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Thrift Store Upcycle - Faux Suit Case Vignette - Life on Kaydeross Creek

Thrift Store Upcycle – Faux Vintage Suitcase

Today I’m sharing a fun thrift store upcycle project. It’s a New Year and a new Thrift Store Decor Upcycle Challenge! We took a few months off for the holidays, but we are back to show you more creative ideas! This time we have joined forces with even more bloggers and have tons of thrifty upcycle ideas to get those wheels spinning.


Thrift Store Decor Upcycle Challenge

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The Rules:

  • Upcycle an item(s) from a thrift store, resale store, or garage sale into a new piece of decor.
  • There’s no monthly theme.
  • There’s no budget to stick to.

Meet the Hosts

Amanda | The Kolb Corner    Maureen | Red Cottage Chronicles    Kim | Made in a Day

Dru | Polka Dot Poplars    Erlene | My Pinterventures    Colleen | Life on Kaydeross Creek    Pili | Sweet Things

Shirley | Intelligent Domestications    Ann | Duct Tape and Denim    Debra | Shoppe No. 5    Marie | DIY Adulation

Chelsea | The Johnsons Plus Dog    Jes | My DIY Envy     Lindsay | Crazy Organized

Molly | Just a Little Creativity    Ashley | 3 Little Greenwoods    Kimm | Reinvented    Michelle | Our Crafty Mom

    Ali | Home Crafts by Ali    Sue | A Purdy Little House   Sara | Twelve on Main

Claire | Pillar Box Blue     Chelc | Inside the Fox Den    Kim | Farmhouse Made       Victoria | Dazzle While Frazzled

Sherry | Savvy Apron    Jennifer and Vicki | 2 Bees in a Pod    Lora | Craftivity Designs    Megan | C’mon Get Crafty

Denise | My Thrifty House    Toni | Small Home Soul    Deborah | Salvage Sister and Mister

Make sure you follow our board on Pinterest for more upcycled decor inspiration!


On to the project!

Whenever I’m out at thrift stores or garage sales I’m always drawn to crates and wooden boxes. They’re great for storage and I just love the warmth and character they add to a space. I came across this little gem one day for $5 and, although I had no idea what I would do with it, I scooped it up anyway.

Thrift store upcycle challenge - thrifted box turned faux suitcase - Life on Kaydeross Creek

Fast forward 6 months and I spotted this cute little vintage suit case at Hobby Lobby. What a cute way to store things…

Faux wood suit case found at Hobby Lobby - Inspiration for a new project - Life on Kaydeross Creek

The set was $79.99 and it was on sale for %50 off but I thought, as many of us DIY’ers do, I can make that!!  Turns out, I had the perfect piece to use!  As soon as I got home I got the thrift store box out and started thinking about what I would need for this project including what materials I would use for the straps, rivets and a handle. Here’s what I came up with:

I gathered all of my supplies for this thrift store upcycle and got going. First, I decided I wanted the box to be white so it would be more versatile. I gave it a couple of coats of creamy white chalk paint.

Thrift Store Upcycle project - faux suitcase decor - wooden box painted - Life on Kaydeross Creek

Now for the straps. I used a hot glue gun to attach pieces of ribbon where the straps would be, about 3 inches in from each side.


Thrift Store Upcycle - Wooden box - faux suitcase project - Life on Kaydeross Creek


Then I added the “rivets” using a hammer.


Thrift Store Upcycle - Wooden box - faux suitcase tacks - Life on Kaydeross Creek


Thrift Store Upcycle - faux suitcase project - Life on Kaydeross Creek


Somewhere along the lines I thought the black ribbon was too dark so I decided to paint it white to tone it down and match the color of the box. I wasn’t crazy about it but went with it because I wanted to see what it looked like all put together so I moved on to the handle.

The old leather strap was easy to cut with scissors and was also attached with the tacks.


Thrift Store Upcycle - adding the leather handle - Life on Kaydeross Creek

Once the handle was on I realized I definitely didn’t like the white straps. It was just too plain so I painted them espresso brown. So much better! Not as dark as the black and matched the handle and the worn spots of the wood. It did look a bit too new, though, so I hit it with the sand paper in places it would “wear” and then with some Vintage Photo distress ink. It was exactly what I was looking for…


Thrift Store Upcycle - Faux Suit Case Vignette - Life on Kaydeross Creek


Thrift Store Upcycle Project - Faux suit case vignette - Life on Kaydeross Creek


I love it mixed in with the globe, antique binoculars and old books. It’s got a vintage travel feel.

The Pottery Barn Inspired Shelf that is sits on was also a project and you can see that here. The key art just below was another thrift store upcycle and you can see that here.


Thrift Store Upcycle - Faux Suit Case - Life on Kaydeross Creek

This thrift store upcycle went from an old wooden box that cost $5 to a faux vintage suit case. It adds personality to the space, is great for storing things and is versatile enough to be used in any season. I actually had the ribbon, the tacks and chalk paint on hand from other projects but it still would have been about $15 to make it if I had to buy everything. It’s not exactly “theirs” but it’s exactly what I wanted.


Thrift Store Upcycle Project Faux Vintage Suitcase - Life on Kaydeross Creek

Shop My Home

I hope this post gets your creative juices flowing! Do you see past what things are to what they could be? Do you have an upcycle project in mind? If so,

Happy DIY’ing!


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And now for more thrifty goodness! Check out what my fellow upcyclers created below!


  1. That looks so awesome! When I saw the picture I honestly thought that it was already a suitcase and that you gave it a makeover. Then I read the tutorial! You put so much detail into it and I’m just amazed! Gotta keep my eye peeled for a box I can transform!

  2. Nice to know I am not the only person that collects things for future upcycle projects. This is box turned suitcase turned out awesome and looks great on your shelves. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Colleen says:

      Thanks, Denise! I have so much stuff, I had to turn an area in my basement into a “future project” section. I just can’t turn down a good deal!

    • Colleen says:

      Thanks so much, Chelsea! I thought about using a thicker leather belt but then my husband said, “Wait, I have this old leather strap”, and it was perfect! I love that he is just as much a DIY junkie as me!

  3. Leslie Soto says:

    Hi! I’m one of the co-hosts from the Welcome Home Wednesdays Link Up. I absolutely love the DIY upcycle of the vintage suitcase. This is so fun and pretty. I can totally see using this idea in a guest room! Thank you for sharing!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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