Monday, May 6, 2013

A Keepsake Suitcase Tutorial

This week I'm honored to be guest posting with Alderberry Hill. A little about myself....My name is Erin Kaminski. I love in Ft. Worth Texas. I'm married to my best friend, Russell.  I'm a mother of a beautiful little, almost 5 year old girl. I've been an elementary art teacher for almost 15 years. I have a blog called Kaminski's Creations. I also have an Etsy shop which has home decor items, journals, items for baby etc. I love paper crafting, sewing, photography, painting and repurposing. This tutorial combines all of my loves. I'm thrilled to share my tutorial on how to create a Keepsake Suitcase for your little ones. You store all those keepsake odds and ends that you save and have no idea where to put them.

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!

1 comment:

The Bean Sprout Notes said...

This is such a sweet idea! We do the yearly birthday book too, recently adding the book Madeleine to the collection. Such a sweet idea and your suitcase transformation turned out well too