How to collage a suitcase

Don't buy new suitcases when the old ones are old and ragged. Collage all types of items on the suitcase for a fabulous look.

Suitcase old and worn? Give it a whole new look by making a collage. There are lots of things that are probably lying around the house that you can use to collage the suit case. Things like envelopes from foreign lands, scarves and other items can be used for color and flair. Assorted fabrics are a good place to start with the collage. Cut a few pieces in different shapes and sizes then attach them at random places on the suit case. On one side try a huge piece, shaped oddly, right in the center. On the back side, several smaller pieces placed here and there. Add all large collage pieces first then work down to the smaller items that will be glued onto the suitcase. And it's easiest to attach all of one set of items, such as fabric scraps, before moving on to the next set of items, like photos. Do the collage in a specific theme, like places you've visited, or collage with random items.

When using fabrics they don't have to be raw. You can glue on hats that will lay fairly flat, booties, shirts and other articles of clothing. Or you can use the raw fabric to cut out an island, palm tree or shells. Fabric that is designed with images like kittens, fish or tee pees make it even easier to collage a theme.

New fabric glues make a suitcase collage extremely easy but choose a glue that is waterproof. Some fabric glues are made to dissolve in water. Use the glue to next attach brochure fronts or other interesting but thick paperwork. Old passports, foreign menus and even your children's photos will add interest and personality to the collage.

While doing the collage try and use interesting shapes and turn them at various angles. Nice collages have been done with each item being the exact same shape and size then aligned all in rows but for the most part collages are meant to look strewn together. Items that are normally viewed in a right-side-up position can be tilted, lain sideways or turned upside-down to add a whimsical touch.

Use strips of lace and ribbon to fill in narrow, empty spaces in the collage. You can also use the ribbon to outline objects you want to highlight. Another way to highlight a few items is to place large, decorative buttons on the four corners. Fabric paint can be used to outline objects and allows you to write and draw on the collage as well. Use them to write dates on pictures of places you've been or to write names of towns you've visited.

If you need a few extra things to add to the collage visit a craft department and purchase foam shapes, rhinestones, faux jewels, glitter cord and other things to complete the project. Other items to consider are strands of beads, wooden monograms, brass shapes, boas, flat wooden sticks and small ceramic pieces that lay flat.

After everything is attached to the suitcase use a clear, spray-on sealant to protect the designs.

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