Duct Tape Suitcase Project

I have an exceptionally deep fondness for vintage items. Particularly specific vintage items, like suitcases. When I was a kid I had this hideous suitcase that was somewhere between avocado green and teal with white leather binding around the edges. It had the sort of peach file lining that of COURSE had a slightly mildewed scent to it. I loved it. I know my family hated it. Well, hate is a strong word. They thought it was ugly. It was probably a mid 1930’s piece.

I don’t know what ever happened to it, but I suspect it went the same way that the 3 foot long mounted catfish I brought home from a yard sale- the trash. No one ever understood me as a child. Actually, I could probably have ended that sentence at “me” because I am pretty sure people STILL don’t understand me and I can only pin so much on the Aspergers.

I still have a deep fondness for vintage luggage, and I was utterly tickled when my youngest found a vintage suitcase at a second hand store and said she liked it. I snatched it up and then took her shopping for duct tape. I had an idea!! We talked about me redoing it for her so she could take it on our vacation to Padre Island. I don’t think she had the greatest amount of faith that I was going to be able to turn it in to anything she wasn’t utterly embarrassed by, but she humored me. She does that a lot. wpid-20140619_220644.jpg

This is what it looked like before. If it were for *ME* I would have clear coated it and called it awesome, but at 16, she just wasn’t feeling it as is. The first thing I did was use Odoban to clean the outside and the in. It smelled like a 1940’s suitcase all right. Actually, I’m not sure when it was from, could have been Midcentury, but some of the elements seemed older. wpid-20140619_220657.jpg

Scrubbing it down showed just how gross it was. After it was clean and dry, I started covering it in duct tape.

She chose this blue and white hibiscus pattern for the sides with gold lame for the ends and black for the binding. She actually liked the interior, which was good, because I was at a loss wpid-20140623_193808.jpgon how to whip that into shape in less than a week before our vacation.

wpid-20140623_193753.jpgSo here it is and I think it is AMAZING!! She lugged it through Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma.

We have newer, boring, lame, mundane aluminum luggage but what a yawn fest. Everyone’s luggage is all the same. She has a truly unique suitcase.

My oldest got extra creative and found a sad sorry guitar case and started working on it to be her suitcase (I KNOW!! RIGHT?!?!? Brilliant idea!). It looked like this on the outside when she started.

wpid-20140623_225852.jpgwpid-20140623_225822.jpgNot very attractive and I just can’t see someone lugging this around with a guitar or anything else. I can see it on  a one way trip to a landfill.   The inside of the case was in ok shape, better than the outside at least, and as a bonus, didn’t smell funky.  She planned on using the box in the neck area for jewelry and stuff. Pretty clever!wpid-20140623_225810.jpg

She was pretty secretive about what she was up to. She is very artistic and creative. Our thought processes are often very different and have a bit of a creative rivalry as to who can do the most off the wall thing. Imagine my surprise when she came up with THIS-wpid-20140625_065229.jpg

Yeah. She wove a plaid duct tape covering. She wins. Totally trumps what I had going on.

She ran into some technical difficulties before we left. Namely that the area where the latches are located was too badly damaged to hold when it was packed. I am working on another set of suitcases that will be posted later (pretty effing amazing, actually) that gave me an idea for how we can fix her guitar case luggage before we go on our next trip, which is coming up alarmingly fast.  I’ll post it up if she gets it finished and starts using it.

Are you someone who hates to have the same thing everyone else has or hates the cheap disposable nature of products made these days?  Think about this as a solution. Duct Tape now comes in sheets, *AND* I had the idea that you could use fabric and modge podge the exterior of a suitcase with fabric, like a printed burlap or something. If anyone tries a vintage luggage project, please post pics or a link to your project!


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