Old suitcases are a dime a dozen at thrift stores and flea markets; they were unloaded en masse when wheelies came around. The same holds true for old picnic baskets because, sadly, not many people pack up picnics anymore. I’m always tempted, especially by the old leather suitcases that have that distressed but durable wabi-sabi look that I love. I’m never completely sure what I would do with them, however.
Gina Luker, whose wonderful website The Shabby Chic Cottage is a wealth of fun, funky and frugal home decorating and entertaining ideas, has inspired me to start purchasing. Gina replaced her wobbly bedside table with a leather suitcase (that she picked up for $1) and two picnic baskets. She gave one basket, a $3 find, a coat of white paint and finished off her table with a basket she found for $5 in an antique store near Hunstville, Alabama.
I love this project because it doesn’t require measuring tapes, glue guns or a sewing machine. You could dream up so many iterations, mixing and matching suitcases and baskets that you find during your treasure hunts or simply have on hand. Depending on what I find, I may even decoupage one of the suitcases.
My favorite part of this “table”? It doubles as storage for all those magazines, books and other detritus that piles up and makes my bedroom a cluttered mess. I can store extra sheets and blankets in the bottom suitcase. So I get new furniture and storage, all in one—that’s a two-for-Tuesday.
Flea market baskets and a suitcase make a unique bedside table that doubles as storage. Photo by Gina Luker/The Shabby Chic Cottage