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Hey, MacGyvers! Planning a summer vacation? Don’t bring excess baggage — craft with it instead. If you’ve upgraded to an ergonomic roller bag but still have some vintage suitcases hanging around, try transforming them into these fabulous crafts. (If you don’t already own vintage suitcases but still want to look like a jet-setter, you can find them at flea markets or via various online marketplaces like Craigslist and Etsy.)

Fido will love this repurposed suitcase bed! See more clever things to make with old suitcases on HGTV's Design Happens blog...

Everyone loves a family pet, but no one loves to look at a drab old animal crate. Take a cue from designer Brian Patrick Flynn and turn a vintage suitcase into a handsome pet bed instead. Your furry friends will love it so much, they won’t even mind staying behind while you travel.

A vintage suitcase table adds charm to any room. See more cool uses for vintage suitcases on HGTV's Design Happens blog...

If you can’t get away this summer, surround yourself with mementos from your favorite trips and accents like this vintage suitcase table from Joanne Palmisano and our friends at the DIY Network. Now even your staycation will feel exotic.

Turn a vintage suitcase into a planter! See how on HGTV's Design Happens blog...

Photo: DK – Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Globe-hopping is great, but what about when it’s finally time to put down some roots? You can still use a vintage suitcase, as this neat container herb garden proves. Get all the DIY details here.

Make your own embellished Victorian jewelry box with a vintage suitcase! Learn how on HGTV's Design Happens blog...

Photo: Ellen Silverman. Excerpted from Past & Present (STC Craft) by Amy Azzarito. © 2013.

Vintage suitcases are great for stashing things away…or putting them on display. You can do both with this Victorian-inspired jewelry box from Amy Azzarito’s book, Past & Present. (Loving the use of seashells here!)

Make shelves and more from vintage suitcases! Get more craft ideas from HGTV's Design Happens blog...

Photo: Ki Naussauer for Worthpoint

Show off all of your souvenirs on shelves made from — you guessed it — vintage suitcases! This example by “junker”/editor/author Ki Nassauer (via Apartment Therapy) is especially eye-catching. Want to learn how to do this at home? ManMade has a good basic tutorial.

Which vintage suitcase craft suits you? And do you have any unusual craft material suggestions for me? Leave them in the comments below!

29 Responses

  1. Patti says:

    I plan to make the dog bed over into a cat bed as my cat does use a bed on the floor and would use it and I would have the benefit looking at an awesome catbed instead of a standard PETCO issue bed. LOVE THE IDEA! I agree with other that the planter would be problematic – would not want to spray with chemicals to make it waterproof either. I would line with garden cloth, drill holes for drainage, and accept the fact that it will only last one season. Suitcases on the wall look amazing but is probably more work than I would be able to accomplish.

  2. Gee says:

    Even if my dog or cat would get in the bed/suitcase or not, I think it's a great idea. Such conversation piece for the family room. Not to mention all of the ideas help keep all the old suitcases out of the landfills. Love the shelves the most!

  3. They are all very creative. They inspire my own creativity. The dog bed has given me an idea for a large old suitcase I have. I also found very large unique finials that I purchased for a dollar each. I live in a 500 sq ft cottage. I am going to recreate the suitcase with the finials on the bottom, storage inside & make an indoor outdoor cushion to use as a place to prop your feet. Although I am thinking of putting a new spin on the top of the suitcase with new color! The ideas keep coming! I have saved it because it is unique & great for storage. Thanks!

  4. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I am going to do a suitcase cat bed soon..I know my cats and they will love it..I have a friend who did a suitcase table and it looks great..And I have loved the wall of suitcase shelves ever since I first saw it in Ki's magazine..Very creative ideas..

  5. Lynn Hobbs says:

    I actually have my mom's old green suitcase, like the one on the wall! Neat shelve idea.

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Briana MowreyBriana is a writer and senior editor for HGTV.com. Her self-described design style is "mid-century modern magpie." She lives in a Brooklyn apartment with her husband, their spoiled dachshund, Chauncey,...


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