need help with old suitcase

tralynnMay 24, 2011

would like to make a birthday gift for a friend of mine. She loves old things and loves to garden. I would like to take an old hard covered suitcase and paint the outside a sage green. The inside is musty smelling and is covered in an ugly brown. I thought maybe of getting a pretty plastic tablecloth and recovering the inside, but would like some ideas of things that I can put inside garden related. She also loves to write notes to send to people so anything that pertains to that also. It probably doesn't make much sense what I am telling you, but everything I come up with is the usual garden things. Garden tools, pots, seeds, plants, which I will put some of those things in, but I would like to add a more personal touch. Any ideas? Thanks.

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RedTurtle

does she like to sit outdoors in the garden as well, or picnic? Daytrips, etc? If so, maybe make her a little portable stationary desk for writing letters. Add a nice picnic type cloth to sit on, stationary, and other letter writing stuff, along with the gardening things - packs of seeds, bulbs, gloves, new gardening tools

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 4:42PM
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tralynn

I like the idea of the little portable desk. Yes she is very much an outdoor person, thanks for your ideas.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 5:24AM
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RedTurtle

The suitcase lid can be the desk. I also meant to add that I have seen some cute re-doing of old vintage suitcases on Etsy, though not sure if any are available now. I trashpicked a really cool round american tourister case last year, with a red satin lining. The outside is gray blue, very hard plastic vinyl type material, would be easy to paint, and I saw one online (etsy again) painted white, with black trim along the edging seams, and then big red poppy type flowers painted on it. Very simple design, even a non-artist could manage it. That would look great on the one I found, especially with the red satin lining. I have also seen many where vinyl decals or stenciling is used for decorating them.

The problem with the suitcase I want to do is that it is in perfect condition except for a musty basement smell that I just can't seem to get rid of. No point in doing anything to it if I can't first get rid of that smell!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 9:18PM
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donna37

I've read that stuffing suitcases with newspaper and leaving for awhile will get rid of odors. Haven't tried it myself.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 11:27PM
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leafaholic

I have found Febrez works on some things. I used it on an old sewing machine case. Once in a while I get a whiff but it really helped. I wiped down the in side and outside both. Never found that newspapers helped. I also thought that a complete coat of varnich or sealer of some kind would work, depends of the material.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 12:16PM
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AndrewH

Try setting a bowl of white vinegar inside it. Or, laying it out open in the sunshine.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 7:58PM
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jaceysgranny

Place a bowl of charcoal inside it and close the lid. Check it after a day or two. It should get rid of the odor. It kills odors in old freezers and ones that have had food spoilage so it should work for you.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 5:31PM
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posieh

Just noticed this post. Old suitcases are very difficult to remove the odors. Try this: if you can find Yellow Sweet Clover, it grows in roadside ditches in our area. It must be in bloom, cut a good bunch and stuff into the suitcase and it will take the odor out. It will do the same for your musty basement. For the basement I cut multiple small armloads and scatter here and there in the basement. Let it remain there for a few weeks.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 9:11PM
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