Creative,  Repurposing,  Upcycling

Upcycle a Suitcase into a Bathroom Cabinet

Up-cycling is very popular today, and one item that has gained a lot of traction recently is the up-cycling of vintage suitcases into various useful items, including a bathroom cabinet.

This project is not too difficult to make and almost anyone can do it, although you may need someone to help hold the suitcase as you mount it.

Items Required

Some of the items you may require to up-cycle your vintage suitcase could include:

  • Vintage Suitcase
  • Wood for Shelving
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Nuts or Screws
  • Glue/Glue Gun
  • Scissors or Utility Knife
  • Fabric
  • Cardboard
  • Old Maps
  • Spirit Level


1. Clean your Suitcase

This step will vary greatly depending on the condition of your particular suitcase. Peel off anything that is flaking off, then simply clean out the dust and grime with soapy water.

2. Line your Vintage Suitcase with Fabric/Material

Line the suitcase with Your chosen material -you could use paper or fabric, even some old maps… remember the idea is to re-use and re-cycle, so use what you have laying around the house… Use hot glue to secure the fabric to the sides of your case.

3. Glue the Map.

Cover the back of the case as well as the inside of the front door with, for e.g. maps that you mount on cardboard cut to size.  

Even if you decide to use fabric throughout your case, it is still recommend mounting your fabric on cardboard for the back of the case and inside the front door, because it helps keep the corners looking neat; it will also help eliminate wrinkles and bubbling.

You can use hot glue for fabric, but it is preferable to use cold glue for paper such as a map. Use sufficient glue to almost saturate the map… this will make it easier to smooth out wrinkles, but be careful of going overboard because that could result in the map/paper starting to rip and tear

Above are some more great ideas of how to up-cycle old suitcases into bathroom cabinets

4. Affix Panels

To get the best adherence, after you set the panel in place use a piece of scrap wood and some quick grip clamps to hold the maps in place and set overnight.

5. Cut the Shelving.

Take a look at your case and decide how many shelves you need. It is a good idea to take some things you know you would want to store there and setting them inside to see how many shelves you could and should fit, based on the size of those desired items.

You can us a piece of old shelving you have stashed in the garage, or  some scrap lumber, rhinoboard, melamine, whatever you’ve got. 

6. Screw in the Shelving.

Pre-drill some holes in the outside of the case to prevent splintering and fracturing of the suitcase. Use screws that can blend into the case a bit. 

7. Mount your Case

Before you start mounting your suitcase, remember to stick a level on it to make sure it is straight.  Pre-drill a couple of holes then screw in your cabinet.

Use washers as well as screws – make sure to use several wall anchors; choose the appropriate type based upon the weight of your case and the anticipated contents.

While this instruction article uses maps, remember, you can use any type of suitcase and can use any type of fabric/paper etc to decorate your vintage suitcase to your needs and style.

It’s quirky, it’s fun, and it’s functional!


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