Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Making of Suitcase Shelves

One of my new ventures has been creating furniture and accent pieces from vintage suitcases. A few months before leaving St. Louis I saw something on Pintrest that sparked my fancy - a very unique wall display using vintage suitcases as shelves. However I didn't like the idea that each shelf was mainly a "ledge." I was determined to figure out how I could do this and do it better.

The inspiration!
I put out a Craigslist feeler and found someone getting rid of a ton of vintage suitcases and I quickly picked them up. Fast forward a few months and you'd be shocked how handy those suitcases came to be during a move :).

After we had unpacked all the suit cases I was determined to figure out a way to make the shelves, especially since the boyfriend would be jobless for a bit and is a carpenter by trade. Together we went to Home Depot and scoped out all different types of items we could use to create the shelf bracketing system. I wanted something that would be easy for people to install, but also sturdy. My thought process was that if we could put u-shaped brackets inside of the suitcase and then find L-shaped mounting brackets it'd be a breeze to install the L-shaped brackets and slip the suitcase shelves onto them. It took us a bit to find all the materials (the u-shaped brackets were tricky to locate) but we did!
The prototypes

The results are suitcase shelves that are 10in in depth - giving you plenty of space to actually display items, that are sturdy and functional!

I'd like to start doing custom orders - helping people determine styles and color combos and creating rocking centerpiece displays like the one I ended up installing in our living room from my prototype pieces.

What do you think? Would you like something like this in your home?
The finished results!

Interested in ordering suitcase shelves? Fill out the form attached and email it to me at

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My New Work Space

One of the most lovely things about moving into a new house is the ability to completely claim a new space. To implement new projects and to make something truly your own! When we selected our new home in KC one of the really nice things about it was the third bedroom in the basement. It was pretty large, had its own small half bath and a closet - perfect for storing all of my vintage gear and the items I use to promote and display my wares. A true, dedicated work space!

The Work Space Before
My super awesome boyfriend took all of my ideas and brought them to life! We built counter height workstations - a big L-shape made from unfinished doors. This gave me loads of room to put my photo box set up, my computer, shelves to hold crafting supplies and places to store tubs under the counters. I put my personal flair to work by decoupaging the counters with vintage clothing patterns!

Before Part 2
The clothing racks.
 We also bought the items to create a closet clothing rack, but instead of putting them in the closet, we created two clothing racks along one of the walls, giving me a way to easily display dresses, shirts, coats, skirts and more! Not only is it easy for me to see what I have, but it makes picking items for shows simple and quick!

We also put a shelf on the top rack, giving me additional storage for items that I don't use a lot, but wanted to keep! 

After everything dried and settled I organized all those lovely boxes you see in my "before" photos. Hung up loads of vintage clothes, put shelves on the counters, put in an area to house my computer and printer and set up my photo shooting locations - one corner for the clothing and an area on the counter for my photo box set up.

The vintage clothing patterns I used for the decoupage.
Getting it all done feels almost "magical" and hopefully will help me stay more organized and keep all my projects from creeping into the other rooms in the house!
The counter workspace before decoupaging.

A work in progress - applying the sewing patterns to the counters.

The counter as it dries and finishes.

Friday, March 22, 2013

New Ventures

So I've been really quiet on the blog lately - like five months of quiet... Well a lot has happened in those five months! The biggest news - I moved to a new city. I'm now a Kansas City resident. It was a lot of fast turn around and craziness surrounding the move, which took place the week before Christmas. Then there was the "settling in" phase - the unpacking, decorating, figuring out where the grocery store was, that kind of thing!

After that was the "now what" phase of trying to figure out what I was going to do with my vintage business, how was I going to restructure and start again and where did I need to be. So after all of that I'm excited to start sharing again some of what I've been up to and all the things that have been keeping me busy since the last post in November!

Stay tuned!

Here's a sneak peek at some of the "new" direction I'm taking - combining the need to decorate my new house with the new ideas for Vintage Baubles & Bits!