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.)

My Twitter Luggage


My Twitter Luggage

I get weird ideas sometimes.  I had an urge to buy an old piece of luggage and paint something on it.  I’ve learned to just go with it and see how it turns out.  I found this bag on Etsy for about $25.  (From Mail Order Vintage‘s shop specifically, if you want to search for some good stuff to alter.)  It looks like it’s never been used, so I’m not sure if I should think of it as new or vintage.

Here’s what it looked like when it arrived.  My daughters thought it was hideous, but I kind of like it’s offbeat salmon color.

Vintage Carry On

I originally wanted to paint a quote on it, “Half the fun of travel is the aesthetic of lostness.”  But I got tired even thinking about cutting out a stencil like that, and the textured vinyl bag was going to give me fits trying to keep paint from oozing underneath a stencil.  Lots of curvy letters could be a nightmare!  I decided to keep things simple and cut a Twitter bird body and main section of branch from a piece of Contact paper.  I pressed it down as best I could against the grain of the vinyl.

Can you see it?

Contact Paper Stencil

This just gave me the starting point, which I filled in with brown fabric paint, chosen because it’s flexible when dry.  The rest was freehanded after I carefully peeled off the Contact paper.  Sealed with a little matte varnish, I hope it will be durable.  In the next few months I’ll be traveling to Tennessee, North Carolina and New York, so we’ll see.

My Carry On

I’m happy to give something old a second chance, and happy to have a one-of-a-kind bag that suits me so well!