DIY travelling craft suitcase

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I’ve been planning this crafty project for months now (as is often the case) and last weekend I finally got around to making it! If I’m going travelling then I usually want to take some sort of crafty stuff to be working on while I’m away, but this usually means that I end up looking like a bag lady with my various bags of crafty goodness. So, I thought it would be a good idea to have a suitcase to put it all in! I originally bought a vintage teal suitcase which is beautiful, but I didn’t want to mess it up and I couldn’t decide which fabric to use (thankfully, the lovely Boomdeeadda has done an amazing post about jazzing up vintage suitcases, so I’ll be doing that another time!). I stumbled across this lovely Cath Kidston suitcase (in the sale – even better!) and thought that this would be a good place to start. It’s more compact than my teal suitcase, so this might be better for travelling light – not that I ever really do that!

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I decided to put some fabric pockets on the inside of the lid, which I can use for storing scissors, thread and other little bits and bobs. I treated myself to some lovely Cath Kidston fabric and ribbon to match too πŸ™‚ The pockets are attached with velcro, which means that if I change my mind about the layout at a later date, I can just make some new ones! I measured a length of velcro (the spiky hook side) to fit the width of the lid, and then used some double-sided sticky tape to stick it to the lid. I chose to put it fairly near to the top but not right at the top, as I’ll need to be able to get my hands in the pockets!

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The next stage was to make the fabric pockets. I measured the size of the biggest pocket based on the size of my pinking shears and fabric scissors, as I always need these with me when I travel. This worked out at

I hemmed the edges of the pockets using contrasting red thread.

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Next, I cut out two strips of the other side of the velcro (the fluffy side) to fit the width of the pocket and attached it just below the hem at the top and bottom.

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Then I sewed the sides together, clipped the corners and then turned it inside out! I repeated these steps with the other pockets, made from different fabrics. For the long pocket at the top, I sewed at equal intervals to create 3 smaller pockets.

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The pockets might need pressing before you attach them, just to get rid of any creases. Then you can stick them in before attaching a length of ribbon along the bottom and sides of the suitcase – this is so that you can tie in any loose items that you put in the bottom.
I just used double-sided sticky tape to do this (in several strips is easier, and you might want to get someone else to help too!)

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Then all that is left to do is to fill it up!

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These suitcases are great, and you could customise them in lots of different ways. A travelling art set? A travelling LEGO kit (you could use little tupperware boxes perhaps)? A travelling doll house? The possibilities are endless and it would make a great gift! If you have a go at making your own, do let me know and send me a photo/link! πŸ™‚

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10 thoughts on “DIY travelling craft suitcase

  1. Fantastic project Clare! Thank you for your lovely comments and for the link back as well, that was so nice of you. You’re totally clever to use velcro to mount your handy pockets. I would have never thought of that. I adore Cath Kidston and all her cheer prints. I never see it here but keep seeing it in other blogs. I used to buy the British Country Living Magazine too and have seen it in there. I love that magazine but it’s pricey here. Which makes sense since it comes so far.

    I’m in love with your aqua suitcase as well, my gosh what a good find. I can’t wait to see what you do. You’re all set to go on a romantic weekend! Married couples need to do that sometimes don’t we πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks so much Kelly! I’ve been planning it for such a long time and really pleased with how it turned out πŸ™‚ I’ll be turning to your post for advice with my next one! I like the idea of a weekend away…will suggest it to Tom!

      Do you know that you can get a digital version of country living? I get that (mainly because I’m running out of space to put stuff!) and maybe it will work out cheaper for you?

      I tweeted Cath Kidston a link to this post and they love it yay! They’ve retweeted it and my views have gone through the roof today! Hope you have a great day!xx

      • Wahoooo! Isn’t that is just too fantastic! So happy for you Clare!

        Great idea on the digital offer of Country Living. I must look into that. Have a great weekend, we are told a snow storm is on it’s way…ugh.

  2. Pingback: Instagram gallery: November 2013 | So Many Crafts, So Little Time!

  3. Pingback: Tutorial: how to line a vintage suitcase | So Many Crafts, So Little Time!

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