Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How to Make a Suitcase Table

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
As a crafter with a collection of supplies, tools, and general knickknacks, I am a person in need of some storage space. I'm not a huge fan of plastic bins and labeled boxes because they just seem so classroomy to me-- I like my storage to double as decor. So what better way to store things than with vintage suitcases? I already keep a lot of my supplies and out-of-season clothes in my stacked suitcases, and I have a stash of fabric and beads in the suitcase table my parents made me for Christmas, but I wanted to try to make a suitcase table on my own. (*On my own: Defined as getting directions from my dad and grandpa. While I know how to use drills, Mod Podge, paintbrushes, Polaroids, and sewing machines, I am a bit intimidated by things like drill presses and table saws. So that's where the older generation hombres come in. ;))

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
And before I begin, there are a few shortcuts that you can take to make a suitcase table of your own. First off, you can buy an end table like the one in the picture above and screw a flat suitcase to it. Or you can use a flat suitcase and skip to step number six. Or, if you're a total DIY BA, use a slanted suitcase. They're easier to find in thrift shops anyways. :)

How to Make a Suitcase Table with a Slanted Suitcase:

By: Stacie, Milt, and Tommy. :)

You need:
How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
Thrifted suitcase, table legs, a ruler, level, a square, and hanger bolts.

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
Step 1: First you need to set your suitcase on a flat surface. With your level on the top of the suitcase, raise the suitcase so that it is level. Then you need to measure the gap between the ground and the raised portion of the suitcase-- this will be the difference in the legs.

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
Step 2: Now you need to measure how long you want your table legs to be, ie: the height of your table. After you've measured the difference in step 1, mark that difference on your legs where you want them to be cut. My suitcase was raised one inch off the ground, so I measured one inch difference in the two legs. Saw the legs along your marked line.

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
Step 3: To make sure the legs sit perfectly flat on the ground, you need to cut the tops at the same angle that the suitcase slopes. With a sliding t-bevel, measure the angle of the suitcase. Lock it in place.

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
Step 4: Place the sliding t-bevel against the power miter saw. Adjust the angle of the blade to match the angle of the suitcase.

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
(Adjusting.)

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
Step 5: After you've made the angled cut on the leg, mark the top of the slant so that you remember which way each of the legs go later. It's just helpful.

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
Step 6: Now take your hanger bolts and screw the screw side into the top of your leg. (Most of the legs should come with a hole already drilled in them.)

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
Step 7: Like this. The threaded bolt portion of the hanger bolt sticks out of the top.

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
Step 8: Now you need to measure around the edges of the suitcase and mark the spot you want to place the legs. It should be even all around. My legs were 1.25 inches in on each side. Drill holes around the suitcase evenly and place the bolts sticking out of your legs in each of the holes.

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
Step 9: Secure the leg with a nut and a washer. My grandpa made his own washers with steel, but you can just buy washers that fit around your hanger bolts.

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
Step 10: Bam. Test it out. Preferably next to your very helpful and awesome grandpa. ;)

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
Step 11: Now you need to prop up your suitcase on its suitcasey belly and measure the distance between the table legs. This will be for the bottom shelf of your table that will keep everything secure and wobble-free. (I used a piece of pine for this. Pine is for painting. ;))

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
Step 12: A drawing of the future shelf with the correct measurements.

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions Step 13: Now you should measure the width of your table leg with a caliperat the height you want your shelf to sit.

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
Step 14: Mark all of your measurements on the piece of wood you'll use for the shelf. The little square box in the left of the photo is the size I needed to drill for the leg, and the little boxes are the correct width apart equal to the distance between the table legs.

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
Step 15: Drill your holes. I used a drill press because it is a lot more exact and there is less room for human error, but you can also use a regular drill. I used a 1'' bit.

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
Step 16: Sand away anything rough.

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
Step 17: After you've drilled all the holes, set the shelf on the legs and adjust the shelf so that it is level.

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
Step 18: Secure that shelf in place. My dad used a pneumatic nailer with 2'' brads to do this.

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
Step 19: Check your work. Woohoo! :)

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
Step 20: Mark off the suitcase with tape and paint the legs!

After you've painted the base, you've got a nice piece of upcycled home decor! Good to store all of those Christmas decorations, random doodads, and of course-- craft supplies. :)
How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions
:)







11 comments:

Charm Bracelet Diva {at Home} said...

I have that suitcase! The fact that it slants drives me crazy sometimes....you did an awesome job with it. I don't have those great guys to help me so I think I'll have to slap mine onto a table and call it a day! Yours is awesome.


Kathleen
Charm Bracelet Diva {at Home}
http://charmbraceletdiva.blogspot.com

Lauren Tien said...

This is such a fun project. I really want to make this! Thanks for the great post.


Lauren @ PearlsPoppiesPinkiesUp

Steph said...

Oh my gosh. Love! Want! *drool* :)
That looks completely, superbly awesome. I wish i had super-rad guys like that who would help me out with a suitcase table. Or at least loan me their tools. :)

StacieGrissom said...

Ahahaha! They're pretty great. :D

Jewelry Rage said...

Awesome!!!
http://jewelryrage.com/

Kim said...

This is so cool!! I want it. Found you via Craftgawker :)

Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating said...

Such a great project! Hope it's okay if I feature your suitcase table on my A2D blog!

Johanna said...

Thanks you for sharing! This gives me lot to think about since I'm planning to do a suitcase table with 3 old suitcases. Instead, would I do it like you did it, hmm :)

Dee said...

I found this post via a link from another blog featuring your cool project. I have a suitcase that I think (hope) will be perfect to hve a go at something similar. thanks heaps.

Atomic Shrimp said...

That's a thing of beauty, that is. I could see this standing in the lobby of a hotel or guest house (a possible market for this as a product?)

Debi said...

HoneyDoList just longer. We have a room of antique furniture and this will be PERFECT! Thank you!

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