A Vintage Suitcase Saves the Day- Making a Cool Jewelry Tote

I don’t know if you remember this cute little suitcase? Well, it’s now holding my jewelry after a little bit of work.

I was contacted by a local school that is looking for a creative gift to give their principal who is moving to another school. The staff asked that I bring in some of my necklaces so they could get an idea of what I can create.  I’ve been looking for some sort of easy way to transport my movable necklaces. Something not too boring or stuffy yet still more stylish than a plastic Rubbermaid bin. After brainstorming, I decided to use this cute suitcase that I had already collaged with vintage textbook illustrations. I love the suitcase since it reflects the playful style of Charmed.

This project would also work to transform a suitcase into a laptop case. That would be awesome. And since the outside of the case is collaged, the look of the case can be whatever you’d like, screen-printed, collaged or even plain.

I set out to get my materials. This is what I collected.

  • Foam
  • Scissors
  • Fabric
  • Elastic thread
  • Needle
  • Hot glue gun and glue

I also thought I would use velcro but didn’t. So yeah, the picture has it in there but like most of my ideas, they are works in progress and I decided to not use it.

Cut out the foam to be the same size as the suitcase. Cut another piece, this time the same width of the suitcase but 2.5 inches tall. This will keep the jewelry from hitting the bottom of the case.

Wrap the foam with your fabric and hot glue the edges down. These will now look like cute little packages.

Now this is where I experimented. I first tried to tie a large piece of elastic around the whole back. But when I put the jewelry into the case, the elastic didn’t fit snuggly around each necklace since each pendant had a different thickness. To fix this, I threaded the elastic through a needle and sewed each pendant in place. I then sewed each necklace in place at the top. That way, I was able to make a custom fit for each pendant.