Annnnd now for one of my favourite home projects that I've done so far!! No surprise that it's part of our bathroom remodel. :) It started when I saw this cool vintage suitcase turned into liquor cabinet on Annabel Vita's blog (sorry I can't find now which post it's in but it's there somewhere!):
I was just starting our bathroom remodel, and at some point it occurred to me what a great medicine cabinet a vintage suitcase might make. You see, we don't have any cupboards/closets in our bathroom except this white medicine cabinet over the sink (this is a Before photo of our bathroom!):
I wanted to DIY a great big framed mirror right there (see the foreshadowing there for future post??) but husband objected to something about how I tend to get rid of storage with my projects. Haha. Soo we agreed that a medicine cabinet over the toilet might be just the thing! I stalked craigslist/ebay/amazon/etsy/thrift shops for a few weeks until I found what looked like it might be perfect for the space, for $48 on ebay (leather edges/handle):
This is actually after my first step, which was to buy some inexpensive black shoe polish and polish up a few scuffs on the black part of the suitcase. I thought it would make the lovely scuffs on the edges/handle 'pop' more. Yum contrast.
I knew I wanted to redo the fabric inside, but wasn't sure how I would do that till it came in the mail and I realized the original fabric was just wrapped around some cardboard and glued in. I decided to rip it out and replace it with my own posterboard+cloth combination. First, ripping it out (our current kitten foster, Lynx, loved helping me):
You can see the original fabric was mauve-ish and stained. Here's another shot with Lynx's help, and the new material that's going to go in (it's leftover curtain fabric from our living room curtains in Seattle!):
Once I got all the fabric/paper out, I used two $0.67 sheets of posterboard from Walmart, and cut them to size to fit in the suitcase (with Lynx's help, of course):
Sized them a few times to be sure they would fit in the suitcase:
Then used hot glue to glue the fabric pieces around the paper:
I used wood glue to glue the new cover pieces into the suitcase, with a v. complex system for holding everything in place while it dried:
At this point it sat in the corner for awhile, and Lynx gave it her stamp of approval:
Next it was time to make a couple shelves. I had some plywood leftover from my bathroom vanity makeover, which I cut to size and decided to cover with some map paper. I glued the paper on with wood glue (love that stuff) and modge podged it afterward to make it nice and waterproof!
I also covered little pieces of wood with cloth to serve as subtle but adjustable shelf supports. We drilled holes through the supports and then screwed short screws through the supports and into the sides of the suitcase. Surprisingly, it has worked out great - and if we ever need to adjust the shelf placement, the cloth can help hide old screw holes:
We also added a magnetic closure on the side, with the same careful short screw approach:
I wasn't sure how to hang it sturdily, but in the end we just took the hooks off of our old medicine cabinet and reused those hooks with our short screws into the suitcase, and two anchored screws into the wall:
And - success!
What can I say, except that I love it and it totally makes me smile when I use it :) I screwed little hooks onto the inside of the door for toothbrushes, little scissors, etc. So far the cloth hasn't gotten wet/dirty, but it would be easy for me to replace or change if I need to go that route, so I decided to try it this way first. A couple more for eye candy:
We've been using it now for a few weeks, and it's holding up great! I love how it plays with the subtle wall colour and our art from Beth about having roots in different places. I like to think that Lynx approves too, although she was quickly adopted and is off to encourage other people to play with fun projects late at night ;)