Bring travel into interior design by crafting a shelf from an old suitcase

A well-used suitcase is often viewed as much more than just a handy traveling accessory. For many who set out to seek new horizons, a suitcase represents the various places and people they have encountered along the way during journeys of all types. The scuffs and scrapes are reminders of the miles that have been traveled. The faded surface brings to mind adventures and challenges that have helped travelers grow. When a suitcase reaches the end of its time as a viable piece of luggage, there’s no need to throw it out. Keep the memories intact by turning it into a stylish shelf for the home.
The basic design of the suitcase is maintained once this shelf is complete. Buckles and handles act as decorative additions, while the surface material of the suitcase remains unchanged. Mount the finished shelf on a bedroom or living room wall and use it to display souvenirs that speak to trips and adventures that have been and are to come. Colorful suitcases work well as final shelving that’s mounted on white or beige walls. If the shelf will be added to a space that’s already quite bright and filled with patterns, consider using a suitcase that’s more monotone for an eye-catching contrast. 
- Suitcase
- T-Square
- Sharpie
- Sawhorse (2)
- Table vice (2)
- Hand-held power saw
- Sanding block
- Gorilla super glue
DIY Everywhere
1. Position a T-Square on top of a closed suitcase. Line up the measurement bar with the center-most horizontal line across the suitcase.
2. Draw a line along the T-Square with a Sharpie.
3. Flip the T-Square to the opposite side of the suitcase and complete the Sharpie line. Make sure the line runs evenly and horizontally across the top of the suitcase.
4. Turn the suitcase on its short side and use the T-Square and Sharpie to continue the marker line down the opposite short end.
5. Flip the suitcase over and continue the line down the remaining short end.
6. Turn the suitcase upside down and complete the line across the middle of the back surface as well.
7. Open the suitcase up so the handles and buckles are facing down and position it evenly across two sawhorses.
8. Secure the suitcase to the sawhorses using a table vice on each side.
9. Saw the suitcase into three parts following the Sharpie lines with a hand-held power saw. Remove and readjust the table vices as needed to reposition the suitcase for cutting ease.
10. Sand down the edges of the two pieces of the suitcase with buckles and handles still attached.
11. Line the edges of the bottom buckle piece of the suitcase with Gorilla super glue.
12. Press the top piece of the suitcase that has the top of the buckles and handle to the bottom piece. Buckle the pieces together.
13. Flip the unit so the buckles are facing down and the unfinished edges are facing up.
14. Clamp the pieces together with the table vices. Remove the clamps once the glue is completely dry.
15. Mount the suitcase shelf on the wall alone or in combination with a second shelf made from the back pieces of the suitcase. Display travel souvenirs or a decorative vase on top for an eye-catching addition to any room!