Updating a vintage suitcase with a paper lining

Adding ‘textiles’ to a vintage suitcase

Some while ago I bought a vintage suitcase at the regular outdoor market held at weekends at Tynemouth, in the North-East of England. I didn’t have a particular use for it, but it caught my eye!

brown vintage suitcase

It’s quite lightweight and the handle was very worn, but it had a certain charm. Unfortunately, the thin fabric that lined it (a lightweight cotton) was quite stained, so the suitcase didn’t look so good open.

However, I received for a birthday gift last year, this wonderful pack of wrapping papers, whose designs were created from images of old quilts.

'American quilts' giftwrap, published by H.F. Ullmann

The papers are absolutely beautiful. The repeat has been very skilfully created from the original. They seemed to be the perfect choice for replacing the lining of the suitcase.

So I laid out some newspaper on the floor, took hold of scissors and glue and set about finding the best combination of colours and pattern for the case.

Making a new paper lining for a vintage case

I used regular, inexpensive PVA glue, which worked well. I pressed each sheet into the space I had allocated to it, then took it out and trimmed it to size before gluing and re-inserting. The inside of the lid got a luscious dark brown quilt design of scrappy quarter-circles, alternating to create a wavy path.

Updating a vintage suitcase with a paper lining

In the base was a design of linked circles on a cream background, the original once again made with scrappy fabrics. On the two short ends the design was red eight-pointed stars on cream and on the longer sides an applique design of red flowers on cream, as seen below.

Updating a vintage suitcase with a paper lining

I glued the fraying handle together with glue and used a peg to hold it until the glue was set. I just love it! I won’t be taking it on holiday obviously, but it could perhaps end up as storage for fabric pieces, such as quilt backs.

The sun is shining again today here, as I write, although it is also windy. When I designed my ‘Cornish Sandcastles’ fabric, I made sure to include windbreaks – often necessary for summer holidays in Britain! You can find the fabric here.

‘Cornish Sandcastles’ by Amanda Jane Textiles

Let me know what you think!

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