DIY Miniature Vintage Suitcase

Posted on January 17, 2020

I make a lot of props for my art dolls. Each one is a craft on it's own. For the puppeteer, I made him a couple of suitcases before, the base were altoid tins covered in fabric. But this time, I wanted to make a bigger suitcase that will be able to house all of his things: his tools (I also made him miniature puppetteer tools like a saw, spools of thread, hammer, etc.), and of course, his puppets.

To make a bigger suitcase, I had to create the base from scratch. I reused a clean, food carboard box and cut out my pieces to make the top and bottom part of the suitcase. We only need five pieces in four sizes. I have a diagram in the video that shows the sizes and where they go.

Here's a full list of what we'll need:

  • cardboard (I reused a food box. To make the same size I made, cut two pieces of 3 x 4.25" this will be our front and back panels, and cut strips in three sizes: widths of 1.5", 1.25" and 0.7", each long enough to go around the panels). You'll see in the diagram in the video where each piece goes. We are basically making a new box as our base.
  • fabric - I used faux leather (black for the cover and brown for the corner accents), and a floral beige fabric for the inner lining but you can use any fabric you want. It does not have to be leather.
  • aluminum foil tape (optional, you can simply skip this step)
  • leather - we're making miniature belts from this. If you don't have leather, you can also fashion this out of fabric
  • wire
  • glue gun
  • fabric glue
  • super glue
  • printout of scaled down photos
  • some paint or coffee and paint brush
This suitcase is going to be one of my art doll's props so the decals on the suitcase are specific to my need. This is my favorite bit in making the suitcase.

You can change the size of the suitcase by simply scaling down or scaling up the sizes I used.

Designing it is fun, you can play with different colors and fabric combination. It can also be used for a lot of other thing like a keepsake holder, jewelry box or gift box.

Have fun!

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