Thursday, 9 February 2012

Steamer trunk revamped

On flickr you may have seen the steamer trunk that I bided my time in buying - when the shop finally opened I bought it for the grand sum of £5 (along with some 1950 umbrellas that he was selling for 50p has a lovely Lucite handle on it...more of umbrellas another time perhaps!).

The suitcase did take a bit of rubbing down with steel wool,  a squirt of lemon juice and Brasso (other cleaners are available but I LOVE Brasso...childhood memories..) - probably about an hour for the cleaning bit (in between making the dinner - note that Brasso and pie making are not a great mix).  The longest part, as always, is the selection of fabric - should it be 1950s holiday scenes, 1960s nursery fabric, a collage of vintage embroideries, different fabrics for each panel...on and on it goes.  Anyway fickle finger of fate (see in part my reply to kitch&curious on 70s breakfast posting) I had to go to a town I never go to and 'forced' to visit certain shops.  Long story but ended up with a little too much stuff....which included two vintage bed covers.  I have promised that  I will use one to make things for the shop but the other I used for the suitcase.  What do you think?

For reasons that I cannot explain I particularly like how the rusty edgings buffed up!

Alright - I may have spent a little too long then looking for anything in the house with a rose on. I stopped short of getting a load of plates out...

The backdrop in this photo is a lovely1950s dress that has such undergarments it stands up all by itself!!

So the beady-eyed amongst you will notice that I haven't quite finished this yet - tonight Dom has to get his scalpel out to finish off my locks (oooeeerr missus). However this whole thing very, very easy to do.  I only cut the fabric to approximate size (well when I say 'cut' I mean 'ripped'...if there is a shortcut I will take it..), used PVA glue and folded the raw edges under as I went.  Amazingly ruck free!

I reckon the total cost, including the trunk was about £7 = £5 for the trunk, about £1 of glue (difficult to estimate but not a huge amount), fabric (again difficult to estimate as a whole bundle of stuff, including two of these bed covers cost £5)  about £1. I have offered this trunk to Bronte for her bedroom and she tells me that she will: "Think about it".....
In case you missed it here is the original trunk: 
Note how I have deliberately carried out an old trick of using a smaller, duller photo.

PS: I had forgotten that we have another of these (shoved under a bed) that we keep old Christmas decorations in - that one I painted many years ago, with stars and moons.  The children have asked me not to cover that one with fabric.....Never mind I have other suitcases....

PPS: I notice that Mr Langford is currently holding a large stock of old suitcases - starting at £10.  If you don't know Mr Langford's then you can find a video of his shop on Flickr here:


  1. Looks fantastic, I've got a very similar trunk that's in very good condition and still got labels from various voyages on it; I've always been quite fond of it in it's original state, but maybe it's time for a change...ta for the inspiration!

  2. Absolutely gorgeous! Well done you........can't wait to see the suitcases! Helen x