Upcycled Vintage Luggage

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Upcycled Horde Luggage

We’ve scheduled a family vacation for June and I’m already working on details.  (I love having something to plan!)  My daughters are still using little-girl-going-to-Grandma’s style luggage that they outgrew years ago.  It’s time for them to have some real luggage to take on this trip and into adulthood.

I’ll buy them some nice roller suitcases, but for carry-ons I wanted to upcycle some vintage luggage.  I asked what they might want painted on their luggage and earned a couple eye rolls.  “Mom’s crafting at us again!” But then I said the magic words, “Would you like a horde logo?” OH. YES. THEY. WOULD.  In their spare time, my sweet little girls are hardcore World of Warcraft gamers.

If you want to personalize some luggage, you can create a stencil for yourself using Contact paper.  Draw or trace on the paper side, keeping in mind that you’ll need to reverse your design.  Cut out carefully and apply to your luggage.  Smooth down all around the edges, but if your suitcase is textured you may want to paint carefully from the stencil toward the middle of your design.  This helps keep paint from being pushed underneath the stencil into the little surface grooves.

Upcycled Horde Luggage

I use fabric paint because it’s meant to be flexible when dry.  I was told the horde logo should be red, but my red paint looked really pink.  I’m not into World of Warcraft myself, but I’m guessing pink horde logos just won’t do.  I started with a little metallic black around the edges, then mixed the black and red together to fill in.  Carefully peel off the stencil while the paint is still wet.  (Waiting until it dries may cause some of the paint to dry on the stencil and peel up right along with it.)  After it’s dry, you may want to apply a few coats of varnish to protect the paint against scuffs.

Hooray for second chances!

Upcycled Horde Luggage

I hope they’ll approve!  (You can see my own Twitter luggage here.)

Personalized Twitter Tote Bags


Twitter Bag Gifts

In a variation of my Christmas gift bags, I realized that by layering stencils I could use multiple colors.  (I don’t know why this wasn’t obvious to me from the start, but it wasn’t.)  I was meeting up with a group of good friends I know from Twitter and had such an urge to make them something, but it had to be fairly inexpensive yet worth giving.  For each of these I used one canvas bag, two colors of fabric paint (turquoise and brown) and three pieces of cardstock.

I used three cardstock stencils on each of the bags.  I snagged the Twitter logo and printed it twice on card stock.  (It should be noted that selling someone’s logo without permission is a no-no, but making a small batch of gifts is OK.)  On one copy of the Twitter cardstock use an exacto knife to cut out the main part of the branch.  On the other, cut out the bird.  Careful with those tiny feet and legs!  You could stop there if you like and have a very cute bag, but I also printed out each person’s Twitter name and cut it out, too.  There’s just nothing like knowing a gift was made just for you!

194. Making a Stencil for a Future Craft Project

Warning: it is a huge timesuck to cut out stacks of names.  You’d better love these people if you start a project like this with lots of detailed, individual stencils!  (Thankfully, I do.)

Next, the painting.

211. Aside from Work, This is What I'm Doing

It’s best to paint the bird first, allow him to dry, then layer the branch stencil over the top of his little feet so that he’s properly on the branch.  It’s easier to do a quick outline of the branch before removing the stencil and filling in.  Freehand the smaller branches as they’re  just too tiny to bother with a stencil. I kept the cut out section of bird and used him as a stencil for the eye, but if you’re good with a brush you could freehand that as well.  Then line up your friend’s name stencil and carefully fill it in.  If your fabric paint calls for ironing to set the paint, please do.

And you’re done!  Enjoy the smiles as you pass out your gifts.  :)