Sunday, November 14, 2010

EASY HOW TO make your own Christmas suticase

Why make a Christmas suitcase?
Several reasons:


These are the handiest of all my creations. Making a Christmas suitcase from an old useless suitcase into a storage unit for your most valuable ornaments, hand made stockings, linens is a must. The plastic containers sold in department stores do not last or hold up, they crack with time. These hard shell suitcases, such as the Samsonite, are nearly indestructible. I store my best ornaments , in them. I take them out and set them around the tree or fireplace while they are empty.

I have sold them to mothers who have wrapped all their individual packages and placed them all in the suitcase and used it, as part of their gift and it replaces the bag.

This is a process that takes only 4-5 hours , any one can do it!
For those of you who might be intimidated by complex design elements that I have used on my suitcases why not try this first? Instead of using papers , you can use fabric and just do a simple cover on front and back, apply glitter to the sides,a couple of die cut accents and trim out. Use a medium size hard shell suitcase any color.

Step 1: pick out your fabrics. I used a precut Christmas quilting bundle , they were the prefect size. These fabrics had glitters incorporated in them.

The color of your suitcase does not really matter, this is a good time to use one of the duller cases because you will be covering it entirely.
STEP 2:First lay down the fabric, there is no need to iron it as you can smooth it out, I choose different but complimentary fabric for the front and back but you can use the same on both sides if you wish . Use Modpodge

STEP 3:I mixed up a THICK paste of glitters to apply to the sides.This is a quick fix and adds lots of Christmas sparkle!

STEP 4: Make any repairs in the inside with the ever faithful glue gun. In this case the inside side lining had come undone. I simply reapplied it with a extra hot glue stick and gun.

STEP 5: Apply a matching fabric to the inside front bottom. I painted glitter on the sides, and added this cute clear die cut rain deer accent. (glue is drying)

STEP 6:Pick out your trim and apply to edges to finish off your look, I used a charming vintage green loop trim on the edges and added a new red green trim to the outside center.

STEP 7 : Now comes the funnest part, adding your embellishments. You can really add anything, rhinestones, plastics gems, sequin patches. For ease, I put die cut candy canes on the top and three cute Christmas trees on.

Step 8:
Once a thin coat of varnish is applied we are finished! I suggest even adding a varnish to fabric as it can be easily cleaned and will hold up much better. However you do not have to add varnish to fabric if you don't want to. This is a fairly simple process. Now you can store your Christmas stockings in this years to come Going to grandmas house for Christmas?, Take this case and be the hit of the party!

STEP 9: yes sign your work and date it, you are an artist , this is YOUR CREATION, BE PROUD OF IT

Finished inside

Buy this suitcase here

Funky Christmas suitcase Learn how it is created

Funky pin up girl suitcase-
I had previously bloged about my process in making a Halloween suitcase and have decided now to try to blog most of my creations. For one my sales on are going up, I sold two suitcases last week , one which is a custom order. I have found that when I am posting to I can only have a total of five pictures which is really not enough to show all the facets of the suitcase, I thought that if I bloged each cases process I could then direct those looking at my suitcases to the link of the post and they can see for themselves how it was created and view more pictures.

STEP 1 : choose your vintage suitcase, it can be dirty, scratched up, the inside does not need to be in good shape, however this case has a great inside. I choose red because I wanted to use the red elements of the case in my design. Later I will show how you can choose and recycle any color suitcase.

STEP 2: select your papers and think out your over all design. I was inspired by two vintage cardboard cutouts that I found at a thrift store for ten cents each. I wanted to make a funk Christmas and for me, nothing says funk better than good ol zebra print , so I have some zebra issue paper, I love to use tissue , as it has a transparent element when mod poded on.

In addtion I found some vintage Christmas cards and was inspried from an artist book that has vintage women with funny sayings .

 STEP  3: layout your design . Get a feel  for what  look you are going for. View this like a base coat as other elements will be applied later. Once you are satisfied, remember the placement and begin to apply with Mod Podge. The heavy cardboard peices required another artist glue to secure.  

I applied the tissue paper first

never forget any side of your suitcase
STEP 4: after the one side has been completed, while it is drying I address the top of the suitcase, bringing in design elements from the front to insure that the overall look is cohesive.

Here is the other side of my suitcase ater I have applied all the tissue paper, candy-cane vintage cardboard decoration, , images of women in  nightgowns/ slips from the WARD catalog, and other cutouts I found. I added the Santa hat to the man. 

dont forget the sides bring your design around the edges

Both sides of the top have the base of papers applied

STEP 5 : choose your color platter of acrylic paints,I recommend acrylics especially when doing a vinyl case. Oils work nicely on leather and cardboard, but nothing beats acrylics on the hard shell suitcase. I prefer to use GOLDEN, They are the most vibrant color you can find. Remember when choosing your colors you want both highlights and low lights to bring the paper images into a seamless state.
crimson , lime green ,cobalt  blue, yellow and opaque gold

I used a fair amount of Crimson red to brighten the entire red suitcase, I painted out scratches and other imperfections. The cobalt blue was used for shadows, green and yellows for highlights, on edges for example and the gold iridescence (fine) gave the suitcase a lovely shimmer.

Paint the edges of the papers you have applied
I believe that the application of paints is one of the most important steps to a beautiful finished recycled work of art. I blend or scruff in all the edges of the papers. As you can see in this close up I matched the edge of the image with the paint and brought it around the evergreen leaf with is placed in a frame like fashion. I love this step it is relaxing and one can really utilized their painting skills here if they would like. You can extend the image, paint new pictures if you like, be creative! have fun .

mixing  glitters to give depth

Step 5 Apply glitter . I mix my glitters like paint, using Martha Stewarts fine glitter line and mod podge has the fixative. .
I covered all the empty spaces with my glitter mixture

Choose your trim! I have a large (never enough however) selection of trims

Photos by C. Reinke HAUNTED HOUSE