Suitcase crafts

Updated April 17, 2017

Suitcase crafts are practical and fun projects that have a variety of purposes. You can recycle old suitcases into 3D art or display cases. Or you can teach children how to craft their own mini suitcases out of household materials and basic art supplies.

Shoebox Suit Case

Recycle a shoebox to make this fast and simple suitcase. A one-piece shoebox works best, where the lid is already hinged, but you can tape your own together using duct tape or another strong adhesive. Personalise the outside of the shoebox with drawings, pictures, magazine cut outs and stickers. Kids can also d├ęcoupage paper onto the box, using Mod Podge or a glue and water mixture. To make a handle, turn the box on its side and poke two holes through the box and the lid so the lid will be able to close. Loop a ribbon through the holes and tie them together. Untie the ribbon to open your suitcase.

Recycled Suitcase Land

If you have an old or outdated suitcase, the At Second Street website recommends turning it into a piece of 3D art. Open your suitcase so that both the top and bottom are lying flat. Use the inside compartments as the base for a small scene. You can create an outside theme in nature, such as the beach, a park or the mountains, or a doll house, complete with furniture. Use materials such as paint, clay, toy figurines and fake plants to build props and decorate. Glue all the pieces onto the suitcase directly to secure them. The suit case can also be shut closed and gently transported for an elaborate portable play set.

Cereal Box Suitcase

Recycle an empty cereal box and make a clever suitcase toy. Lay the cereal box flat. Make a flap by using an X-acto knife or a cutting tool to cut around the perimeter of the two short sides and one long side. The flap should be hinged to the remaining long side. Place the cereal box on its side, so that the hinge is at the bottom. Punch three holes, about an inch apart, in the centre top of the box and one hole at the centre of the top of the flap. String a ribbon through the middle hole on the box and the hole on the flap and tie to secure. To open the suitcase, you must untie the ribbon. To make the handle, string another ribbon through the remaining holes (on both sides of the middle hole) and tie a double knot to turn it into a loop. Decorate the box with paint and glitter or glue on pictures from magazines.

Suitcase Display

Suitcases make wonderful and cute displays, especially for travellers who want to show off vacation photos and souvenirs. Open the suitcase so that the lid is perpendicular to the bottom. Staple twine or string to opposite sides of the inner lid. Hang pictures or postcards onto the string using paper clips or small clips. Place small boxes in the bottom compartment to add dimension and height for different display items. The boxes should be low enough not to block hanging pictures from the underside of the lid. Cover the boxes with a solid coloured sheet. Make fun luggage tags to decorate the suitcase, featuring names of the places you visited or stamps from a foreign country. You can also decorate the outside of the suitcase with travel stickers or maps. Arrange small souvenirs or items such as jars, toys, art work and fabric in the bottom compartment.

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About the Author

Since 2008, Jen Kim has been a professional writer and blogger, working for national publications such as Psychology Today and Chicago Tribune affiliates. She holds a Master of Science in journalism from Northwestern University.