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Monday, March 3, 2014

'Gifting' a Vintage Suitcase

Good {drowsy} Sunday afternoon, friends. This is the view I'm gazing at from my living room chair at this moment.  

Oh my.... this has been a week of CAKE. 

Only my waistline is complaining : )

This week I have crossed the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2 and have been wandering the English countryside with Susan Branch in her book "A Fine Romance- Falling in Love with the English Countryside". {the library manages to put their bar code stickers in the most unfortunate places sometimes!}

I am utterly smitten, and we haven't even gotten to Beatrix Potter's or Jane Austen's homes! Oh, if I ever get the chance...

In the book, Susan shares a recipe for "Hot Milk Cake" that sounded so simple and yummy I just had to try it Friday night. It disappeared in no time, and yesterday my 10-year-old asked if we could make another!

So we did. Only this time we doubled it. 

Pop over to to see her recipe, and all the other yummy and inspiring things she shares! 

And now the house is warm and quiet except for the cozy sounds of my teenager in the kitchen making...

a CHOCOLATE CAKE! From the Hershey's Chocolate cookbook. 

Oh my.{I know, I already said that, right?}We are just out of control over here. 

Where are those elastic waist pants......

Today I have a little project to share that I had the pleasure of working on recently. A dear friend of ours celebrated her 13th birthday last weekend {more yummy cake!}. 

Her dad has a cool collection of vintage Samsonite suitcases, and I got to do some embellishing of one of them to give to our young friend. So fun!

One of the things I really enjoyed about this project, was that I got to use elements from my two favorite bloggers that offer free vintage graphics. 

This vintage costumer label was found at The Graphics Fairy
LONG before I was blogging, I discovered Karen's amazing resource for free vintage graphics and tons of inspiration for projects to do with those images!

Our birthday girl is a ballerina, so I looked for an image that had some reference to that. In my "craft stash" I found these self adhesive printable cotton sheets that a friend gave me last year. I printed the costumer label in a full page size, peeled off the backing and placed it on the top of the suitcase. 

If I hadn't come across these cotton sheets {I believe you can find them on Amazon} I would have printed the image on paper and used Mod Podge to attach it to the suitcase. 

I think this suitcase is going to be used more as a fun storage piece than for actual travelling, so on the inside I just wanted to add a few places to tuck papers, photos, hair ties, etc. 
I created a large pocket by gluing a piece of a vintage linen table runner to the lining. 

On the middle divider, I added a couple of small pockets cut from a gray flannel shirt and embellished with some vintage trim. 

Now the items from my other favorite antique graphics site, Knick of Time

Angie is one of my "junk idols". She creates the coolest home decor pieces out of salvaged items and sells many of them in her amazing shop. On top of all that, she offers a ton of antique graphics that you can use for your own projects! 

About a year ago she featured these awesome luggage tags on her blog. I fell in love with them and saved them to my project file, knowing I'd use them for a future project. 

I opened the baggage tag image in PicMonkey and added our birthday girl's name to personalize it before printing it. 
I printed out the railway shipping ticket and used it as our gift tag, hanging from the outside of the suitcase. 

THIS is the color the baggage tag is supposed to be, but my printer just isn't capable of printing in true vivid color. Boo! 

I do think the faded pink color is kind of pretty, anyway :)
There was a large spot in the bottom of the suitcase, so I thought this would be a good way to cover that, and add a cute detail. 

I made a ribbon from a strip of white cotton fabric, and tied it to the handle. 

It was really fun putting this gift together for our friend, and I love that it's a piece that is from her own family! 

I'm off to catch up with Susan Branch and learn a little about The National Trust in England. 

Have a wonderful week, friends!



  1. You created a very special gift Jeanette! I'm sure she will love it. I adore Susan Branch - I buy her calendar every year. BTW - I'll be over for some cake so save me a piece - YUM! : )

  2. What a LOVELY gift you created, Jeanette!! I love how you added so many wonderful details for this sweet young lady. The pockets inside are adorable. A real treasure of a gift!
    Mary Alice

  3. Cake sounds yummy and the suit case came out so great. I love this. What a special gift.

  4. I have been craving cake for weeks, but have avoided making any. I did succumb to French bread hot out of the oven at the bakery tonight.

    I am in love with your suitcase - what a fun project!

  5. Oh this suitcase is swoonworthy! I just noticed the pail in your header. When we lived in Germany we were very close to the French border and the town of Strasbourg. Such great memories. :)

  6. LOVE this suitcase! Such a thoughtful gift that will be loved! :)

  7. What a fun gift!! Something she will treasure forever :)

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