I have collected vintage Samsonite suitcases for as long as I have been trolling antique and thrift stores. I don’t know why exactly, but I rarely pass one up if I can pick it up for under $10. They are o.k. for storage, but there are much more efficient options out there. But it must be the lingering sense of adventure that accompanies old luggage. The far off song of the train whistle in the distance, oceanic voyages that take days…pretty much any old movie with travel appeals to me.
Looking for a way to incorporate the luggage with a craft project, I decided to decopauge one with vintage sheet music. The paper was so delightfully aged, and crumbly, it soaked up the Modge Podge beautifully. Here is is mid-project:
I cut the paper in half so the sheets would be easier to work with.
The project went so quickly, and the results we so beautiful, I decided to tackle the other pieces I had. Michael’s was clearancing out their 8 1/2 x 11″ scrapbooking paper, so I purchased those for cheap. I selected coordinating pieces and then tore them into manageable shapes. I wanted the effect to look shabby and quilted, so I was more random with the layout than I was with the musical suitcase.
I then trudged them all to the beautiful vintage train depot in town and photographed them. Avoiding all the high school seniors and wedding couples also utilizing the sunset lighting, I did some quick location shots to try to capture the sense of traveling in the past.
I still haven’t found a ‘use’ for them, other than decoration. But decor can be useful, if only to brighten the day.
I have two wire shelving systems in the studio. One is a standard shelving system, but the other is a weird unit that was built to go inside a closet. It also has an ugly grey fabric cover so you can alternatively use it as a wardrobe. I had so many miscellaneous containers & storage bins on it, I put the cover on. But then I just had an ugly grey blob in the corner of the room.
Step one, take off the ugly cover. Then I evaluated what actually needed to be stored on the unit, and got rid of most of the ineffective containers I had been using to store stuff. I only put back the items that were actually needed, and it gave me room for the vintage suitcases I decoupaged a couple of years ago.
Despite the variety of storage containers, they are unified by labels. The contents are written in pencil, so you can erase and reuse as needed. The top of the shelves are a great location for the odd-sized baskets.
The whole unit sits next to the smaller of the metal credenzas, which is where my portable photo studio lives. The industrial drawers below hold the photo props used for product shots. I removed the doors to the credenzas so I can clearly see the plastic shoeboxes. It also eliminates the pinched fingers that inevitably occurred when opening or shutting the credenza.