A Traveler’s Dream: DIY Suitcase Table

I wanted to call this one “The Imperfectly Perfect Suitcase Table” because I made a few snafus while creating it. I settled on “A Traveler’s Dream” because every traveler needs a good suitcase.

I love traveling so incorporating a vintage suitcase into my home decor was a no-brainer.

I went to my local, dope ass antique store, The Sleepy Poet – Gastonia, ISO the perfect suitcase. The store is made up of three floors filled with nothing but nostalgia located in an old department store. The place is magical I tell ya’ — magical!

I ran in about 15 minutes before the store closed and I found the perfect tan, vintage suitcase at five minutes till closing. It was meant for me to find!

Supplies

4 Table legs – I chose the Waddell Wood Ash End Table legs in the 17 inch length. You can choose any type of leg and length you want.

1/2 inch thick plywood cut to fit the inside of your suitcase. Your hardware store will usually cut this for you.

4 pack Waddell Angled Top Plates

Fine sand paper (Not pictured)

Stain and sealant of your choice. For this project I chose Minwax Wood Finish Stain in Espresso and the Minwax Fast Drying Polyurethane in Semi-Gloss.

Paintbrush

Metallic Paint Pen (not pictured)

Avery Full Sheet Labels, 8 1/2 x 11

Travel sticker images, I found mine on Pinterest

Drill/Drill bit (not pictured)

The first snafu for this project was the trouble I had finding the table legs I wanted. I was going for a Mid-century feel so I wanted legs like this:

screenshot_20180521-015550_google3938831642663014517.jpg

Unfortunately, I could only find them online so I had to go with the best option available.

The second snafu was caused by my BFF. He decided to construct the table while I was away, out of the kindness of his heart and without asking me. Indeed, it was a kind act; but, the problem is he didn’t communicate with me to understand my vision. In that case, he ended up with this:

Ya’ll I threw a full on, adult, temper tantrum — LOL! This was not my vision and I was not pleased about this. He drilled holes in areas where I didn’t want them.

After calming down and calling my level-headed, younger sister, she did a search and suggested travel stickers to cover the holes. But where would I find travel stickers on such a short notice? I realized that I would need to make them for myself. The idea was ingenious!

I found travel sticker images on Pinterest, printed them out on full sheet label paper and then carefully cut them out. Voila, magic!

The final snafu was getting the table legs on right. This was my first time making a table and the directions for the top plates (metal plates used to anchor table legs to a tabletop) mysteriously came up missing after the second snafu! Hmmm. My legs ended looking a little wonky; but, I’m still proud of my accomplishment. Please be sure to read the directions carefully!

Directions

Even though I was a novice at this project, it was pretty easy. Here’s how I put it together:

  1. Create a base with the 1/2 inch thick plywood. You may need to have your corners angled or rounded for the best fit.
  2. Put on the top plates. Please follow the directions on the pack and make sure that your screws are long enough to go through the suitcase and midway through the plywood base.
  3. Screw in the legs
  4. Optional: Make your own travel stickers by finding your favorite travel images online. Print the images onto full label sheets, cut them out and stick them all over the top of your suitcase for a fun, well-traveled look. Take it a step further by finely sanding the stickers to make them look worn.
  5. Optional: Some of the metal hardware on the suitcase was rusty, but I didn’t want to completely alter the worn look by painting over them so I used a paint pen to spruce up the hardware.

 

Here’s the finished product added to my space.

20180520_1230507172232039352783678.jpg

Again, the legs are a little wonky. This was my first solo project, but not the last, of this magnitude. I love it and my guests do too. It’s a conversation piece!

Did you like this piece? Do you have any advice for me on how I could have done this better? Leave a comment below. As always thanks for reading, see y’all soon!

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