No-Baggage-Fee Décor: Vintage Suitcase Table

No-Baggage-Fee Décor: Vintage Suitcase Table

Vintage suitcases…aren’t they all the rage right now? People are doing amazing things with them, incorporating them into their home décor or repurposing them every way imaginable- wall shelves, stereo speakers, even pet beds!

When Maliasmark posted a photo of this old suitcase on her Facebook page, I was immediately smitten. I can’t even explain to you why I loved it so much…I just did.

Love at first flight!

Love at first flight!

100% Awesome

100% Awesome

As ideas rolled around in my head, I remembered some salvaged spindle table legs I had picked up at Encore Architectural Salvage.

Perfect table legs

Perfect table legs

I wanted to “see” what a suitcase table would look like, albeit upside-down. Cottonball, of course, thought it looked like a regal fortress that he needed to defend, and promptly took up residence.

All projects ultimately belong to His Majesty, Cottonball.

All projects ultimately belong to His Majesty, Cottonball.

It seemed like a small storage table was in the works! After I cleaned up the suitcase interior, I realized it was the perfect size to store my eclectic collection of serving platters- something I’ve had trouble finding decent space for. Not that I have a lot of them, they’re just too wide for my traditional cabinet storage space.

The interior cleaned up nicely!

The interior cleaned up nicely!

To begin the transformation, I wanted to stabilize the base of the suitcase with some wood. I measured and traced out a template on cardboard, which Jon recreated on some higher-end plywood.

The insert...

The insert…

Now inserted.

Now inserted.

After measuring where each leg would go on the bottom of the suitcase, we drilled holes through the base, marked them on the wood insert, and inserted wood screws partially through the wood.

Jon loves it when power tools are called for.

Jon loves it when power tools are called for.

Now, in all fairness, we had a blissful surprise with the table legs- their centers were already marked and they were partially drilled! I hadn’t even noticed this when I purchased them. So, someone else long ago had done some of the hard work for us!

Once we refitted the wood insert into the suitcase (and hurray! The holes and screws lined up!), it was easy to twist on each leg by hand, then we tightened down the screws.

Ready for the final steps

Ready for the final steps

Full disclosure- tightening those screws wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. The legs are some ridiculously hard wood and our screws were longer than the pre-drilled portion. SO there was a bit of a battle…a “Taming of the Screw”, if you will…but Jon won out in the end.

I love the end result! Yes, it’s a little tall (those legs are supposed to fit under a table apron, after all), but it rests just under the chair rail in the dining room and stores my platters with ease.

And there it is! A fun addition to our dining room.

And there it is! A fun addition to our dining room.

So there you have it- and oh yeah, I am definitely leaving those old airline tags in place. So far, Cottonball hasn’t discovered them as something to bat at. Fingers crossed…

Craft on!



  1. Yeah, I am on the hunt for some ultra cute luggage now. Thank you for that. 🙂 I LOVE this little table. I kind of love that it is tall too! It’s a very unique way of adding storage to the kitchen!

  2. says:

    Thanks, Kristine!!! I’d been on the hunt for the right luggage for a l-o-n-g time. It was the hanging tags that put it over the edge for me!! 🙂

  3. This turned out so cute, I love the legs!


  4. I love this! What a great way to repurpose a unique piece! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Oh very jealous of your vintage suitcase table.

  6. This is fantastic. And I love the photo of Cottonball in there!

  7. Oh, I love this! What an a fabulous idea. There is just something so cool about old pieces–a history, and with those tags you can let your imagination soar with wonderment og the adventures your suitcase table has had…before it got grounded with legs. LOL Thanks you for sharing again this week at the #HomeMatersParty 🙂

    Life With Lorelai

  8. I love this!! I have a ton of suitcases I have been searching for rehab ideas and just stumbled on yours without looking.

  9. This table is adorable…I love it! I would love it if you’d stop by and share this awesome project tonight at 10pm at the Totally Terrific Tuesday Link Party!

  10. Love how your repurposed the suitcase and legs. You have a wonderful new table that has lots of character.

  11. Oh my goodness! This is absolutely brilliant!!! Thanks so much for sharing at the Frugal Crafty Blog Hop!

  12. I am completely in love with this vintage suitcase table. Thanks for linking up to On Display Thursday.

  13. I loooove this project! So sweet Cottonball! Thank you for sharing!
    Hope you have a wonderful day!
    Hugs and love from Portugal,
    Ana Love Craft

  14. His Majesty looked so regal sitting on the up-turned case…loved how this turned out.

  15. So cute! Thanks for linking to Show Me Saturday.

  16. Aboslutely FABULOUS!!! Great job!

  17. I love this! I created a similar type of table a few months ago; it’s one of my favorite pieces of furniture in our home. This is so special; and I LOVE that vintage airline tag. That gives it even more charm and character. And Cottonball is just so cute. He definitely thought that was his new spot. Thanks so much for sharing at Inspire Me Wednesday. Featuring you in this week’s issue.

  18. Love this! Awesome job. 🙂

  19. Hi, I wanted to let you know that I have shared this post on my ‘five of the best’ feature over at

  20. JaneEllen says:

    Been looking for ideas for unusual side tables, have found it with your suitcase table. Have some legs, now just to find just right suit case for those legs. Has to have certain look. Found couple of cases at antique/vintage store in Grand Junction but phew the prices. Could put one on layaway, could manage price much better that way. Could be worth price to have unusual, sort of “one of a kind table”. I have couple of old cases but top slants down so not so useful as table top.
    People having yard sales have gotten wise about what is being looked for and sought after so suitcases as well as several other items aren’t at yard sale prices any longer.
    Great table and vignette on it. Love your kitty. We have orange/white striped kitty but he’s short hair. Is yours a character, have lots of personality? So smart. Ours adopted us in KY, he showed up one day, was barn cat from farmland/barn next to us, didn’t seem to want to leave so he became our resident cat. Unlike many of our neighbors cats he stays right around close by, not wondering over to other streets, has been that way since he adopted us, think he was about 6-9 months old when he showed up.
    Happy week

    • says:

      Hi, Jane Ellen! Yes, it’s definitely not easy to find inexpensive vintage suitcases…but I’ve had decent luck at yard and estate sales. Now that the weather is warmer, maybe you’ll find your treasure after veering off the road, following a neon sign to a garage sale! And YES, our orange kitty (Cottonball) is FULL of personality. So much so that I wrote a blog post about him last year. 🙂 He adopted us, too- showed up on our back patio and wouldn’t leave when the rest of his brood would retreat to the woods.

      • JaneEllen says:

        When we lived in KY hubs used to say there must be a sign on house only animals could see that said – a sucker for animals lives here. Kind of like nobody is stranger to me unless they want to be, no animal is going to leave or go without if I can help it. I used to be one bringing kittens and puppies home when kids were young. They’d say – oh Mom not another one. Our dog would have big litters of puppies but I’d never want to give them away, would fall in love with all puppies. If we were rich I’d have big property to help all homeless strays. Good thing we don’t live close to local animal shelter.
        When we lived in KY I’d find all kinds of neat stuff at prices I could afford, here in west prices are too high for everything, drat it.
        Sorry to take so long to reply, I get behind so quickly.
        Said cat is driving us crazy, wants to go back out and it’s almost midnight here. Well cats are nocturnal, what did I expect? He didn’t want to go out last night as it was pouring here. He’d keep going to door then wouldn’t go out as it was pouring all night.
        We just had new metal roof put on by our sons this weekend so guess weather decided to test it. Our oldest son came from San Diego to do it for us, he used to do roofs all the time when he was young (is 53 now). Hadn’t seen him in almost 5 yrs. so it was so good to get to spend little time with him. Got to see youngest son also, hadn’t seen him in over 3 yrs. He lives in Junction but his wife hates me.
        The old Mother in law, daughter in law situation. I really don’t like her and never have but she makes big deal about hating me. What can I do? She doesn’t like us cause we live in single wide mfg home and drive a 2008 Kia Rondo and don’t have lots of disposable income, haHA.
        Better get my old self to bed. Have great week.

  21. Oh my gosh…I love it. Nice job for sure.

  22. Very nice! I have several vintage suitcases and have been trying to incorporate them into my décor with no luck. This is an easy and practical solution.

  23. Jann Olson says:

    I have seen this done before, but love how yours turned out! The spindle legs are perfect and the tags are fabulous! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  24. Jann Olson says:

    hi Sarah, just hopping back to let you know that I will be featuring you at SYC this week.

  25. Just saw this on hometalk thought it was great. I have pinned and shared to my blog facebook page.

  26. I came for the suitcase table tutorial, but just had to comment on your beautiful cat! I had a gorgeous fluffy orange cat named Ralphie whom I lost about 6 years ago. Fluffy orange cats are the best!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says:

      Aww, thank you, Mel- I bet Ralphie was just as charming as Cottonball. He’s my constant companion, project after project.


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