Thursday, July 10, 2014

How To Recover A Vintage Train Case

How to recover and clean a vintage train case - Ivy & Co.I love my aunt Jaymee. She gets me. At age 1 she would put red lipstick on me. They're some of my favorite pictures to look at from childhood. We've always lived on opposite sides of the pacific, but when I went to college in California, I actually could drive and meet her for lunch. She would buy me Starbucks gift cards, (which I loved!) and she let me crash in her guest room whenever I needed.

2 years ago, Ivy, my mom and I went on a trip to California to visit family and friends. (After that trip, I blogged about my aunts adorable cottage here, my cousins uber-chic apartment here, and my very first train case here). I got the awesome vintage train case from my aunt (see pic on right). She actually had them just chillin in the trunk of her car and willingly gave one to me and one to my best friend. Little did she know that gift gave huge definition to my decor style, and that I would rip out its guts and give it a whole new look. 

Recently that old post has been getting a ton of attention via Pinterest, and the pics from that post weren't the greatest (pre-iPhone 5S, if you know what I mean). I actually picked up 2 more train cases last November in Oklahoma, and just recently recovered the inside of them. I feel like it's time to show my updated collection. Incidentally, all my train cases happen to be blue. I'd give my pinkie finger for an avocado green one. I'd give my pinkie toe for a grey or yellow one. 

For now, I'll have to settle with my blue collection of 3.
Here's my grey arrow print with mini mustard pom pom fringe.

How to recover and clean a vintage train case - Ivy & Co.

What To Do With A Vintage Train Case

Train cases are the perfect catch-all. Of course you can revert to their original use and store your beauty products in them, but I've also used them to hold remotes, DVDs, lotion and perfume bottles, jewelry and even jars of coins. Kids love 'em - Ivy had a mini one that she would put her "treasures" in. There's a pin on Pinterest of a yellow one holding baby supplies like diapers, wipes and burp cloths. I love that! I'm all about cleaning up old things and making them clean, cute, and usable.

How to recover and clean a vintage train case - Ivy & Co.


So how do you achieve that awesome inside?
Let's take a look at what some actually look like inside:

how to recover and clean a vintage train casehow to recover and clean a vintage train case

How To Recover The Inside Of Your Train Case

1.  Tear out the insides, save for a possible template. 
2.  Scrub the insides with a soapy rag, baking soda, a magic eraser, something! These things smell like old dog and cigarettes. I have yet to find one that doesn't wreak. 
3.  Pour ground coffee in the train case, close it up, and let it sit for a week. 
4. Clean out the coffee and febreeze it. 
5. Find a base material to give it a slight cushion-y layer to hide imperfections. Here's what I've used: felt, fake "snow" from Christmas time (the kind in rolls), and pieces of my sweat pants that I cut off cause they were too long.

Here's what mine looked like with fake "snow" sheets in it.

how to recover and clean a vintage train casehow to recover and clean a vintage train case

how to recover and clean a vintage train case6. Next, cut out a piece of fabric to go in the bottom of the train case. It can be a square, with rounded edges. It should be bigger than the bottom of the case, so that it goes up the sides of the case. Do the same thing for the lid of the case. Every time your cut out a piece of fabric, iron it well, because you can't iron it once it goes in the case!


How to recover and clean a vintage train case - Ivy & Co.Your corners can be folded over one another. Use modge podge to initiate the adhesion, then use a glue gun to glue down the edges of the fabric. 

How to recover a vintage train case - Ivy & Co.7. Measure the length from the top (usually metal) edge of the case, down to where the case starts to curve under at the bottom. Measure the circumference of the case. Cut a piece of fabric a little larger than these measurements and sew a seam along the top and bottom edge (It will be a long rectangle that you've cut out, and you will be sewing seams on the two longer sides.) This piece then gets glued around the circumference of the case, starting in the center back, using modge podge and a glue gun on the edges. The top seam edge should lie right below the metal edge of the case. Repeat for the lid of the case. Make sure the edges meet in the center back of the case, near the hinges. 

How to recover a vintage train case - Ivy & Co.

How to recover a vintage train case - Ivy & Co.

8. The next step could be skipped, but it really puts the icing on the cake: trim! I choose a trim to line the edge of the inside of the case, and it really hides any imperfections you might have along the top edge. I've used mini pom poms, and a cotton 3/4" beige ribbon. Just glue gun around the top edge. Again, the ends should meet in the back, near the hinges

How to recover a vintage train case - Ivy & Co.How to recover a vintage train case - Ivy & Co.

How to recover a vintage train case - Ivy & Co.How to recover a vintage train case - Ivy & Co.

How to recover a vintage train case - Ivy & Co. 9. Final step! Cut out a square of fabric, wide enough to cover the hinges, and tall enough to reach the top and bottom edge of the case. Hem this square on all 4 edges. (You may want to cut it a little bigger so you have room to turn under the seams). Glue gun it on the back edge of the train case, to cover all the raw edges you had meet in the back near the hungers. Don't glue gun it on the metal, just the case. Finish it all off with some scotch guard or spray modge podge just to stiffen it up a little and make it slightly more durable against stains.


How to recover a vintage train case - Ivy & Co.

And that's it! Here's my red, white and blue case. With a little peach thrown in…

How to recover and clean a vintage train case - Ivy & Co.

I love recovering these cases. I'm constantly trying to figure out how to get me some more cases all the way out to Hawaii. (By the time I finished this post, I gave in and ordered an avocado one off Etsy...) They're rare gems here! If you've got any you don't want, please mail them to me! If you've got any you want to hire me to recover, please mail them to me! 

How to recover and clean a vintage train case - Ivy & Co.

Hope this tutorial helps you out. I know it was lengthy!

Aloha, Rebecca

18 comments:

  1. Good Morning Rebecca, Now this was a trip down memory lane.... I have travelled a lot in my lifetime and the one thing that always went with me, was my vanity case, just like the blue one which you owned. It was filled with my makeup, perfume and jewellery and it was at a time when there were not the restrictions when flying, that we have nowadays.
    I love both your aunt's and your cousin's homes, although they are different they are both lovely. I smiled when I saw your cousins plaque 'work hard and be nice' as I have a plaque in my sewing room which reads 'Because Nice Matters'.
    I can fully understand why you have had a lot of interest in your pinterest pictures of your train cases as they are fabulous.
    Best Wishes to you.
    Daphne

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Daphne! I just love bringing pieces of history into everyday life.

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  2. this is adorable, rebecca!!!! i wish i had more patience for these, but i just don't. can you come do a couple i have? it's not that far from hawaii. ;)

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    1. Sure, Cassie! I'd love to come hang out and make you a couple custom train cases! :)

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  3. Oh I just love this - love the colors you chose and especially the designs! Thanks for linking up to The Creative Exchange Linky Party!

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  4. Great tutorial! I love the fabric you used for this. Such a fun project.

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    1. Thanks Glenna. I must admit, choosing the fabric is one of the most fun parts!

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  5. I am going to do this!! I have a little case...I even have fake snow! Thanks for the tip about lining it...I wouldn't have thought to do this. I'll try to remember to send you the link when I get it done! :) I'd love for you to come link up at my Homemaking Party. Have a beautiful day!

    Blessings,
    Sarah

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    1. Oooh! I want to see when you're finished! Haha, I love that you have fake snow lying around too!

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  6. I love the fabric you used. My mom had a case like this. Not sure if she still has it. If you have not shared at the Anything Goes linky yet, please do.

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    1. Thanks Mindie! Fabric is so fun to pick out.

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  7. Good morning, Rebecca! It was so neat to see this little case b/c my Mom used one just like it when we traveled to TX from MO to see her family every few years. I KNOW hers needs recovered BADLY! I sent it on to her. :) I loved this post so much I am featuring it today at "Our Favorite Things Pinterest Party" today! Please come back and link up again and share another fantastic post!! Have a great weekend!

    Blessings,
    Gina @ Gina's Craft Corner

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    1. Thank you so much for the feature!! I hope your mom gets to give her case new life!

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  8. Great tutorial - I just bought a vintage Wheary Train case in yellow and its awesome. I just don't know what I want to do with it yet. Thanks for the ideas.

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    1. Oooooh. I'd love to see what you do with it!

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  9. Hello Rebecca. This is my first visit to your blog and I love it. I too have a slight addiction of vintage luggage. I have 10 different cases and I am always looking for more. This is a great tutorial on how to change the lining. I have yet to tackle that project yet but it is in my future. I have one I am ripping out the lining out because it smells like mildew. I would love it if you stopped my blog. I started flowing you via bloglov'n.
    Traci

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  10. This is an awesome idea, Rebecca! I have 2 of these that I use to store odds and ends in. One is blue, and is very special because it was my Aunt's. It had something open up and spill in it many years ago, so this tutorial is going to give it a whole new life! The other is a 2nd hand store find and is a creamy colour. I will love being able to gives these treasures a do-over! Pinned from the Ultimate Pinterest Party!

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