mod of a vintage suitcase we recently scored.  We were with our friends vending at an arts market and the antique store next door had a pile of old suitcases out front with a 50% off sign on them.  Most of them were ugly plastic 70s ones, but there were two older cases.  One of my crewmates had already said she wanted one, but I fell in love with one, too.  Turned out we were in love with two different cases, and I got the one I adored.  We paid $18 for it, which I think is a steal.  Nice old leather suitcases are getting really hard to find.  It wasn't in great shape: it was pretty beat up and "weathered".  The leather on the bottom was destroyed and torn.  But it had tons of character.  I decided it would be good to use as a vending display, and my husband decided he wanted to put shelves in it.  So we did.

We wanted to preserve the aged and beaten up nature of the case so we didn't do any major refurbishing.  I cleaned it as best I could.  The fabric on the inside was coming off and pretty dirty.  I wiped it up, but it still has some stains on it.  I considered recovering the inside, but I really liked the fabric and it really felt right for the case.  So I glued the fabric back into place and called it done.  For the bottom of the case, I recovered it with some faux suede I had on hand.  It's not gorgeous, but it works for a part that won't be seen much.  It also served to reinforce the hinge of the case, which was a little wobbly.  My husband made the shelves from plywood and stained them before installing them.  I think it's going to look good with steamy goodies all over it.


  1. I just wanted to let you know that I've nominated you for a blog award. Check out my post here (http://cationdesigns.blogspot.com/2012/03/catching-up-on-blog-awards.html) to pick up the award. Thanks for all the time and effort you put into writing a quality blog; I have greatly enjoyed reading it and learning from you!

    1. Thanks so much! I really appreciate it! I'm away at a steampunk con right now, but I had to say thanks right away!

  2. FYI
    I'm pretty sure the material inside your suitcase is plain old mattress ticking. Red and white striped heavy cotton.

    1. It's actually brown and white, and the brown matches the suitcase really well. But thanks.