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How to decorate with vintage suitcases in every room of the house

When you need to find inspiration, vintage is always a great place to look. Vintage items have a look and feel that we can’t quite capture anymore. One specific item we have in our heads is a vintage suitcase. The look of them, their feel, the smell of them—it’s like an old book. There’s something almost magical about a vintage suitcase.

If you don’t already have a handful of vintage suitcases in a room or closet somewhere, you’ll want to grab a few after we show you how amazing decorating with old suitcases can be. Literally, you can upgrade every room in your house by adding one. Let’s go over some adorable ways to bring new life to these beautiful pieces.

Vintage blue suitcases stacked up.
Leticia Ribeiro/Pexels

Turn them into shelves

Hear us out. Normally we do not condone destroying anything vintage (especially books). But in this case (pun not intended but much appreciated), we will allow it. This is especially forgiven if the suitcases are damaged beyond use but still have some life left in them.

Wall shelves

You can cut old suitcases in various sizes and then mount them on your wall. It might sound a little weird, but the results will be amazing. The old clasps and buckles will look really cool on the wall. Plus, any way you can create extra shelving and storage is a bonus.

Shelves in a dresser

If you don’t like your boring wood dresser drawers, take them out. Try putting vintage suitcases on those shelves instead. Sure, this might be a bit annoying if it’s a drawer you get into all of the time. But if you have a craft unit or something that you don’t use as often, this is a beautiful and funky way to store your stuff. After all, that’s what they were originally intended for.

Turn them into furniture

Literally, turn them into a piece of furniture. Buying new pieces is expensive, then every household has the same, or similar, things.


We saw this adorable chair made of a vintage suitcase. Cushions had been put into the top, and bottom pockets and vintage legs were attached to the bottom of the case. It looked amazing, and we want them all over our house.

Accent tables

How stinking cute would it be to have your bedside table be a vintage suitcase? We know; it’s perfect. All you need is a vintage suitcase and some legs. You could have little suitcase tables in your office and living room. And yes, extra storage on the inside!

An adulty spot

Wine racks are great. But how about turning a suitcase into a little mini-bar? Some hardtop suitcases have a top part you can just pop out. Once that piece is removed, add some shelves, and you have a personal after-work buddy. If you have one with the wheels, then you can roll that with you from room to room as needed.

Add to any existing table

If you have an entryway table with a shelf underneath or a coffee table with one, you can stick a vintage suitcase under there. It makes for more storage (can you tell we love storage options?).

What else are you supposed to put under those kinds of tables anyway? If you don’t put anything, it looks weird. You can’t put random knickknacks under there. A vintage suitcase will look great.

A vintage set up with an old bike and an old suitcase holding items.

Use as a serving tray

This would be a pretty simple way to use those suitcases around your house. Every coffee table needs a cute tray on it to hold your remote, wine glass, and favorite book. All you need to do is open up a suitcase and unscrew or cut it in half. You get two trays in one!

You can make and put vintage serving trays on any table where you want to keep a few precious items near you. At least have one in the living room and one in your bedroom. Vintage suitcases usually have the coolest linings, so your trays will be unique and individual.

Where to find them

Though we love spending hours at the local antique mall looking for the perfect pair of cases, we know not everyone does. Pretty much every big box store sells a version of a vintage suitcase. If you are okay with it not being authentic, you can find decent deals at places like Target or Home Depot.

And then there is Esty. We love Etsy. You can have one custom made from any number of artists. Or you pick one you like. Many sellers do the rummaging for you and put them up for sale after cleaning them up. This is our go-to for needing to find old and beautiful items.

Now that you are caught up to speed on vintage suitcase decor, we can’t wait to see how you transform a few pieces into items that will bring your house a little personality. When you’re done, send pictures. We want to see what our next project could be.

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