Vintage Suitcase Makeover DIY

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Rachel Stone

Hello friends! Today I’m excited to share a vintage suitcase makeover with you! This project is part of a special handmade rag doll tradition for the little girls in our extended family.

Every time one of our sweet nieces turns three they receive a handmade rag doll made from the doll pattern that my aunt made me when I was a little girl. The doll is designed to reflect the personality, color preferences, and interests of each girl. 

To accompany each doll Matt helps me find/fix whatever “trunk” the doll and her wardrobe will be gifted in. This last summer two nieces reached the age of three within three months of each other. This post will feature one of the “trunks” to house the doll.

For this “doll trunk” I wanted to try a vintage suitcase makeover. In a trip to the thrift store one day I found this little blue suitcase with it’s original purple quilted lining. There was even a stamp with President Eisenhower in there!

The makeover began with the outside ~ a fresh new color was the ticket! 

All the hardware, hinges, and trim were taped off.

Next a coat of white primer so the blue wouldn’t show through.

Then we (my neighbor was in on this project too!) began applying the new color. I just love how this light pink seems to glow!

Cutting in the edges… an accent color will be painted down the sides of the suitcase so you can see the primer still showing at this point.

Behind me you can see Matt’s raised garden beds and the chicken coop. We had so many green beans last year!

After the pink paint dried we taped off the sides to prepare for the accent color down the center.

Such a bright, happy turquoise accent color!

Once everything was dry off came the tape. At this point we were getting excited ~ it looked so cute!

Next I found some free clip art online, enlarged it, cut it out, and traced it on. Now for a bit of hand painting!

Hand painting done! Once this was dry several coats of a clear sealant were applied to seal the paint.

Now to transform the inside. First the lining was removed…

A layer of quilt batting was cut to size and glued in place.

Lastly a gorgeous magenta lining with birds and butterflies was added. Since the fabric was directional this took some careful cutting and fitting, but the final result was worth it. The visual impact this lining gives when the suit case is opened ~ what a delicious surprise!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this suitcase makeover & found some inspiration for making some thing with your own hands for some one you love. In our next post  we will meet the lovely handmade rag doll who will travel with her new pretty “trunk” to her meet her new mama!

Until next time, take care,



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Author: Rachel Stone
Rachel is passionate about creating a comfortable and beautiful home for her family. She also loves to share the lessons she is learning with her wonderful audience both on this blog and her YouTube channel.

8 thoughts on “Vintage Suitcase Makeover DIY”

    • Good morning, Mi Mi!
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post, it was fun to try something I’d never done before.
      Have a lovely day!

  1. I love it. Carrie had told me about the case but seeing it was a big WOW for me. Cant wait to see the doll and I would love to see the other suitcases.
    Tell Matt the garden is lucious…

    • Good morning, Mrs. Rasbeary,
      I’m glad the suitcase lived up to it’s reputation! You can look forward to seeing the handmade rag doll post this coming Monday. I’ll let Matt know you liked the garden! Thanks for stopping by an have a lovely day.
      Warmly, Rachel

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