DIY REDO Old Suitcase to Shelf Display

One of my favorite things to do before a festival is to design the displays. I always dreamed of having my own shop one day with big windows where I could decorate for each season. This year I knew I had to pack light so the big shelving I used before was not going to work. I have used suitcases before to display things but this time I really wanted to make them super useful. As a display and a way to carry stuff.

I bought this set of old smelly suitcases for 3 dollars last year at a thrift shop. I wanted to try to use them as a make shift festival table but I soon realized that the moisture on the ground was ruining them even more. Also I couldn't store anything in them because the smell just wouldn't go away. This year I realized they either needed to go or they need a huge overhaul and then I remembered a long time ago seeing the Skunkboy Blog make the cutest suitcase into a shelf... gosh I just love this lady so creative!

via skunkboy blog
So I decided to make one myself to display terrariums and necklaces!!!

STEP ONE: The old suitcase was super easy to gut I just used my hands to completely remove the insides.
STEP TWO: I then sealed with some white gesso which removed what was left of the smell and I am hoping keeps the outer case shell from warping if it gets wet.
STEP THREE: I then had my dad help me by gluing in the cork on the shallow side and screwing wood shelves on the deeper end.
STEP FOUR: Finally I decorated :)
PS I also glues stones on tacs to use to hang necklaces :)

I really enjoyed this project and it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be! I still want to decorate the inside of the smaller case with patterns and such. I also want to paint something on the outside of the cases. They also worked great for my festival display. Probably one of my all time favorite display!

What do you think?


  1. I bought a stinky one last year too! I tried putting stuff in it, but it just made everything stinky. I like this idea. I saw another idea of turning it into a craft supply box. The lid had a magnetic back so you could put magnets on the bottom of small tin containers to stick to it. It was neat too.

    1. that sounds neat! I just wonder where the stink comes from... yucky... lol

  2. This really is a great idea! Thank you so much for sharing it. I recently did a craft fair and some old furniture, but most of it was pretty bulky. This would be much easier to transport.

    1. it really was so much better... and if you do try to find some suitcases be sure to get boxy ones that sit on the side well. I have bought cases before that were rounded and would never work for this. Plus the cases I found were literally made of a thin wood almost cardboard which made them super light to carry! I would love to see what your displays look like with your beautiful products!


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