Thursday, December 29, 2011

"The towels were so thick there I could barely close my suitcase." -Yogi Berra

Here is a fascinating tutorial on how to make the cutest little storage table out of an old suitcase you've ever seen. You'll need an old, hardback suitcase (check your favorite local thrift or consignment shop, I hit the jackpot at mine and found 3!!), table legs & leg plates (got all mine at Lowe's), and a screwdriver. I also stained and painted my table legs and used a piece of plywood inside the cases to sturdy the legs from the inside. I'll explain later.

a snapshot of my supplies at the beginning. 3 suitcases, a set of legs, and a set of plates for each.

close-up of one of the plates i got at Lowe's. they make angle top plates, where the legs will angle outward, or straight, where they will be totally vertical when attached.

they make table legs in all different sizes and styles. not a fantastic selection at Lowe's, but good enough for what i needed right away.

this suitcase could've done with all 4 plates being smaller, no need for the 2 heavy duty ones at the top, but they didn't have enough regulars in stock

i measured out where each one should go, marked with a pencil, and drilled the holes

i attached the legs before the board on the inside was in, just to make sure i liked the legs
i had 3 boards cut to fit inside the 3 suitcases, round the corners to make sure they'll go into it all the way. i either stained or painted them to match the legs.

painted them while they were attached

to attach the board on the inside, i placed that on a tray table (you can use a stool or anything that will keep the board snug against the bottom of the suitcase. you will screw in the plates at this time, so the board will be attached. sorry, for some reason i don't have any pictures to illustrate this step!!

view from bottom

view for inside after board is attached

now the plates are attached to something other than the thin bottom of the suitcase, and the inside has a nice, neat bottom for storage. no screws sticking out!


this one was chosen by my sister as her birthday gift, she is quite happy with it in her living room. they are such unique pieces for any room, great storage and style.

here are some more pics of the other 2 i did at the same time:

i used angled top plates for the big one, i wanted the legs to be angled outward. these were the hardest for me to attach, but i don't think it was because of the plates, it was because the suitcase itself is old and warped.

the long legs just weren't working out at all!! it was way taller than i expected (you know i didn't measure first) and the warp in the bottom was making one of them stick out at the wrong angle.
stained while attached
these are straight plates and 7" legs
anyway, the little one worked out real nice.

i finally finished the big one, and decided on shorter legs. the warp doesn't affect the angle as much and it's the same height as the bed, so it's a nice little storage table at the end!
i just love it. it has all these stickers on it from travel boats in the 50's. it belonged to someone locally, the address card on the side is from here, and the suitcase was purchased by the consignment shop at the estate sale after the owner died at 104! i just love all that history.

January 7, 1954, sailing on the Cunard Line. in a stateroom. so cool!