Monday, October 10, 2011

Behind the Scenes: Cool Suitcase Shelves

Here's the scoop on how this stack of cool vintage suitcases became oh-so-clever shelving in Ki's new Los Angeles apartment!

The idea:
"It came to me by accident," Ki said. "I was looking through old design books and at a glance saw suitcases on a rack and I thought they were cut down. Not so. They were full suitcases, intact, just stacked on a rack. My eyes played a trick on me. When I realized they were the entire suitcase, I thought, maybe I could cut them off for ledges.

"I got out my paper and markers and sketched a drawing including attaching a wood insert in the back, which works to hang, but also gives the shelf stability. I scanned and emailed to Cammie and she got on it ASAP! I would guess half of my projects turn out the way I envision and this was one of them. Yeah! How-tos are in the back of the September issue!"

The execution:
"We had less than a month to find the cases and they arrived just hours before the shoot at Ki's apartment," said Cammie Metheny, FMS jill of all trades and high priestess of projects.
"Yes, they were cut with a saw. You could use a hand saw, circular saw or a band saw, depending on what you have available. Just make sure and wear eyegear for protection!"

Cammie shopped flea markets and send out the call for suitcases to vendor friends, "except for the blue and white one. It's been hanging around my shop for years, so I thought it was time to give it a new life. Now it lives in LA in a great apartment with a lot of unique items to keep it company. It is alive again in its new life!"
The pitfalls:
"I didn't have a level and hung them all crooked," Ki said.
"I then bought a level
and rehung and yes, patched the holes and repainted!
What is that saying about it
is easy if you own
the right tools?"
Finally, a tip:
"I have vintage plaster walls and since
the suitcase backs have keyhole-style hangers
for a flush mount, I needed to use screws
with anchors, two per suitcase.
Of course, that made changing them even more difficult."
They now are level and very sturdy.
"I dread the day I move out and have to rehang in a new place.
Maybe I will just stay here awhile!"
Whether you are staying put or on the move,
these ledges could give your place, present or future,
some seriously savvy style!
Watch this space for more
behind-the-scenes tales from the latest
Flea Market Style mag!


Elizabeth said...

LOVE THESE! Would anyone care to come to my studio and hang them?!!! I'm sharing your link!

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs said...

I love those!!!
Thank you for sharing how you created the look!


Marge of Emmas Nook and Granny said...

Very clever! When I saw them in the magazine, my first thought was that the other half of each suitcase should be mounted to the other side of the wall - for example, one half in the living room, the other in the bedroom.

Candylei said...

Just super and so artsy! Your imagination is terrific!

Andy's Attic said...

The suitecases are one of the most clever repurposing things I've seen yet. They look wonderful and fresh and as some older cases "smell" it would be a good use for them. Thanks for the info on how to,

Beach House Living said...

A great and clever look. When I saw the magazine cover I had to read about them.

Isabella | THE PILE OF STYLE said...

Really nice post, I got so much to learn from you!
Followin each other right? :)

julieann said...

Love this idea. I have lots of cases but now on the hunt for the perfect mix for my walls. Saw some vendors had them at JB but I just have to try a little DIY project here...

simpledaisy said...

Absolutely love it!! What a cute and clever idea:):)

Gina said...

Awesome, as usual!!! You gals are so great! Love
to read your posts!! Keep on a bringing them!
Gina G. From S.E. Iowa

Terri Gordon said...

I love this idea, and really enjoyed my copy. Great work, I always look forward to what creative things you ladies come up with. Have a great day. Thank you. Terri

A Cottage Muse said...

Wonderful how creative you all are!

Melanie said...

We were so excited to be listed as a favorite antique mall in your fabulous magazine! Thank you sooo much!

Mel @ M&M Antique Mall
Monroe, WA

Pam S. said...

How clever! It looks fabulous. Love your ideas and magazine.

Betsy said...

I have the magazine here by my computer with lot of pages marked! This cover was so striking. Glad to know I'm not the only one who pounds nails in the wall first and measures later. Most of the time I get is right, but not always!

andrea said...

The vintage shelving made such a lovely cover, andrea@townandprairie

hilary @ oldhouse.truelove. said...

so cool.

Sjzanne said...

great idea!

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

I have recreated these in my home! Instead of keyhole brackets, I found the studs in my wall and mounted the back boards directly to the studs. It was much simpler than messing with wall anchors, I think. And yes...a level is a must!

lovelytracylee said...

This magazine is the greatest!! But, so expensive. The articles are great!

color correction said...

Magazine is nice. The cover of the magazine is just beautiful. I loves the ideas. Thanks for sharing!

Country Life said...

Love this idea! I found an old suitcase in our barn last week and want an idea on how to use it, really neat with shelves on one side and other to hang clothes but when stood up the metal opens up and the clothes can be hung up without touching. Posted it on my blog did not get any ideas do you have any?

printed bags said...

Really the magazine is great. Reading your blog is interesting. Keep bringing such things!