I’ve been wanting a coffee table for our living room for some time. I’d always planned on turning the largest piece of my vintage suitcase set into a coffee table, but this project ended up on the back burner. I started on this project by applying a piece of fabric to the top (it’s Friends in the Field by nouveau_bohemian on Spoonflower, which doesn’t appear to be available any longer, but looks similar to Gwen’s Garden) with Mod Podge. I didn’t want the end result to have a super glossy finish, so I used Mod Podge matte.
Getting the fabric to lay flat is a bit more of a challenge than you’d think. I used my wallpaper scraper to remove as many bubbles as I could, but I wouldn’t say it was perfect application. Once I got the fabric in reasonably bubble-free condition, I started adding flecks of gold leaf with the same mod podge glue. This was definitely the most time consuming part of this project; it took me three or four days to cut and glue the fabric and apply the gold leaf.
Once all the gold leaf was on, I added an overall coat of Mod Podge, then a final coat of Benjamin Moore Stays Clear sealer in semi-gloss to make it water resistant. I might do a coat of leather protector spray (which I use to protect my winter boots from snow and water) as well, but I’m comfortable with where it is for now.
The interior was actually pretty easy and mostly involved copious amounts of glue – both hot glue and Mod Podge. The first thing I did was remove all the old lining, which smelled like musty mold. Once I had all the old lining out, I sprayed the bare plywood interior with multi surface cleaner, then scrubbed it to remove anything that got left behind. I actually sprayed it down twice and let it air out over night just to make sure that the moldy smell was gone.
Once the interior was dry and clean, I cut some vintage fabric that I inherited from my grandmother to size, and glued it in with Mod Podge. I didn’t want to do any sewing for this project, so instead of sewing neat seams before gluing the fabric in, I just used lace ribbon as an edge binding on all the raw seams. I used enough hot glue to trip a breaker, haha – not even joking! I didn’t realize that glue guns could do that.
I am not a huge seasonal decorator, but I was planning on swapping out my sofa blanket and pillowcases during the Christmas season, and we have a few Halloween decorations. So, this suitcase will not only be a coffee table, but also serve as a storage and linen chest.
The suitcase sits pretty low to the ground, so in order to raise it up and add another cute detail, I bought a set of four clawfoot legs and painted them gold with wax paint. I sealed them with clear furniture wax before glueing them on with gorilla glue. I didn’t feel like gorilla glue by itself was a good long-term method for attaching the feet, so I secured them in place with two inch screws.
The finishing touch for this piece was reattaching the original tag; I feel like it just keeps a bit of the original flavor and authenticity of the luggage intact.
This project isn’t perfect – there are some dark spots from too much glue, and some patchy bits, but I think the bumps and bruises just add to its character. And the most important thing is that it no longer smells like old mold and will be able to store our blankets without making them smell like mold.
Overall, I’m really happy with how this project turned out and am looking forward to rehabbing the rest of my suitcase set – all which will be a little different.
Anyhoo, that is all I’ve got for this week. If you like this blog and want to help support it, consider buying me a coffee. Your support is greatly appreciated, and I hope that you check back again soon for more art, crafts, and creativity!