Painted Suitcase


I photo blogged about my suitcase recently and how it stood out in a sea of bland bags. Seriously, this is a GREAT idea. Recently I had to change flights minutes before departure. The attendant had to call the luggage people to retrieve my bag.

What does it look like? she asked me.

It’s purple! And covered with paint and glitter! I replied.

She speaks into the phone receiver to the luggage person: It’s purple and has glitter… and then she looks up at me and says They found it!

See? It also is perfect for when you are waiting for your bag to come out of the conveyor contraption. You will be able to spot it right away!

Not only that, but traveling is about letting loose and relaxing, so why not add that bouncy energy to your wheelie wares? It doesn’t mean you have to go all funkadelic on your Samsonite, but you at least could take a rubber stamp to it. If you have a red suitcase, imagine how cute shiny white polka dots or swirlies would look all over it? Or maybe the names of your favorite cities around the world.

If you want to give this idea a try, but don’t want to touch your pristine designer set, visit a local thrift store and pick up a small carry-on bag for those little excursions. This is also a wonderful project for kids to take on to help burn off pre-trip excitement.

I also added Crafty Chica varnish to the painted areas, and accented everything with a Tulip Crystal Icycle 3D Fashion Paint. To top it ALL off – I sprtized the whole thing with Tulip Glitter Spray.

Here is a crafty chica secret: If you want to add a layer of sparkles to your paint projects – Tulips “Crystal” line does the trick. I usually use Icicle, which dries clear, but if you use other shades, it will dry with just a hint of color – plus the sparkles, of course. You just squeeze some out and rub it (or brush) it on over the painted surface. Argh, it kills me to give up these little tricks, but oh well, if it works for you and makes you happy – it makes me happy too. Besides, there are lots of other Crystal crafty secrets in my bag of tricks, but I’ll share those another time…

Painted Suitcase

1 soft suitcase, preferably with a fabric covering
1 roll of blue painter’s tape
Assorted brushes
1 bottle of water-based white craft paint to be used as a base coat
Assorted water-based craft paints

Optional: Fabric images and fabric adhesive, foam stamps, stencils, patches

1 bottle of water-based polyurethane varnish

Directions: Tape off the areas that you do not want to get paint on. Using a wide paintbrush, cover the suitcase with a coat of the white paint. If you are going to be painting it red, or another strong color, mix a bit of that color with the white. Let dry.

Brush on the desired paint color all over the suitcase. Let dry. If you want to add fabric images, brush on a layer of fabric adhesive and affix to the surface, let dry.

Otherwise, add painted accents using paintbrushes, stencils, stamps or anything else you might want. Let dry. Brush on a layer of varnish, let dry and repeat. Remove the tape. Let your freshly painted suitcase air out in your garage for a few days before you take it on vacation.

Variations: Before you add the varnish, brush on a layer of water-based glitter varnish for a sparkly sheen.

Love & light,

One Response

  1. Now that’s a cool suitcase!! Not only is it an excellent one for the baggage department to find should it go missing, it is also highly unlikely to be stolen, since it would be tricky for it to go unnoticed! Bet something similar could be done with polymer clay. Oooo you’re giving me crazy ideas again! 🙂

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Kathy Cano-Murillo

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Hi, I’m Kathy, The Crafty Chica! My specialty is creative motivation. I’m an artist, author, and speaker and this is where I share my craft tutorials, artwork, articles, books, product lines, and workshops!

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