Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Keepsake Suitcase

On a recent episode of Craft Wars, one of their challenges was to create a keepsake box. Of course they had to use unconventional materials. 

Here's what I came up with!

I had an old suitcase laying around (given to me by my friend Dina) and finally knew what I wanted to do with it. I decided to turn it into a keepsake box for Sophia (my 4 year old daughter) for her to keep when she leaves home (for college or to go out on her own).

Here's what it looked like before. It was in pretty good condition but I wanted to jazz it up.

Even the insides were in good shape but it just didn't look like Sophia.

I was digging through my scrapbook paper stash and came across this collection by Fancy Pants called Be You. Perfect! I love all the quotes on some of the pages.

So I spray painted the suitcase black. Cut the paper into strips. I layed out the design first. Then  modge podged it on there. 

One of the latches was broken, so I strung some ribbon through an attached these embellishments.

Now for the insides. I decided to make a pocket for the part that flips back and forth. I basically cut out 2 rectangles one inch bigger than the flap itself. I sewed it up the sides (with right sides together). Then I slid it on the flap (I ironed on Velcro before I sewed the pieces together).

Then I used some Stitch Whitchery (I think that's what it's called) on the bottom. If you've never used it, all you do is cut a strip of it off. Lay it on the place you want "sewn" together. Use an iron to heat it and it "sews" it together for you.

Now for the compartments....I measured the walls of the suitcase and added 1 1/2 inches to the top (so I can fold down the top later for a finished edge). On the ends, I just added an inch the the overall measurement. Sew the strips together.

Then pin and sew the sides to a piece of fabric that you've added a an inch to on both sides (a 1/2 inch seam allowance).

Then iron and fold the top over all the way around to get a finished edge.

Cut strips of the Stitch Whitchery and lay them on the wall of the suitcase and iron on the fabric.

Do that for all 4 sides (I had a little trouble getting my iron into some of the spots so I just used some fabric glue.

I added some ribbon using fabric glue to hide the edge of the suitcase fabric.

Now....what to put into the suitcase.....
I decided to make envelopes out of black scrapbook paper. I cut 18 pieces of 8 x 12 paper (1 for each year of her life at home. Then within each envelope I'll put my favorite pics of her and the family in each one).

Tri-folded each one. I used my corner rounder to round the top flat corners.

I used my sewing machine to sew zig-zags up both sides. I thought about using washi tape but I didn't have the right width and color for this project.

I stuck some Velcro to the top of each envelope.

Then I embellished each envelope and labeled it with the year.

 Here's the pics from pre-birth to her 1st birthday. They will go in envelope 1.
I tied some pink ribbon around the bundle to keep them all toBecoming Marthagether.

I made another envelope using this fun Dr. Seuss paper. but I only had one piece and I needed to make a big envelope. So I used a piece of lime green paper and sewed them together.

Inside of this envelope I will be putting the letters to Sophia that I write to her each year on her birthday (I'll let her read them when she turns 18). 

I'll also be putting her birthday books inside the suitcase. Each year at her birthday parties, I have all the guests sign a book (they can write a message if they want or just their name). The book always corresponds to her birthday party theme. This Ladybug Girl book is from her 1st birthday party where the theme was The Backyardigans.

I like to add a photo from the party at the front of the book.

These are the other books we have so far. 

These are the cards from showers and shower game guesses that I kept and never really knew what to do with. I'm adding this to the swinging flap in the  middle suitcase.

Sophia is very excited about this project!

Thanks for the suitcase Dina!

Linking Up With These Great Blogs:

Alderberry Hill,      Tutus and Tea Parties,      The Rustic Pig Designs     Or So She Says,      My 1929 Charmer,      Super Handmade Sunday @ A Cat- Like Curiosity,      Lil' Luna          Craft Geek,      Simple As That      House on the Way,      Sassy Sites     Mindy May's Market,   Skip To My Lou,        Sugar Bee Crafts,      Cheap Crafty Mama,      Be Different, Act Normal,   Homemaker In Heels,     The Busy Bee's,      Fireflies and Jellybeans   The Shabby Creek Cottage,     30 Handmade Days    52 Mantels,     The Shabby Nest    Lovely Crafty Home See Vanessa Craft,     Blissful Bucket List,     Bacon Time With The Hungry Hypo    Lena B, Actually,     Pocket Full of Pink,     Family Ever After,      I Heart Naptime,     Six Sisters Stuff Nifty Thrifty Things,     Homemaker on a Dime,     Under The Table and Dreaming,     Flamingo Toes   It's Overflowing,    Ivy And Elephants   Clean and Scentsible,    Creations by Kara,     Tip Junkie,      Love and Laundry,      Create. Craft. Love.,     Sarah Dawn Designs,     One Artsy Mama,      Tatertots and Jello,     The Grant Life,     The Hubby Made Me,     Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons,       The Chiffon Diary,     Manic Mother    The Thriftiness Miss,     Say Not Sweet Anne,     Becoming Martha,     Too Much Time On My Hands    Destination Craft,     The Dedicated House,      Katherine's Corner,   C.R.A.F.T.,    Fluster Buster,     Nap Time CreationsThe Mandatory Mooch


Dina said...

Oh my goodness! That is amazing and I am so impressed by your creativity and patience to get things done! Can I have my suitcase back now?!

Kristy @ Next to Heaven said...

This is darling! What a cherished keepsake this will be... I see it being a tradition she will pass down! LOVE it!

LaLa said...

Erin....this is awesome!!! All the creative & thought you put in this for Sophie. Love the memories you are putting in it.

Anonymous said...

What a treasure! The suitcase is beautiful inside and out, right down to the letter and picture envelopes. Wow...

Paula Parrish said...

OMG, your a keepsake suitcase is such a clever idea. ;o) Love It!

Jill @ Create.Craft.Love. said...

What a fantastic idea! I love the suitcase! It turned out perfect! Thanks for sharing at the Pomp Party! Pinning to our Pomp Party board!

Jenn Triplett said...

I am in love with your clever ideas!!! You are my idol.

Kim @ Too Much Time said...

YAY! I am so excited! I have 3 old suitcases in my storage area and I have no memory boxes for my kids. I am totally doing soon....maybe tomorrow! If you get a sec I would be jazzed if you stopped by and linked up at my party {Get Schooled Saturday} going on right now!
Kim @ Too Much Time

Crafty Mischief said...

Darling! I love what you did with this. Thanks for sharing!

The Thriftiness Miss said...

Wow this is such an amazing project! I will be on the lookout for an old suitcase at the thrift stores now. I love that it's a big case so you can put big things in it. Like a suitcase treasure chest!

Thanks so much for linking this up to our Weekend Wonders party! We hope to see you back next week :)

Debt Free Mommy said...

It's party time over at Debt Free Mommy Blog! Please come by and link up your spaces with Making Space Mondays link party #10. I hope to see you there at! -Tabitha

SayNotSweetAnne said...

Oh my, how sweet! This is such a good re purpose- and that strong box will hopefully keep all of those precious moments safe until its her turn to take them! I love the idea of the Birthday books too- how sweet to look back on! If you have a minute, I'd love for you to link up to Sweet Sharing Monday -

Kathryn Pepper said...

This is so so cute! What a neat idea! I'd love for you to link up to my link party!


live-love-laugh said...

This Looks Amazing, I would love for you to share it at our link party

Jennifer said...

I absolutely love this idea. May have to try doing this soon. Thanks so much for linking up to our Pretty Things Party! I hope you'll be back next week!

Carrie Barron said...

Fabulous! I love the idea of using a suitcase to make a keepsake box. Thanks for sharing!

Terrie HearthandWhimsy said...

What a wonderful idea with so many awesome elements, I just love it!
I'm a new follower.

Artsy VaVa said...

Wow! That is fantastic!

Mandy @ Sugar Bee Crafts said...

Thanks for linking to Take-A-Look Tuesday - - you were featured today!!

Katherines Corner said...

shhhh don;t tell...I haven't seen craft war, giggle. Your keepsake box is wonderful. Thank you for sharing. Hugs. P.S. I invite you to join us for tomorrows linky party ( blog hop)

Amy said...

Wow, wow, WOW! What a fantastic and special idea; your daughter will treasure this for years to come. I love the birthday book and letter ideas...featuring this at One Artsy Mama's Top 10 Thursday tomorrow!

Kim @ thequirkyduck said...

Lovely idea and beautiful suitcase - i just know your lucky little lady will appreciate this when she's older!

Sarah @ Becoming Martha said...

Umm... the yearly birthday book? Totally the best idea ever! I wish my daughter wasn't already 7 so I could do this with her. So fabulous!

Thanks for stopping by the CHQ Blog Hop, hope to see you next Tuesday - we are also starting a weekly link party, the first one goes live tomorrow night if you want to link up your awesome projects :)

Hannah Gonzalez said...

This is adorable! I have three children - and have been looking for something like this - it might take a while for me to put together - but I'm in love with the idea :) Thanks for sharing - I'd love if you stop by -

Barbara Hiatt said...

Love this! Featuring it on Facebook today! Thanks for linking up to the Keep Calm and Link Up party!

Barbara @ Chase the Star

Trish Hughes said...

Wow super cool, wish I had a daughter!!! So happy I found you from the Keep Calm blog hop. :)
Trish @ Hand Full of Stamps

Bonnie and Trish @ Uncommon said...

Precious idea!! Love the makeover of the suitcase!! Thank you for sharing at Uncommon! featuring this on our FB page today!! :) Bonnie

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Anonymous said...

Wonderful idea and cute! I love the colorful fabric you used on the inside of the case. Wonderful job! I'm pinning this! I may want to make something similar for my daughter. :-)

Navy Wifey Peters @ Submarine Sunday Link Party

Linda@With A Blast said...

What an amazing idea, and it turned out lovely! Thank you for sharing at our ALL MY BLOGGY FRIENDS party :-)

Jodi Stuber said...

Well, gee. Now I want to make one!!! this is SO stinkin awesome. Pinning the project and following you. AMAZING.
stopping frm one artsy mama

The Busy Bee's said...

You did an awesome job covering your suitcase. It really looks nice. Thank you for sharing at the Busy Bee's party! We appreciate you joining and sharing with us! Have a wonderful day!
Joye & Myrna
The Busy Bee's

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful and thoughtful project. Your daughter is really going to be appreciate this one day! I also really like the idea of having guests sign a book at each birthday party. I hardly remember my birthday parties (unless I see pictures), but that's a nice way to note who was there more than just what gifts were received.

Michelle said...

This is so awesome! I love all the envelopes and the smile on your little cuties face, she's one lucky girl to have a mamma like you, she's going to look back and see all the fun you've had! :) Michelle

Amy Latta said...

I've loved this project ever since I first saw it on your blog last summer. I'm thrilled that you've entered it in One Crafty Contest!