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


  • 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


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!


  • 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.

  1. Nancy Aebersold says:

    Wonderful! Love how you styled it too.

  2. Evita says:

    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.

  3. db says:

    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.

  4. Ethaney says:

    The bedspread is from IKEA.

  5. Bridget says:

    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.

  6. Dondra says:

    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. :)

  7. Laura says:

    I also made a coffee table out of a steam trunk. Mine sits directly on the floor- no assembly required!

  8. I just have to ask…but are bed bugs something to be concerned with in old suitcases, particularly if they’re thrifted?

    1. MJ says:

      You could use a spray bottle and part towel on the road by cleaning before you load it into your vehicle.
      Just wash with soap and water or vinegar and water or alcohol and water in a spray bottle before bringing into the house or shop. MJ

  9. kim says:

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

  10. Sharon R. says:

    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!

  11. Sarah K says:

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

  12. Alex says:

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

  13. 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!

  14. priya says:

    Duvet cover is from IKEA….these ideas are fantastic.

  15. janine says:

    amazing idea, love it.

  16. Tina says:

    Love the DIY!!!!!!!!
    I have made my own suitcase coffee table, too. Pls.: Take a look :)

  17. Victoria Joy Doud says:

    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

  18. Angela says:

    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!

  19. Lindsay says:

    You wouldn’t happen to know where the bedspread is from, would you?

  20. Ann says:

    perfect solution for my brother’s old military trunk!!

  21. Hot Tip:

    Its getting more and more difficult to find the “Waddell” legs at big box stores, but ACE Hardware still carries them, or can order them for you!


  22. Ashley says:

    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.

  23. Sam says:

    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!

  24. Brooke says:

    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:)

  25. 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!

  26. Kim says:

    where can I find this comforter? =)


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