Staff Project: Beautifully Altered Suitcase by Chris

Jul 13th

Welcome back, friends!

Today we’re excited to share another amazing project from our staff member, Chris. Recently Chris altered a small chipboard-type suitcase using Tim Holtz papers. She envisioned this suitcase to be a sort of “memory box” filled with mementos and photos from her life and the lives of loved ones. So she filled the suitcase with little books, tags, pockets, and more, creating a uniquely beautiful keepsake.

Let’s take a peek inside!

Note: These small suitcases are on back order and are expected to arrive at Memory Bound in August.

Chris decorated the outside of the suitcase so that it’s pretty both when standing up or opened. She used collage medium to adhere papers to the inside and outside of the suitcase itself, inking the edges with Distress Ink to age them. Ribbons, pins, and charms provide texture and interest on this side of the suitcase.

Look at the way she combined these elements to create a lovely piece for the side of the suitcase! So pretty.

On the other side of the suitcase, Chris used only paper embellishments so that it can rest flat on a table or dresser. What a smart and practical idea!

As pretty as it is on the outside, when you open up the suitcase, that’s where the magic really happens! Take a look…

First, check out the sweet gathered fabric pocket which Chris sewed for her suitcase. She even used a stencil and Distress Ink to add visual interest to the fabric. Scor-Tape was used to attach it to the inside.

In addition to the fabric pocket, she also made small cardstock/paper pockets and attached them to the insides with Scor-Tape. These shallow pockets provide another space for tucking in little booklets, tags, photos, or other treasures.

She made several small pieces to fit into the pockets. Each one opens up and holds special photos or other memorabilia.

The ruffled pocket is filled with several little booklets and tags, some which Chris made in a class with one of our guest instructors. Chris thought, “Why not use those tags in the suitcase?” We think that’s a great idea!

These smaller booklets, one of which is ring bound, hold photos from years past. She added dimensional flowers, ribbon, and charms to visually tie them to the colors in her project.

I love how she added die cut flowers to enhance the flowers printed on this paper!

Chris even added a small decorative element to the inside base of her suitcase, visible when the case is displayed open.

In addition to the smaller pieces, Chris used a couple of pieces of 12×12 paper, folded in half, to create a large booklet. After folding, she used a long-arm stapler to “bind” them in the center. (You could also sew them together.) This book fits perfectly in the bottom of the suitcase, with the corners rounded to match the suitcase corners.

Here’s the booklet opened up, with plenty of space for photos and special mementos Chris plans to add.

We love how she added die cut flowers to the front of this booklet! She used a metallic “Biscotti” spray to give the entire cover a little vintage sparkle. This is such a sweet addition to the suitcase!


As you can see, this beautiful project is sure to become a treasured keepsake. Many thanks to Chris for sharing her work and inspiring us today!