This re-covered suitcase is not just a pretty décor element, it also provides some extra storage. You can even use it as an occasional table or bedside pedestal.
You will need
• old suitcase
• patterned fabric
• unbleached linen (calico)
• sugar soap
• modge podge
• plastic dropsheet
• craft knife
• needlework scissors
• dressmaker’s pins
• measuring tape
• pencil and paper
1 Wash the suitcase with a sugar-soap solution and leave to dry. Measure the various panels and write down all the measurements – it’s a good idea to do it on a small sketch.
2 First cut the pieces from the linen so you can use them as a pattern. We used separate pieces for the top, bottom and side panels. Cut the pieces precisely according to your measurements and label them.
3 Press all the pattern pieces as well as your patterned fabric to remove creases. Pin the pattern pieces to the fabric and cut them out with a 3cm allowance included for folding over the edges.
4 Place the fabric pieces right side up on a plastic sheet or a black bag, then paint a coat of modge podge over. Leave to dry overnight – the fabric will come away from the plastic easily when it is dry.
5 Put the long piece that covers the front, base and back right side down on your work surface and position the case on top of it. Carefully mark the positions of the two locks and the ends of the handle – remember the 3cm allowance for folding over the edges. Cut crosses with your craft knife at these marks and also cut a slit for the handle to fit through. Paint a coat of modge podge over the front of the case and to the edge of the matching fabric section. TIP Spray a little water over the fabric if it is too stiff to work with.
6 Rub the fabric with your hands firmly onto the front of the suitcase and over the edge. Paint another coat of modge podge over the fabric. Smooth out any bubbles and wipe away any excess modge podge with a damp cloth. Make sure the edges of the fabric at the slit for the handle meet neatly, and carefully cut away the sections around the locks and handle ends. Turn the case over and cover the base and back in the same way. Hold the fabric in place with pegs, if necessary. TIP Keep a bucket of warm water on hand to wash your hands in as you work so the fabric doesn’t get dirty.
7 Peg the linen pattern pieces for the sides in position. Trace the shape right around 0,5cm inside the edges and cut out on the new line.
8 Pin the side-panel pattern pieces to the fabric pieces and trim to fit, but leave a 3cm allowance on the top edge.
9 Check that the fabric piece fits and cut away more, if necessary. Paint modge podge over the side of the suitcase and the wrong side of the fabric.
10 Stick the fabric in position as before and paint another coat of modge podge over it. Repeat for the other side panel. Complete by affixing the fabric to the top of the suitcase in the same way.