Weekly Warm-Up: Fabric-Covered Suitcase

If you’ve had a chance to check out Scrapbooking Tips & Tricks: Texture, a new Creating Keepsakes magazine special issue, you know that adding a unique texture to your layouts using fabric can be fun and creative. The same can be said for organizing your fabric stash.

This idea, taken from this issue’s “Stash It” column, proves that organizing those textured treats can be both functional and stylish by altering a train case (small, hard suitcase).

Here’s how you can transform a vintage train case into a crafter’s tool box to envy using just a few fabric scraps and some decoupage glue:

Step 1: Make sure your suitcase is clean. I used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, which worked really well.

Step 2: Cut your fabric pieces into squares and rectangles that you can piece onto the train case.

Note: You can add to the quilted effect by stitching around the outer edges of your fabric pieces, but you can definitely skip this step and still get a great end result.

Step 3: Position your fabric pieces on your suitcase until you have them how you want them; note the position and set the fabric aside.

Step 4: Add decoupage to your suitcase and position your fabric, smoothing out any air bubbles; allow glue to dry.

Step 5: Apply at least one coat of decoupage glue to top of fabric to secure everything in place.

Now you can store your fabric in this case. It will keep your stash clean, organized, and easy to transport. Bonus: If your train case has a lift-out tray, use it to contain sewing notions (buttons, pins, twine, etc.).

Win Your Own Fabric Stack

What’s your favorite scrapbooking texture, and how do you go about organizing said item? Leave a comment between now and this Friday, March 3, for a chance to win a brand new stack of stunning fabrics from Anna Griffin. And even if your comment isn’t randomly selected, I may use your idea in a future “Stash It” column!

Megan Hoeppner, creative editor

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93 Responses to Weekly Warm-Up: Fabric-Covered Suitcase

  1. Neisha says:

    I’m more of a digital/hybrid girl right now, but I love canvas-textured papers, adding stitching with my sewing machine and fabrics! I organize my papers by color in a vertical-slot shelf system. On my computer, I have things tagged by color, texture, style, kit name, designer, etc. and in easy-to-find files. I love those new fabrics!

  2. Becky Olsen says:

    I love this idea, thanks for sharing!!
    We always have cute little bottles from tasty foods that are too cute to throw out, so I organize my buttons in them by color. Makes a quick grab when designing and makes me feel like I am doing my part by re-using the bottles.


  3. Diane S. says:

    HI! I wrap my ribbons on vintage wooden spools and then store them on a wooden spool holder-looks beautiful!

  4. Nicole S. says:

    My favorite are buttons! I have them organized by color in my old spice rack. The little glass bottles have a lid on them and the drawer pulls down allowing easy access to the jars. Now I need to go back and put the color on the lid so I can see what I’m using. I also have my ribbons spools on a dowel rod in my cupboard.

  5. very awesome..I have a case almost like this that I want to alter! Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. Debbie L. L. says:

    I like to use fabric to alter composition books. Thank you for the detailed instructions for your project!

  7. Kathy says:

    I LOVE bling and flowers. I have my flowers in Disney Princess Teacups my daughter no longer wanted. My bling is in an old tin (maybe loaf pan?) I got for a quarter at a garage sale.

  8. kara ward says:

    I love buttons and ribbon. I sort my buttons in old Mason jars. I found the jars at my local thrift store for a dime apiece. I have 10 jars-one for each color. They remind me of jars full of candy! My ribbon stash is also stored in jars. However, they are much larger jars–cookie jars from Wal-Mart. I save every small scrap and trim so the large jars keep the ribbon pieces accessible and pretty to look at. It is all eye-candy to me!

  9. I love using buttons and I keep them in jars. Instead of sorting them by color, I keep them all together mixed up. I find that I may think I want a pink button, but when I look at all of them I sometimes come up with using a color or size that didn’t at first seem obvious to me. Ribbon is also one of my favorites! I store small spools in jars, I take small leftover pieces and fold them and put a corsage pin through it and keep them in a large jar together.

  10. Kelly H says:

    This is a great article. I love the use of fabric to reinvent something which is also used as storage. I’m always looking for creative ways to store my scrapbooking supplies.

  11. Michel E says:

    I like using flowers and rhinestones. I store them in glass bottles(frappichino bottles).

  12. Teresa says:

    I really like ribbons and lace. I keep mine in jars. Like oversized canning jars.

  13. Melanie C says:

    I’m a ribbon gal! My storage is so plain….I just put them all in a clear plastic tote, so I can easily see them. I also keep them up high from my little guys who like to play with them.

  14. JudyB says:

    Ribbon, brads and eyelets are my favorite textures,I bought an I-top to make my own.I hope to try it out soon! I am a quilter but the way I work,I only DREAM of scrapping and quilting! I have not tried it on scrapbook pages. I think I would only use fabic on a very special scrapbook project. Hopefully I can soon manage my time to be able to really scrap. Love Anna Griffin.She is one talented lady!

  15. Elane Holloway says:

    My favorite is ribbon and I have ribbon racks I bought at Joann’s where I store most of my ribbon.

    Later Tater,

  16. I love sparkle – be that glitter or crystals or metallic paper. Something unexpected in the midst of flat matte paper. I love using Stickles or brads or scraps of shiny paper. I store all the little jars of Stickles, glitter embossing powder, sheets of crystals in small drawers in my studio. I have my brads sorts by color and texture and shape in ArtBin clear storage bins, usually the 18-compartment ones. I have a bank of 3″ tall drawers that I use for storing small embellishments away from my five cats. They love playing with bling!

    I have a large floor to ceiling paper bin where I store all my paper, be it cardstock or glitter or felt or metallic or patterned, etc. I have mat stacks and journalling spots all stored together in a box on one of those shelves. Otherwise, it’s three columns of 12 x 12 paper sorted by color with a section sorted by manufacturer (for instance, I love Annna Griffin paper so I store it all together by collection), one column of 8 1/2 x 11 paper, and one 14 x 14 column to hold Iris bins which hold scraps organized by color.

    I keep all my fabric scraps in various sized containers with lids in the side of my studio that has cabinet doors, again to keep all that away from my cats who also love playing with the same things I do!

    You can see photos of my studio in my Club CK gallery at http://clubcreatingkeepsakes.com/media/g/sandieh/default.aspx and look for the photos which are title with “organization week”, so named since I uploaded them as part of organization week fun.

  17. Carol Metully says:

    For texture on cards or layouts, I love to use inks or paints. I found a wooden wine box that held 2 bottles. I distressed it and hung it sideways. This way I have a shelf too. It’s size allows me to keep my alcohol inks and re-inkers on it. I like having it in front on me. If I’m using paints more, then I switch it around to hold them.

    Love Anna Griffin’s fabrics as well as the other products. Since I’m new to using fabric this would be a great way to start.

  18. Lesley VW says:

    I’m way into ribbon right now. Ribbon I buy is stored in its own packaging in my ribbon box; ribbon I find or acquire in one way or another, is wrapped around paper towel tubes and stored in the same box.

  19. Mindy Dearden says:

    Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.:)
    I have never found anything that works better for ribbon then plastic food containers that once held things like animal crackers or pretzels. (I shop at Costco, so containers like these are easy to collect.) Wash it out, take the lables off (some require a squirt of Goof Off), paint the lid and stash away!!! It’s easy to see whats in them, and the wide mouths make it easy to reach in and grab what you’re after!

  20. justasiam says:

    I have a stash of fabric that I love to use on cards and scrapbook layouts. I make “quilted” layouts with them. I store them in three drawer plastic containers that I buy at Walmart.

  21. Cute suitcase! My ribbon is taken off the spools and wrapped around my fingers into little rolls and then placed in tiny ziplocks with the manufacturer name written on them. I sort them by color and store each color in a gallon sized ziplock. It’s easy to find the type I want and super easy to grab for a crop. :D

  22. debb says:

    I love this suitcase! I will be searching for one to alter! I love vintage trim on my scrapbook pages and cards. I think it may be my fav! I am currently re doing my storage spaces to make them more accessible and nicer looking. My favorite storage containers are wooden boxes – most are cigar boxes but others as well- they not only look great and stack well but make items easy to find

  23. Cristina says:

    This is a great idea! Thanks for sharing! I am loving canvas right now. I love to mix different textures on my page!

  24. photochic says:

    Wow! So pretty! I love using ribbon for texture on my layouts. I store spools of ribbon a pegboard that my dad doesn’t use, and I store the loose ribbon in a big jar.

  25. Jann Schott says:

    Lately, my fave texture has been made using the embossing folders for my Cuttlebug.

    Recently I took a stack of scrap cardstock that was left from various projects and grabbed a bunch of folders. I ran about 30 or so odd shaped pieces thru the Cuttlebug and just set them aside to be used in the future.

    I usually store my embossing folders in a plastic basket in a deep drawer. I do store themed folders with themed items though. Christmas folders stay with all my Christmas paper, stamps, stickers, rub-ons, punches & dies. Halloween folders stay with Halloween themed supplies, birthday, Easter, Patriotic, Thanksgiving, etc.

  26. tammy g says:

    I guess my layouts are pretty one dimensional now that I think about it! :) Maybe I should start to think about texture.

  27. Debra B. says:

    I keep my ribbon & trim in an old, large glass jar and I have rbbon hanging by color on a ribbon holder.

  28. LorraineN says:

    Hmm, I love to use paper (plain, embossed or inked heavily, lol), ribbons and flowers. I love having the look of different textures on one creation. Thank you for the fabric inspiration!

  29. Beth Hallgren says:

    One of my favorite textures is embroidery floss. You can do so many things with it beyond stitching. I store mine in a vintage suitcase inside floss organizers.

  30. RamonaP says:

    I love chipboard. The natural shadows it creates are perfect and it goes with everything and so many things can be added to it. I haven’t figured out a system for organizing it. Sorry.

  31. Michelle B. says:

    I love using flowers, ribbons, brads, ephemera… you name it! I love Anna Griffin’s products! They are so warm and beautiful…like something you dream about coming from a victorian estate! I love it!

  32. Hope Smythe says:

    that is so cute!! I can see making several of these for different seasons!!

  33. Amy P. says:

    So cute!! I love ribbon & embellishments. I store them in whatever I can find, glass jars, small tubs, decorative small flower pots. Thanks for the great idea!

  34. Carolyn P. says:

    I love to use brads and eyelets. I keep them in an empty wide-mouth bath crystal jar. It smells great and I don’t spill them all over my floor.

  35. Char-D says:

    I love using a mixture of texture on my layouts. Most of the time it is just different pattern paper. I like storing my papers in “kits” I have created where everything matches.

  36. Candy says:

    I love paper piecing for that 3D/texture effect and I store paper scraps in a legal size accordian file box with handle…I go into it every day!

  37. Melissa D. says:

    I love adding texture by creating dimension using buttons and other embellishments. I reuse and recycle many containers from my kitchen. My Crystal Light containers have made adorable button holders, my plastic store bought brownie container holds embellishments, etc. Everything old is new again!

  38. Autumn says:

    Love, love, love this project, thanks for sharing! I probably mostly use flowers, then ribbon, stickles and bling. The ribbon is a work in progress as I have tons of it and just keep buying more, not too mention the trim that’s bought buy the yard, I just haven’t come up with a good solution for it all so right now it’s kind of by size,and texture. My flowers I have organized in some short stacks of drawers I got at wal-mart and they are arranged according to size which I have labeled on the outside. I also have repurposed my daughters old formula cans and use them to hold buttons and other odds and ends.

  39. Cathy Roberts says:

    I love to use brads and paper flowers that
    I make myself. I store my brads in little circle storage jars that I get at Walmart. i cut my flowers out with my Slice, mist them and crumple then and let them dry.

  40. Diane B says:

    I love ‘vintage’ everything – buttons, fabric, lace, paper, postcards . . . And I am an out of sight – out of mind kind of girl – so my favorite storage containers are mason jars, apothecary jars, old trays and pretty teacups. My very favorite storage container right now is a glass divided relish tray I picked up at a yard sale for 50 cents. It sits right on my desk and holds old buttons and vintage postcards.

  41. Noreen Demas says:

    I like ribbon and fibers. I cut 4×4″ squares of cardboard and wrap my ribbon pieces around them – adhering with a straight pin. Then I line the cardboard squares up in a lidded plastic file box. Fibers are curled up in lidded circular clear plastic “boxes” and inserted into a decade old display stand from Cropper Hopper (I think.)

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