diy project: ashley’s vintage-suitcase coffee table


I have three vintage suitcases gathering dust in the back of my closet, so I could not be happier to see a luggage DIY project from the talented Ashley Poskin. We featured her burlap chair in our Before & After column last August, and her signature salvage style is back again in this lovely coffee table. My favorite part? The hidden storage. Thanks for sharing, Ashley! — Kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!

Two years ago, my husband and I opened our barber shop with three basic style goals in mind: (1) Stay true to our love of vintage. (2) Spend next to nothing! (3) Keep it real. So out I went in search of “goods” for the shop. I wasn’t finding what I wanted for a coffee table when a gorgeous vintage suitcase caught my eye. I picked it up for ten bucks, found some screw-in coffee table legs at Home Depot, and wa-la! :) — Ashley

Materials

  • Waddell straight top plate hardware (4)
  • Waddell 4″ tapered table legs (4)
  • vintage suitcase
  • spray paint or stain for the legs
  • power drill
  • measuring tape

Instructions

1. Turn the suitcase upside down, measure and mark out the four areas to place the hardware.

2. Get out your power drill and screw in the hardware.

3. Screw in the legs!

Tips

  • If you want to be SUPER green, keep your eyes peeled for a table with similar “screw-in” legs at a thrift shop or yard sale. Give ‘em a little test and try to unscrew all of the legs before you get the table home (sometimes the screws are stripped, and then you’re, well . . . screwed). I found my hardware and legs at Home Depot, but they are also available at a range of sites online.
  • This project works best with old suitcases that were constructed out of balsa/masonite or some other sort of thin wood. You want a case with a bit of thickness — something the screws can sink in to.
  • I used cheap black spray paint to go with the black tones in this suitcase; dark wood stains look really nice, as well.

Jill

I love this idea! I have some shapely legs I saved from an old bed at my grandparent’s house. Now to find the perfect piece of luggage.

Liz Woolf

Some of those beautiful old suitcases can be a bit wonky on sides. I would just put a piece of 1/4″ plywood in the bottom of the suitcase and proceed with adding the legs. It would just stabilize them more.

Ashlee

LOVE this idea! I’m always seeing tons of these at trade days around here, and have never thought of putting legs on them.

HAVE to know, if possible, where the duvet is from?! Love!

leslie

I second (third!) the request for info about the duvet cover. Really fresh and happy without being juvenile. Love it!

abigail

cute idea to add the legs!! and great legs, perfect color and shape.

I inherited a ton of vintage suitcases from my grandparents I use them for storage. I stack them up in stack of three for a coffee table next to a chair and then write their contents on a paper luggage tag tied on to the handle. A great way to store/hide dvds etc!

I blogged about it here: http://tiptoethrough.blogspot.com/2010/06/bon-voyage-clutter-organizing-tip.html

Now I might add some legs to them!
; )

Molly

I made a bed for my cat using this same method and sewing a cushion to go inside!

Anacelie

So cool!

I have the same duvet cover–I got mine from Ikea.

Carol

I just bought an old suitcase to use as a display in my booth at shows…what a great idea for a coffee table or what if you put on taller legs and used it as an end table. Oh, the possibilities!

zimtsugar

the duvet cover is the “Andrea Kakel”
from Ikea, but it has been discontinued. it used to be quite popular (saw it a lot on AT) and there is even a flickr group.

Charlotte

I was just looking at vintage suitcases at an antique store yesterday and couldn’t think of what to do with them. Great idea, I love how functional this is.

Kate

I am going to start scouring my local second-hand shops immediately. Such a great idea.

kerry

Great idea… also love this bedspread. Can anyone tell me where it is from?

Paloma

I really, realy love this! I’ve been looking for a coffee table so long and this is perfect! Thank you!

Belly B

I love this!! So pretty and not too complicated too. The vintage books inside gives it a lot more character too :)

Missy

This is a great idea. I would like to try this, too. I think it would be a great way to store extra blankets!

ashley P

Thanks guys! Yes, the duvet cover was from Ikea a few years back. (We shot the table at my amazing friends Sam & Kristi’s home in Denver, they have AMAZING style!)
@lizwoolf, GREAT suggestion on placing plywood in the bottom of the case =)

NoaSharon

Am *SO* gonna try this at home!

I just recieved an amazing vintage suitcase from my neighbour and didn’t quiet know what I’ll do with it.
(I also have that same beddings,too :)

Thank you for that inspiring post!

Emily

Amazing work from a brilliant designer. There is more where this came from!

Amy

What great inspiration! I have a few old leather suitcases that I need to revamp in some way

AJ

I’ve been wanting to make one of these for a long time. I’ve seen the tops taken off, and a pillow placed inside for a dog bed. Thought it was very smart.

mel

Freakin love that suitcase. I can’t seem to find one with a stripea down the middle though :(

Odile

Y love, I made a somewhat similar style, a big trunk transformed into a coffee table (visible on my blog), plus it’s convenient for storage in small spaces ..

Evita

Chiming in to say that I also adore this. Our one vintage suitcase is currently slated to become a heated bed for one of our elderly cats.

db

clever. yes !
i have a pretty (turquoise! :) vintage suitcase that has been sitting there for years, and used to belong to my great aunt + there is a cruddy side table stored somewhere that has perfectly good short legs – perfect!!! thank you so much for the inspiration, can’t wait to make this.

Bridget

Love this idea! Another great use for vintage, especially if it has some worn spots like this one did. You could add some vintage postcards or sheet music for interest on a plain suitcase, or to hide a ruined area if you don’t have one with the fun stripe.

Dondra

Love it! I have been looking for a table for my laptop. I think I’ll try this with longer legs. Thsnks for the inspiration. :)

kim

Awh man, I so regret not buying those sheets a couple of years ago, I wonder if I can still track them down.

Sharon R.

LOVE THIS! I have a vintage suitcase that I found in my grandmother’s attic…I love the look of it, but wasn’t really sure what to do with it – until now! Thanks for the inspiration!

Sarah K

That looks wonderful. I love revamped furniture, just found your site and can’t wait to see more!

Alex

I did this in a bedside table- the result has been my most favorite piece of furniture ever! Great Project!

Tristin @ Two Girls Being Crafty

My fav part is that it looks like it’s smiling at you in the head-on photos. Special!

I have vintage Samsonite of my grandmother’s and wonder if this might be the perfect way to display it!

Victoria Joy Doud

I LOVE this idea. I immediately went out and bought the brackets and unfinished wooden legs…and put together my square/deep antique suitcase table. It looks great!! Thanks for your picture and the detailed information for putting it together!! <3

Angela

This idea is perfect! I just picked up a vintage suitcase at my local thrift store for $8 bucks! I believe it was a steal. This DIY project changed my mind on using rolling casters to store under the bed. It’s so cute I want it to show. I’m going to use your idea & put it at the foot of my bed. No one will know I’m storing sheets! Thanks for all the great info on what & where to buy the hardware & legs. Looks like a trip to Home Depot!

Ashley

Love this project. Any way you could tell me the dimensions of your suitcase? I’m looking for a similar one but not having very much luck, and I think that would be helpful.

Sam

I just did this project, but on a larger scale, using a big steamer trunk. I have a feeling, though, that the table legs used here were more like the 7″ ones, given how high the suitcase comes off the ground (I used the 5 and 1/2″ Wadell legs for mine, and it isn’t too high.) Anyway, lovely project with so much potential! Thank you so much for sharing it!

PS, I found all my Waddell stuff at Home Depot, it was just hidden away in a corner! :)

And here’s a pic. Going to re-paper the inside soon, and use all the storage space for DVDs and CDs! http://i49.tinypic.com/307uln9.jpg

Brooke

But one suitcase still seems small? Can u attach to side by side? I love but not as creative as I’d like to b:)

Lisette L. Young

Love love love. A weekend or one day DIY Thank you! I just picked up a vintage suitcase for $5 at an estate sale and wanted to make a table out of it. Thanks for the simple instructions!

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