A Nikki McClure Decopauge Suitcase.

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I am such a nerd.

I do most of my writing in the evening after my kids go to bed. Last night I was tired after a day harvesting the garden and feeling a little "eh". I didn't feel like doing much more than sleeping, so I pulled up this post from 2009 that I wanted to share with you (again?) about decoupaging suitcases. I was going to rework the post a little to share how I make them and then be in bed by 9.

It had been a couple of years since I had made one. In fact, I'm still using a once-lovely origami paper covered case for my toiletries bag. I broke the handle off of it on the last day of my road trip with the kids a year ago. But I love it so much I'm still using it, floppy handle and all.

So I got that post ready, rearranged the pictures, adding a bit of text. And then… I got totally inspired. By my own project. I'm a nerd I tell you. A craft nerd.

The next thing I knew it was midnight and I had mod podge in my hair and on my camera and my pajamas and stuck to my cheek, but I also had one amazing new decoupage suitcase. My best one yet.

The case pictured here, made all bleary-eyed last night is the case where I keep cloth pads in the bathroom. Every few weeks it sits there on the floor, looking ordinary. Now it will look extrodinary.

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The process of decoupaging a suitcase is surprisingly straight-forward. (Especially if your case has few rounded edged.) Using a craft knife and scissors, I cut out the shapes to fit my case, piecing multiple pieces together and overlapping. (The only complicated part is cutting around hinges and handles.) Then I spread a thin layer of Mod Podge on the back of the paper, place on the case, and smooth it out. After the first layer of Mod Podge dries, add a top coat and allow to dry. That's it! Done. Beautiful.

There will be imperfections. There will be small rips or bad cuts or wrinkles. But who cares? We're not going for perfection. We're going for handmade. And handmade is so much better than perfect, don't you think? Leave your perfectionist behind on a project like this or you'll drive yourself crazy.

And if you don't have any Mod Podge you can improvise a batch yourself by blending 1/2 water and 1/2 white glue. It's supposed to work just as well as the real stuff.

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The artist who's work I used is Nikki McClure. You've seen her prints all over my house. I was introduced to her work several years back by a friend. She bought me a new calendar each year for a bit, and while I don't save much in the way of craft paper I couldn't bear to throw these calendars away. I knew inspiration would strike eventually.

And it did.

20 thoughts on “A Nikki McClure Decopauge Suitcase.

  1. Nettie Black says:

    Oh so very lovely!! (And what perfect timing, I found an old cosmetics case at the Clearance Center a few weeks ago that is waiting for me to get working on.) xo

  2. Nahuatl Vargas says:

    I love it you made it very beautifull, and yes, the glue thing works really well, I have used in piñatas and is really hard once it’s dry.

    I love Nikki McClure too.

    I wonder if I could get this kind of suitcases any where here in Costa Rica.

  3. Luisa says:

    Omigosh this is awesome. I don’t have any of her calendars they are on my wish list and your right the pictures are inspiring. Love the suitcase it must be so pretty in the bathroom.

  4. Angie says:

    A craft nerd that makes things happen!! This is really great and makes me want to decopauge some of my old suitcases to spice them up a bit. I had no idea!! Now to find some time as staying up til midnight does not work so well for me!

  5. chelsea says:

    Awesome! I love Nikki McClure, and it’s getting a little weird, with her stuff all over our house. =) But hey, might as well make it weirder and decoupage a vintage suitcase, right?

  6. Elaine says:

    ah!!! I love this. I have a little suitcase very much like the one here that I completely decoupaged several years ago with several years worth of Mary Engelbreit calendars:)) I also did this with a little step stool. I was just wondering what to do with my Nicki McClure calendars.

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