Notre Dame Fighting Irish Decoupage College Football Chair

This Saturday, two impressive college football teams will square off in what proves to be an epic battle.  # 2 Florida State is favored over the 6-0 5th ranked Notre Dame.  The Fighting Irish are clear underdogs in this matchup, and the history behind these two teams and prior matchups, seem to support this fact.  Looking for the upset, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly will surly be put to the test.  They will need to play their best football yet. They will need to…..

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My husband grew up watching Notre Dame and rooting for the Irish along with his father.  Like many teams Notre Dame has had its share of ups and downs through the years, but despite this my father in law’s love for his Irish never waned. Every game win or lose.. it didn’t matter, It was a celebration. It was Notre Dame Saturday!  If you root for and follow a team you know that it becomes a part of your life and present during many important memories.  My husband and I often think of our father fondly, and though he passed many years ago, Watching the games and following his favorite team brings us closer to him.  I wanted to make my husband a special gift, and it never seemed like a better time than for one of their biggest games. I picked up a lovely solid maple ladder back chair at Goodwill that had seen better days.  It was priced under five dollars, and I was drawn to its design immediately.  The chair has a stamp from a furniture company under the seat: Louis Albert and Company, Philadelphia PA.

Thrift Store Ladder Back Maple Chair

It seemed the perfect project chair, and with that the Fighting Irish Notre Dame chair, was born.  If you have followed my blog, you know I have a special place in my crafty heart for chairs.  I am drawn to functional pieces of art and to me a chair embodies both these elements nicely.  I printed out the college decal of choice on my printer. I then cleaned and prepped the chair with a white spray on primer.

Primed Chair

I applied Mod Podge to the seat with a foam craft brush.  I then added the print, gently smoothing out any air bubbles with my hands.

Apply Mod Podge

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I added a thin layer of Mod Podge over the top of the print to seal it.  Once dry, I began the lengthy process of painting the chair.  I used the team colors, gold, blue and green for the color scheme.  It took several coats to obtain proper coverage.  I carefully painted the area around the image, and although time-consuming, it made the image appear to flow with the seat. Because of the small areas, I decided to paint rather than to cut the image out.  Adding Mod Podge before painting the paper prevented damage and curling.  Two coats of Mod Podge over the painted area, properly sealed it. I decided to give the feet of the chair some character by adding the gold dipped legs. Once the paint was dry over the span of about two nights, I covered the entire chair in Mod Podge to seal the acrylic paint.

Decoupage Notre Dame Fighting Irish College Sports Chair

Notre Dame College Football Chair

Now my husband has a special chair to sit upon and watch the game this weekend.  Another Notre Dame Saturday of family memories with our own daughter, and a Fighting Irish college football chair to enjoy for many years and games to come!

notre dame chair

Before and After:

before after

Not a fan of the Irish?  Make your own college football chair:

Materials:

Decal or Team Print Of Choice

Old Wooden Chair

White Spray On Primer

Mod Podge

Acrylic Paint (Team Colors of Choice)

Craft Brush, Paint Brushes

Scissors

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Lighten Up: DIY Painted Fireplace Screen

Winter is quickly approaching, and now is the time to prepare and accomplish last-minute projects around the house before the frigid air takes hold. One such project on my fall to do list was preparing our fireplace for another possible harsh winter.

When my husband and I saw our house for the first time for me it was love at first sight, and this fireplace had me at “Hello.”  Some would, consider red brick outdated, but I loved its throwback flare and vowed never to change it. Fast forward years later, and my proclamation proved true. I managed to do absolutely nothing with the fireplace! We even had the same boring black fireplace screen we purchased at Target on clearance in 2007. The depth of our hearth made the unlit fireplace appear as if it were a “black hole.”  The dark screen blended in with the background and it’s vine detailing was lost in the fray.  As beautiful as the red brick was, it was missing something.  It is surprising that it took all this time to come to the realization that the fireplace needed some “pop”, after all it was the focal point of our living room.   Of course, a redo of the red brick was out of the question, so the hubby and I decided the screen needed a change. Instead of buying a new more exciting fireplace screen we vowed to do something to upcycle the old one!

Old Black Fireplace screen

I immediately took it outside and before I even bought the paint cleaned it thoroughly with the garden hose and allowed it to dry.  Since the screen would experience the extreme heat coming off the fireplace I decided to stop by Lowes and pick up 2 cans of white Rust-Oleum high heat paint.

High Heat Paint

According to the paint specs, it is intended for use in temperatures up to 1,200 degrees fahrenheit. The paint is also rust and corrosion resistant for durability.   I applied one can allowed it to dry overnight and then applied the other.  This DIY project is about as simple as it gets.  For me,  it made a dramatic difference. Painting the screen white, succesfully brought out the detail and added an extra dimension. Is their anything a fresh coat of paint can’t fix?

Repaint an old fireplace screen with high heat paint

The screen also went well with the neutral sandstone walls, and former upcycle project black and white damask chair which currently resides as extra seating in our living room.

Lighten up up your fireplace

A special thank you to Nikkimarie at My People in History.  She is a family historian and genealogy buff like me, and if you are a lover of history, family stories and vintage photo’s stop by her blog and say hello!  Thank you for nominating “On The Upcycle” for the One Lovely Blog Award, and a big thank you to all my readers for the continued support and encouragement!

Wanna see more white fireplace screens?  Click Here

Decoupage I Must: Star Wars Inspired Laptop Made With Mod Podge

With the new Star Wars Episode VII set to be released in 2015, the franchise is more popular than ever. I am sure not even George Lucas himself, could have imagined just how big Star Wars would become. The wise Yoda said it best, “Impossible to see, the future is.”

Yoda

The husband and I are children of the 70’s and 80’s and remember a time before CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) and digital effects came of age. For it’s time the original Star Wars was innovative and visually impressive compared to other science fiction movies.  It touched many aspects of pop culture, and was heavily marketed toward children with action figures and tons of merchandise.  It is the third most popular movie franchise in history according to The Numbers.com.  Is it any wonder that when I came across Star Wars Fabric at Jo-ann Fabric, I couldn’t resist buying it?  The fabric was colorful, fun and had a bit of childhood nostalgia thrown in. This fabric inspired such projects as Creative Blast Off: Star Wars Kids Chair, and the Dollar Store Craft, Star Wars Candles.  My husband has an beat up laptop that he uses to surf You Tube.  It is old and scratched and could use a makeover.  I thought the left over Star Wars fabric would be a perfect decoupage material.  I had also wanted to try using decoupage on a laptop for quite sometime as I already decoupaged cell phones, and computer tablets previously.

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What you will need to decoupage your Lap Top:

Fabric (Can Also Use Paper, Scrapbook paper)

Mod Podge

Scissors

Paint Brush

Box Cutter Knife

Carefully apply Mod Podge to the top of the computer with a paint brush. Be mindful of the Mod Podge it is important that it not drip into the computer crevices and openings.

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Apply the fabric, smoothing it out with your hands.  Trim away any excess fabric with the scissors. Once it is dry apply more Mod Podge over the fabric to seal it.  I applied three coats total, allowing time to dry between each coat.

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Once dry, I carefully trimmed any excess fabric with the box cutter knife, and then sealed the edges of the fabric with more Mod Podge.

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A laptop that a Jedi would approve of and, the hubby seems to like it too. Here’s to the kid in all of us!

“Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.”

Ghosts of Furniture Past: Refinished Drop Leaf Table

My husband has very few mementos from his childhood, so for this project the pressure was on.   This round, drop leaf table was used for just about every purpose in my husband’s family home.  It had seen better days.  It survived over 30 years of wear,  dirty hands, spilled drinks and more.  If only a little table could talk!  I could only imagine the stories it would tell!

I wanted to restore this table to its original state before all its scratches, and dings, but it would prove to be my most time-consuming project to date, and also the most rewarding.

Cleaning over 30 years of dirt and grime is not easy, but a necessary step when preparing a table for restoration.  I cleaned it throughly with a damp cloth and used a scrubber sponge for tough to clean areas.  Once clean and dry, it was time to sand it and I did so by hand with sandpaper!  This was very messy and time-consuming.  I suggest wearing a mask, and doing this in an area you don’t mind getting dirty. Completing this part of the project outside would be preferable.  All the more reason to invest in an electric sander having one would have accelerated this process.  In between other projects I worked tirelessly to get the table completely sanded and ready for staining.

Round Drop Leaf Table

I chose Minwax  Jacobean 2750 for the stain.  I wanted a dark rich color, which would contrast nicely with the sandstone colored walls.  While working with oil based paint be sure to have a proper solvent nearby for clean-up.  I use Safer Paint Thinner which is more environmentally friendly than traditional cleaners.  I applied the Minwax stain with a brush, following along with the wood grain.  Unfortunately, for me,  I applied too much stain and due to the humid summer weather, the table took over a week to dry!  At this point, I was in no rush, and it rested quietly in the craft room locked away and out of reach from curious toddler hands.

Once the table was completely dry, I sealed it with quick drying Minwax Semi-Gloss Polyurethane.  I applied two coats, for a smooth finish.

Restored Family table

Finally!  After many weeks and many more pieces of sandpaper, the family table was complete and ready for its permanent place of honor in our family home.

Before and After Drop Leaf Table:

Before and After Refinished Drop Leaf Table

Made in the Shade-Lamp Shade Fabric Restyle

Many years ago, my mom gifted me a stylish lamp that she no longer had a use for.  I am a big  fan of decorative lighting, so I was happy to have it.  The lamp attached directly to the wall, so it was also a wonderful space saver.  The decor of the lamp was fairly neutral, so it fit most of my living room design changes through the years.  The lamp shade was a cream color with hanging beads along the shade rim.

wall lamp

For a long time, I had wanted to try a lamp shade decoupage, and I felt this would be the perfect lamp for my first attempt.  I had some smaller pieces of black and white damask fabric left over from several previous projects.  These projects were:  The Broken Chair ChallengeYou Had Me At Half Table, and Vintage Sewing Box (Just to name a few)

Upcycled chair with half moon table

Keep in mind, if you plan on restyling a lamp shade it is important that the shade is light in color, and there are no dark designs on it.   Otherwise, when the shade is illuminated the previous pattern will show through the new fabric.

Before getting started, I removed the shade from the lamp and gently cleaned it with a damp cloth.  It is important to remove any dust and dirt from the shade before applying the Mod Podge.  Once this was complete and the shade was dry, I generously applied Mod Podge to the outside of the shade with a broad paint brush.

 

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I then placed a piece of the damask fabric over the lamp shade smoothing it out carefully with my hands to avoid wrinkles.  Since fabric is being applied to cloth, it is important to apply enough pressure so that the fabric adheres well to the shade.

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I placed the shade in front of the fan so that it would dry quickly.  Once this step was complete, I applied a generous amount of Mod Podge over top of the fabric.  I allowed it to dry thoroughly between coats, adding three coats of Mod Podge in total.

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Once the shade was completely dry, I carefully trimmed away the excess fabric with a pair of scissors, and added additional Mod Podge along the edges of the fabric.

Restyled Fabric Decoupage Lamp Shade

The lamp looks amazing, and now matches my current living room decor perfectly!  This entire project was a quick one too! Overall completion took about one hour!

Decorate a boring lampshade with fabric

Materials:

Light Colored Lamp Shade

Mod Podge

Paint Brush

Fabric Of Choice

Scissors

An Accident Waiting To Happen: Upcycled Pringles Can Lamp

              Decorative Decoupage Pringles Lamp

This project idea started out as a 99 cent purchase at Goodwill.  An adorable miniature ceramic lamp with a round base that would require a minor  fabric decoupage makeover to make the perfect table top night-light for our bedroom.   However; thanks to the toddler apprentice’s rather curious hands it was simply not to be.  She climbed up on the ottoman, reached out her arms, and knocked it off the shelf. It broke the ceramic base into a million pieces. More importantly, she was not hurt in the accident, just a bit startled and remorseful   Although I was initially upset,  my cross demeanor faded quickly as I thought of ways to reuse the unbroken pieces of the lamp and shade.  I searched the craft room for some recycled items I was saving for a crafting rainy day.   I searched and looked for what I thought would make great lamp bases. It then occurred to me…I had a fever for a Pringles can lamp!

Minimalist Pringles Lamp Upcycle

An Upcycled Pringles Can Lamp For The Minimalist

The Pringles can was a great choice because it didn’t require a glass cutter to feed the wire through like a glass bottle or jar would.  I used a box cutter knife to VERY carefully cut a cross through the plastic lid.  I popped the light in and it fit nicely.   Before I placed the lid back on the can I filled the bottom with a few decorative marbles I had lying around. This added some weight and stability to the lamp.  I cut a hole at the base of the can using the UPC on the can as a guide, so I could properly feed the wire through the bottom.  For those of you who are practical, and love Pringles, you may want to stop right here.  I call this the minimalist version.

How to Create An Upcycled Pringles Can Lamp That’s A Little More Decorative

Decorative Upcycled Pringles Lamp

For those who want to create a more decorative piece, You can use a little fabric decoupage to decorate the Pringles can and lamp shade.  I used some scrap Peacock inspired fabric I had lying around the craft room.  I used Mod Podge to apply the measured fabric to the can and cut out designs to place on either side of the lamp shade to add some symmetry.  Once dry, I applied more Mod Podge over the fabric to properly seal the lamp base.  I placed it in front of our fan to dry.   Now it was ready to be plugged in and illuminated.  The possibilities here are endless.  If you don’t have fabric handy you can also use scrapbook paper.  You can create seasonal cans and interchange them with the light and lid to transform the look of the lamp.

Upcycled Pringles Can Lamp

A lesson in life and living on the Upcycle, the greatest mistakes can have the greatest rewards!  That is how I feel about this project. If it wasn’t for my overly curious toddler, I would have never known the fun of this Pringles can craft.  Thank heaven for overly curious little girls!

Have you had any crafting disasters that turned into triumphs?  What was your favorite craft mishap?

Materials Used:

Broken miniature lamp

Pringles can with lid

Box Cutter Knife

Handful of marbles

Fabric or Scrapbook Paper Of Choice

Foam brush or Paint Brush

Scissors

Mod Podge

The Past Called… And It’s For You

There is nothing I love more than nostalgia!  As a child of the 1980’s I remember talking on the phone for hours with my best friend. Our phone was attached to the wall with a rather long cord that I could never seem to get untangled.   Answering machines were also becoming popular around this time, but not everyone had one.  If the phone rang (That loud distinct ring we all know and love) you had to answer it!  Oh and by the way you had to answer it without knowing who was on the other end,  no caller id yet either!  This is before cell phones, texting, Skype and the internet, when people actually had to pick up the phone when it rang, and..well actually talk to each other!

In a  recent post, I mentioned my quest to find the rather elusive vintage, rotary phone.  I had seen some really great examples of vintage phones restyled with decoupage on the web,  and I was eager to try a project myself. In my area, rotary phones are rare.  During many trips to thrift stores, it was always on my mental wish list, but I never seemed to come across one.  Then one day my luck started to change.  First, I was able to find a vintage  red, Trimline desk phone, with tone dialing.  It was not the rotary dialer I was looking for, but still a great find.  At least I was getting warmer! Then about two weeks later I wandered into the same Goodwill.  I quickly scanned the electronics aisle as I always do during my walk throughs.  As I was about to turn around and leave, my eyes dropped and their it was in all it’s splendor a black 1950’s Western Electric Rotary Phone in excellent condition.  I couldn’t hold back my excitement and squealed out loud.  The lady next to me smiled and we struck up a conversation.  I had been looking for this for a long time.  It was priced right too, only $5.99!  Now, I had two great vintage phones that would make great projects!

Western Electric  and Trimline Phones

Both phones function well, and are in excellent condition.   Although due to my digital line, my rotary phone rings and receives calls, but cannot dial out without a special filter attachment which costs about 50 dollars.  This apparatus converts rotary pulses into tones modern digital lines can recognize.  The black rotary phone works well and rings loudly; Unlike my current, modern cordless phone.  I have not yet decided what I am going to do with the rotary phone.  I did decide however; that the red phone would make a great first attempt at decoupage.  A phone of this type which has many more angles and curves to work with I anticipated, would be more difficult than a previous cell phone decoupage.  project I had tried.

I chose a 1960’s inspired fabric I had used in previous projects that I thought would go well with the red color and fit in nicely with the phone’s vintage flare. I decided to cut out the circular shapes with a pair of sharp scissors.

Groovy Fabric

I applied Mod Podge to the back of the fabric with a paint brush.

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One by one, I placed them on the surface of the phone receiver gently smoothing out any wrinkles with my fingers. I also applied them on various other parts of the phone such as the base, and phone cradle.

decoupage phone

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I then added a few coats of Mod Podge over top the fabric to seal it allowing it to dry between coats.

Decoupage Vintage Trimline Phone Made With Fabric

Now we have a groovy vintage landline phone popping with color!  Look for a  rotary re-do coming soon once I build up enough courage of course!

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Materials:

Fabric of choice

Scissors

Mod Podge

Paint brush with coarse bristles

Old Phone

A Decoupage Trilogy: Vintage Suitcase Number Three

I love vintage suitcases!  That may seem surprising coming from someone like me who doesn’t travel much.  The truth is suitcases aren’t just for “packing your bags”  They are also a wonderful way to store keepsakes and other items.  I was lucky enough to find three vintage blue suitcases for $5.99 at Goodwill.  This was an incredible deal, and I have not seen a suitcase purchase worthy since. My first attempt at restyling a suitcase, Travel The Old Fashioned Way I used fabric I purchased from Joann Fabric.  I chose a blue and white floral pattern, and it turned out great for a first attempt.   For the second suitcase,  Pack My Bags Fun And Easy Decoupage Vintage Suitcases I found a great pillow case with a floral red, white and blue color scheme that was perfect.  That left the smallest of the three.

decoupage vintage suitcases with fabric and Mod Podge

This suitcase is special, because inside the lid it has a built-in mirror.  The lining inside is also in perfect condition, another plus! (Please excuse the reflection of the mirror in the photograph)

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For this suitcase I decided to use blue and purple floral sheet that I found in a thrift shop.  I initially wanted to use a scarf, but the material was too thin and I was afraid the blue color of the suitcase would show through the material.

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To see a full tutorial on how to decoupage a suitcase Click Here

Now I have a wonderful set to use for travel or a decorative storage option.

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The search for more luggage continues….

Crib Rail Repurpose: Children’s Book Wall Rack

Recently, we began preparation to move my daughter from her crib to a toddler bed.  When we chose a crib for our registry, we made sure it was a convertible style crib that would grow with her.  We were looking for what most consumers want, quality at a reasonable price.  We chose   the Graco convertible crib in espresso finish.

Graco Crib

It appeared sturdy on the showroom floor and was priced right.  Initially, I was happy with the crib.  Then 18 months later, I notice a few of the metal springs had broken off the frame they were welded on.  One by one the springs broke off.  The crib needed to be reinforced with bungee cords.  We knew this bed would not last like we had previously anticipated. We were forced to come up with an alternative and purchased a new mattress and a toddler bed.  The original mattress was torn by sharp edges left where the springs used to reside.  This was a big disappointment.  We were expecting to use this convertible through her toddler years, but it was not to be.  The crib finally gave way and it was obvious it was no longer safe.  Luckily, the new bed was purchased and was on standby and we were able to quickly make the switch.

I am happy to report that the toddler apprentice loves her new “big girl” bed and the toddler bed experiment has gone surprisingly well!  She lays down and falls right to sleep! We were surprised how quickly she has adjusted.

Toddler Bed

When I dismantled the crib, most of it was broken and not salvageable.  The rail was still in decent shape.  I had seen some ideas online upcycling old cribs ranging from Repurposed crib benches  to crib rail Garden Trellis’s.  I wanted to keep this project simple.  I was preoccupied by a much larger, more daunting, task cleaning my daughter’s messy playroom!  I filled one trash bag with broken items and another with items to donate to those in need. This emptied one toy box for additional storage which reduced clutter.

My daughter has a large book collection she acquired before she was even born.  At my baby shower, the guests brought a signed book instead of a card. I loved this idea, but I did not have an ideal way to store all the books we received.  They basically sat in a wooden box on the playroom floor.

I thought the crib rail would be a great alternative way to display her books, and keep them off the floor.  Since I was struggling to get her room organized, and did not have the time,  I decided to leave the crib rail in its original finish.  It also matched the playroom well.

crib rail

If you would like to change the original color, a can of white latex primer works well.  Once dry, paint as desired.    I also suggest using longer screws to anchor each side of the crib rail to the wall. When doing this, lean the crib against the wall on a slight angle so the books can hang over the rails.  I did not have the proper screws handy, so I had to improvise and use one smaller screw through the first rail.  This worked, but the trade-off  is that the first rail cannot be used for display.

Repurposed Crib Rail Book Rack

I love it!   Being the sentimental fool that I am, it also is nice to keep a piece of the crib for nostalgia!  I also repurposed her changing table into a kitchen shelf.  If you missed it,   You can view that project here.

 

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Repurposed Crib into a children's book rack

 

Pack my Bags! Fun and Easy Decoupage Vintage Suitcases

When shopping in thrift stores, I am always on the lookout for certain items on my personal wish list.   Many times I leave empty-handed as these items tend to be harder to find and that is why they remain on my list.  It is the search for these and other welcomed surprises that make thrifting so much fun.  Every now and again I get lucky, and it was truly my lucky day when I stumbled upon three lovely hard case, blue vintage suitcases reasonably priced at Goodwill.  I was also delighted to find the interiors of this cases in excellent condition.  For the larger case, I chose a blue and white fabric from Joann Fabrics, and decoupaged it onto the suitcase surface for my first ever restyled suitcase.  I wanted to make each suitcase unique, so I patiently waited for ideas to come along for cases two and three.

I was walking around Goodwill by my work the other day and stumbled upon a lovely pillow sham.  It was priced right at $1.99.  Usually when it comes to linens and fabrics at Goodwill, it is hit or miss.  This was a lovely pattern of white , red, and a touch of blue.  Whenever I see blue I think of those suitcases and thought this would be a perfect fit for one of them.  The question was if I would have enough fabric to complete the project. Unfortunately they only had one pillow sham in this pattern for sale.

Vintage suitcase pillow sham decoupage makeover

It turns out when I got it home,  I had just the right amount of fabric to restyle the second largest case, and I was thrilled!

First, I cut the decorative fabric away from the plain blue fabric on the pillow cases underside.

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I placed the suitcase on the top of the fabric to get an idea of how much fabric I would need for both sides.  It was easiest to cut it in half.  I allow the fabric to hang over slightly, as I planned on trimming away the excess fabric later.  I applied Mod Podge generously with a foam craft brush to the suitcase surface.

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I then carefully laid the fabric over it,  repeating the same process twice for both sides of the suitcase.

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Once dry, I applied Mod Podge generously over it to seal the fabric.  I also generously applied Mod Podge to the edges where I planned on trimming the excess fabric.

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Once dry, the fabric stiffens and I carefully used a box cutter knife to trim the extra fabric using the suitcase crevice/seam as a guide.  Keep in mind to use just enough pressure as too much can damage the suitcase.

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I applied two more layers of Mod Podge to each side of the suitcase. Working the glue once again in around the suit case edges.

Decoupage suitcase using a pillow sham

I loved how this little suitcase turned out!  Stay tuned for suitcase number three coming soon!

decoupage vintage suitcases with fabric and Mod Podge


 Material Used:

Hard Top Suitcase

Fabric of choice (For this project I used an old pillow sham)

Scissors

Foam Craft Brush

Box Cutting Knife

Mod Podge

Clear Varnish (Optional add for extra protection)