DIY Idea: Make Vintage Suitcase Shelves

These vintage suitcase shelves were created by Ki Naussauer, a designer known for her commitment to flea market pieces and upcycling. This wall is from her actual living room, which means: she made them herself, and you can too. Here’s how it’d go:    

1. Scour thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets, or Craigslist for a collection of suitcases. Look for options with various widths and colors, and with hardware that looks to be in good shape. They don’t need to be functioning, just attractive.

2. Choose a depth, and then wrap a piece of blue tape around the perimeter and draw a line on the tape. Remove any lining or fabric (which could get caught in the blade), and cut the suitcases along the line with a jigsaw, bandsaw, or even rotary tool or reciprocating saw. Just be sure to watch for hardware, and use an old blade or something designed for metal, as you will likely be cutting through a variety of materials: wood, leather or plastic, and metal.

3. Figure out how you’d like to afix them to the wall. If you don’t plan to put too much weight on them, some simple angle brackets will work. Or, to make them more robust, create 1/2″ plywood panels that will fill out the back and reinforce the shape. Glue and nail them in place along the bottom container. Then, you can simply take off the lid, and attach them to the wall through the plywood panel (screwing into studs or anchors), and lastly, just reattach the lid.

[via Apartment Therapy; photo and styling from Ki Naussauer for Worthpoint