Vintage Suitcase End Table

DIY DIY & Crafts up-cycled Upcycled vintage suitcase vintage suitcase end table

I absolutely ♥ love ♥ vintage suitcases and have set about collecting them for the past six months.  We have a stack of suitcases on display, and for sale in our gift shop. My husband found a pair of old metal school desk legs for free at a garage sale.  What luck! We had what we needed to create a really neat up-cycled 'Vintage Suitcase End Table'. Here are pictures of the finished product.  The suitcase pictured we found at a store called 'Antique & Unique' in Fairmont, MN.

Suitcase End Table Display  Suitcase End Table Display 
Suitcase End Table Display  Suitcase End Table Display 

Here are the steps I used to create this 'Vintage Suitcase End Table':

1. Measure the inside bottom of the suitcase.

Suitcase Open (Before)  Suitcase (Before View 1) 


2. Cut wood squares for each corner ensuring they will not be too big for the bottom and will fit the legs. Note: Our metal school desk legs had a metal triangle top with holes.  Check your legs for the best way to attach.

3. Mark the wood squares for drilling:

  • 4 Wood Squares
  • 4 Metal Legs
  • Masking Tape
  • Marker
Supplies Needed for Marking  Metal Leg on Wood Square 
Wood Square - Marked for Drilling  Marked Wood Squares 
Metal Legs (Taped with Numbers) 

Rip a piece of masking tape off the roll and place a piece on each of the wood squares and metal legs (number 1-4).  With the corresponding wood square and metal leg (#1) place the top of the leg on the wood.  Using the marker fill in where the holes are in the metal leg.  The holes will be where you will drill the wood.

4. Drill the wood squares where marked (keeping the taped numbering on the wood).  Remember the drill bit used.

5. If you do not have the hardware that originally attached your legs to whatever they came off of (such as an old desk or table) a quick trip to your friendly hardware store is needed.  Locate the aisle with the nuts and bolts.  Select the number of nuts and bolts needed for each hole.  In our case we had four (4) per square and needed a total of 16.  My husband kindly asked me to next time ensure I get a few extra "just in case".  I think this is a good tip.

6. OPTIONAL: Paint the wood squares. I kept the tape on the wood squares and painted the opposite side.  Once the paint is dry, move the taped numbering to the painted side.

7. Set the suitcase over something for drilling (we used a sturdy cardboard box).

8. Place each of the squares in the bottom corners of the suitcase; ensuring the correct placement of numbered squares to how the legs should be positioned under the suitcase.  Our legs were straight and it didn't matter except to have the triangle pointed in the correct direction.  I know some legs point out at an angle.  Using the same drill bit drill back through the wood holes to create the same size and position hole in the bottom of the suitcase.
Suitcase Inside View - Drilling Holes

9. Insert the nuts into the holes of the wood, bottom of the suitcase and through to the metal leg on the outside of the suitcase.  We found this was a team effort.  Tighten the nuts and bolts.

Tighten the Bolts (Outside View) Tighten the Bolts (Inside View)

10. Remove the tape from the wood squares and metal legs.  Clean up any sawdust and debris.  You have attached legs to the suitcase securely!

Finished View of Attached Legs
Finished View of Attached Legs


This article was written by Liz Gaunt, co-owner of Anvil Market.

Grace Designs & The Front Porch Gift Shop merged with Anvil Market in 2017.

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