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Art Suitcase

I saw a couple of pictures on Pinterest where people had taken an old suitcase and transformed it into a case for carrying art supplies to class (or to a friend’s house).  I love them. I “pinned” them and told my friend Liz about them and she fell in love.  She challenged me to find a suitcase and then we would work together to transform a couple of suitcases to take with us when we take a class or when we go to Houston in October.  Grace was with us the day we were looking for suitcases and got caught up in our fever and joined us in this challenge!

Here is the suitcase the day I bought it. ($2 at our local thrift store!)

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I had to clean it up but it really is in good shape.

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Next step was to find some fabric to cover it. I wanted a fabric that would coordinate with the suitcase color because I did not want to paint it and the inside was in really good shape.

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We met at Liz’s house this morning and the transformations began:

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I bought a 12 x 18 inch piece of sheet metal at Lowes and I covered one side with my fabric. I used Mod Podge to adhere the edges to the back side of the metal. Then I used E6000 glue to glue it to the inside of my suitcase. Here is a shot of all the stuff I have laying on the covered metal so the glue would stick well.

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The inside flap was the same gold as the suitcase and it looked ‘blah’. Grace and Liz said I should paint it. I mooched a bottle of acrylic paint from Liz and WOW! I love the difference!!! On the left is that covered metal sheet.

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And this is the opposite side of the flap. Same gold color, but with a great pocket in excellent shape.  I used Heat N Bond to fuse this piece of striped fabric to the flap, tucking it deep into the pocket.

Here are 3 shots:  two of the open suitcase showing both sides and one of the outside.

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Isn’t it cute????

Now all the background work of transforming the suitcase is done. There are several small projects I want to accomplish to make it a truly useful tool. I’ll keep you posted.


Upcycled Ties

I love so many of Stampington and Company magazines.  I picked up the Autumn 2012 issue of Haute Handbags because there were so many projects I thought were adorable and that I thought I might make. I liked Carolynne Templeman’s article about repurposing mens’ neckties.  I read through her instructions for making the “double sided tie bag” and then made my own version making a few alterations.

I have to say I have been given ties for years (hint: I’ll gladly take any you have to offer!) so I have quite a stash. I found 10 I thought my Mom would like, that coordinated well.  I decided to make my bag 4 ties wide and 10 inches tall.

I began by cutting the wide end of each of 8 ties 10 inches from the widest part of the tie:

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Then I gently ripped out the stitching on the back side of the tie and removed the lining:

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I used the lining as a pattern for cutting a piece of Fast 2 Fuse (Double-sided fusible stiff interfacing in Heavy Weight) and re-lined the tie and stitched it carefully by hand. The back side of the tie becomes the inside of the purse.  I repeated the process for 8 ties.

Then I laid the ties side by side, abutting the edges, and sewed them together using a decorative stitch:

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Repeat the process to make the other side of the bag.

I used a few of the small ends of the ties to make a pocket. I left the original lining, but I stitched them together in the same way as the bag. then I folded the tips over to make a decorative edge for the pocket:

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Then I sewed the pocket to the inside of the bag (by hand):

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I used 2 ties to make the sides and handle for the bag. I lined the bottom 10 inches with Fast 2 Fuse and the upper ends with Pellon Medium Weight fusible interfacing. I sewed the sides in using the same method I used for sewing all the ties together.  Carolynne suggests using a piece of heavy fabric for the bottom of the bag, but I had all these cut up ties laying all over my floor so I used two pieces, lined them with Fast 2 Fuse and sewed them together to create a piece large enough for the bottom of the bag.

I used one small tie end for a closure. I sewed a pretty button to one side and a snap opposite the button and then sewed the opposite half of the snap to the body of the bag.  I sent it to my mom for her birthday and she LOVED it!  I liked it so much I’m thinking I may have to go dig into that stash of ties again to make one for me!

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