12 Ways to Repurpose a Vintage Suitcase

  • 01 of 12

    Suitcase Shelves

    suitcase shelves
    Suitcase Shelves. Grillo Designs

    You can pack more than clothes in a suitcase.  Vintage options abound at flea markets and yard sales and can be used for storing books and magazines, blankets, and bedside necessities.  If you have a touch of wanderlust, try using a vintage suitcase as clever storage.  For example: 

    • Turn a vintage valise covered in travel stickers into desktop storage for a travel-themed office.
    • Stack mismatched suitcases next to a bed to use as a shabby-chic nightstand that can store towels and extra blankets for...MORE a guest bedroom.
    • Store photo albums, souvenirs and other ephemera in a suitcase, then place it in a bookcase styled with vintage globes or travel guidebooks.

    Although it's fun to play on the travel theme when using old suitcases as part of your decor, it isn't necessary.  Smart storage ideas aside, there are several other ways to use these travel standbys. Check out all of these other clever re-uses for your excess baggage to inspire your next DIY adventure.

    Suitcase Shelves

    Display travel mementos or just a treasured collection of family photos or framed art on a few wall shelves fashioned from sturdy suitcases sawed in half.

    Suitcase Shelves from Grillo Designs

    Continue to 2 of 12 below.
  • 02 of 12

    Luggage Libations

    bar in suitcase
    Bar in a Suitcase. Eclectically Vintage

    Stock a suitcase as a traveling bar that can be moved wherever the party does.  Perfect for small spaces, this mid-century modern tabletop bar is a great alternative to a bar cart.

    Suitcase in a Bar from Eclectically Vintage

    Continue to 3 of 12 below.
  • 03 of 12

    Suitcase Pet Bed

    suitcase pet bed
    Suitcase as a Pet Bed. Morena's Corner

    Although you can't pack your pet in your carry-on, you can make a suitcase into sweet sleeping quarters for your pet simply by outfitting it with a pillow.  If Fido happens to be your travel companion, you can just close up his bed and bring it with you!

    Suitcase Pet Bed from Morena's Corner

    Continue to 4 of 12 below.
  • 04 of 12

    Suitcase Side Table

    suitcase side table
    Suitcase Side Table. Pillar Box Blue

    A pair of hairpin legs is all this suitcase needed to become a side table with storage space for reading material or throw blankets.  You could also use a piece like this as a storage ottoman.

    Vintage Suitcase Side Table from Pillar Box Blue

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    Suitcase Garden Planter

    suitcase garden planter
    Suitcase Garden Planter. Studio 34

    Turn an old suitcase into an eclectic, off-beat planter for your garden by drilling drainage holes and filling it with your favorite plants.

    Vintage Suitcase Garden Planter from Studio 34

    Continue to 6 of 12 below.
  • 06 of 12

    A Welcome With Wanderlust

    suitcase porch sign
    Suitcase Porch Sign. Beyond the Picket Fence

    Paint a suitcase with a chalkboard sign, then place it on the porch as a way to welcome weary travelers.

    Suitcase Porch Sign from Beyond the Picket Fence

    Continue to 7 of 12 below.
  • 07 of 12

    Carryall Cabinet

    suitcase wall storage
    Suitcase Wall Cabinet. Adventures of Mel

    Outfit an old suitcase with shelves, then mount it on the wall.  The addition of a mirror to the front would make it an interesting medicine cabinet.

    Vintage Suitcase Wall Cabinet from Adventures of Mel

    Continue to 8 of 12 below.
  • 08 of 12

    Suitcase Charging Station

    suitcase charging station
    Suitcase Charging Station. Design Sponge

    This small vanity case was retro-fitted with a hidden power source to be used as a charging station that can accommodate several handheld devices at once.

    Suitcase Charging Station from Design Sponge

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Traveling Tray

    suitcase tray
    Suitcase Breakfast Tray. Mother Earth Living

    For this project, only the top of a vintage suitcase is used as a serving tray that can travel around the house for all sorts of uses.  The raised sides offer a spot to attach handles.

    Suitcase Serving Tray from Mother Earth Living

    Continue to 10 of 12 below.
  • 10 of 12

    Get a Grip on Toy Storage

    suitcase toy storage
    Suitcase Toy Storage. Cape Twenty-Seven

    If you have small children, you know that toys can spill over into every room of the house.  Get a grip on this common problem by using a couple of suitcases as under-the-bed toy storage.  Add wheels to make them easier for little hands to pull in and out.  Another option is to use smaller suitcases to house kids' art supplies and coloring books on a dresser or nightstand.

    Suitcase Toy Storage from Cape Twenty-Seven

    Continue to 11 of 12 below.
  • 11 of 12

    Pack an Overnight Bag for Guests

    vanity case for guest room
    Vanity Case for Guest Room. Country Living

    Suitcases make excellent guest room accessories. Give your guests the five-star treatment by displaying a petite vanity case filled with overnight essentials such as towels, soap and other toiletries.  

    Vanity Case in Guest Room from Country Living

    Continue to 12 of 12 below.
  • 12 of 12

    Vintage Valise Guest Book

    suitcase wedding guest book
    Suitcase Wedding Guest Book. FrugElegance

    Planning a wedding?  A vintage suitcase at the reception adds a romantic touch and hints at the honeymoon to come.  Ask guests to write "love notes" to the happy couple, then use the valise to safely store memories of the special day.  

    Suitcase Wedding Guest Book from FrugElegance