Ideas for Old Hard Suitcases


Vintage hard shell suitcases may not seem like the most convenient luggage any longer, especially in our modern day of rollaboards and restrictions to carry-on baggage size. They continue to be handy, however, for storage, and can be re-purposed for all sorts of functional uses if you have a creative eye.

Old Hard Suitcases as Planter Trays

  • Because old suitcases are solid, they can be re-purposed as planter trays for displays of small plants. Simply arrange your small potted plants inside the open suitcase, adding decorative touches such as pine cones and ribbons. When you water your plants, you won't have to worry about water damaging the furniture below.

Old Hard Suitcases as Storage

  • Hard shell suitcases make great storage because of their ability to keep things completely dust free. Many hard shell suitcases are just the right size to store gift wrap and ribbons. Store extra blankets in hard suitcases; you can pull them out easily when weather turns cold or, if the suitcases are attractive, you can even keep them on display at the foot of your bed. Out of season clothes or special purpose clothing such as ski clothes will fit well into old suitcases, after all that's what the suitcases were made for originally. Suitcases also make great storage containers for craft or sewing supplies. Attach luggage tags to the handles to remind you of what's inside each suitcase.

Old Hard Suitcases Re-purposed as Furniture

  • If you're handy with a hammer and nails, consider building a nightstand or bedside table out of several old hard suitcases. Each suitcase serves as one drawer, with the handles already attached. Use a matching set, perhaps in descending sizes, or mix and match colors and styles for a more eclectic look. Another creative idea is to build side tables out of hard shell suitcases by attaching matching table legs of different heights. Use shorter and sturdier table legs to create an unusual ottoman. Add some wall brackets and hang the opened suitcase on a wall as a shelf for books or knickknacks.

Pet Beds Made of Old Hard Shell Suitcases

  • Separate the top and bottom of an old hard shell suitcase, and you have the perfect base for a comfy pet bed. Line the inside of the former suitcase with pillows and bedding, and it will be just right size for a small cat or dog to cuddle up. After all, doesn't your cat like to climb into your suitcase anyway as soon you come home from a trip?

Re-purposing Old Trunks

  • If you have old hard trunks as well as old hard suitcases, your imagination can run a little bigger. Open up a trunk and pad it with upholstered cushions to form a mini sofa. Fill it up with those extra blankets and other linens, paint it in a creative way and use it as a coffee table in your living room.


  • Photo Credit suitcases image by Alexander Ivanov from
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