But ridiculous heaviness aside, this picnic suitcase is wonderful. I made it as part of a birthday surprise for my husband -- the final piece of a wine-tasting weekend away for just the two of us. The search for the suitcase was the first hurdle; it's really quite hard to find a vintage suitcase that, when fully opened, will provide a flat surface -- most suitcases from the 40's and 50's are asymmetrical, so that there is a very large side (when opened, the bottom) and a very small side (the top). Most suitcases from the 60's onward are plastic and just plain ugly. I finally located a gorgeous suitcase in an antique mall that opens flat to form the tabletop for only $40 -- a steal, compared to the other ones I'd seen around town.
The fabric was the easy part. I knew I wanted various Provence-style prints, and being the owner of a fabric store, locating and choosing them was a no-brainer. The hard part came when it was time to build the legs. I wanted to do this on my own, without the help of my husband -- that was my first mistake. Had he been involved, the leg attachment would have been super easy and super successful. Instead, I did what I know how to do (sew everything possible, and use E6000 glue for everything else), and as a result, on its maiden voyage the legs were less than sturdy, creating a somewhat sailboat-on-the-ocean feel to our first picnic. However, he is in the process of fixing these legs, so our next excursion should be a bit more stable and less frustrating for me, the perfectionist who was extremely angry for not being able to adequately attach the leg hardware on my own.
All in all, this is a very simple project that anyone with a glue gun, a pair of scissors, and simple sewing machine skills could handle (except for the fancy leg attachment -- that will require some hardware and more knowledge than I have to share). I'm not going to provide step by step instructions here, however -- everyone's suitcase will be a slightly different size and shape, and everyone's needs and picnic requirements will be different. Instead, here is a picture diary of what I did and what I included, in a hopeful attempt to inspire you to customize the design so that it fits your needs perfectly, too.
But first, click HERE for our menu for a beautiful Provence Picnic.
| || |