Turn An Antique Trunk Into A Stunning Side Table With TikTok's DIY

These days, most suitcases have been upgraded into easier-to-carry (or even pull) luggage. However, there is a way to repurpose older trunks. In fact, as seen on TikTok, with a little DIY magic, you can transform a vintage suitcase into a very unique side table. For this project, you'll be attaching table legs to the underside of the suitcase. The result is a fun, vintage piece of furniture — but that's not all. In addition to its obvious use as a table, one of the biggest perks of this craft is that it offers extra storage.

It probably goes without saying, but to get started on this DIY, you'll need a suitcase. If you or a loved one has one in storage, this is the perfect opportunity to put it to use once again. Alternatively, if you don't have an old suitcase but still want to do this DIY for whatever reason, scour Facebook marketplace and local antique stores for something super authentic. Other than that, you'll also need side table legs, which can be easily sourced on Amazon. In keeping with the vintage feel, a set of mid-century-inspired legs will set you back around $33. It all comes down to preference, though, so base your choice on whatever suits your style (and the case) best.

Screw the legs into the suitcase

Turning a trunk into a table is really as simple as screwing your legs of choice into the bottom of the case. If you buy legs for this project, they should come with screws and other required accessories; if they don't, you should be able to get everything you need at your local hardware store or online — just be sure whatever you order is compatible with what you're working with. Once you have all the bits and pieces you need, follow the instructions to attach the legs to your suitcase. That's pretty much the whole project.

But before screwing the legs into the case, it's a good idea to take the case you're using into account. A softer shell requires a little extra support to stay secure, especially if you're thinking of using the table for a ton of storage and-slash-or considering placing breakable items like vases on top. For this, start by removing the interior fabric from the bottom half of the case, replace it with a sheet of plywood cut to size into the base of the case, and screw the legs through it. 

If your suitcase is already on the rigid side, adding in the plywood might not be necessary. Ditto if you're only thinking of using the storage for small items and keeping the tabletop fairly empty. However, plywood should help the table hold up over time.

Once everything is assembled, wipe it down the right way

Optional plywood aside, once everything has been assembled, all that's left to do is clean up. If your trunk is fairly new, or is in good condition, you're in luck. Simply wipe it down with a damp cloth (or, if your suitcase has a fabric shell, brush it clean of any dust), and you can put it to use. However, if you're going to need to do a deeper clean, you'll definitely want to take into account the materials of the case. 

For vinyl and plastic, a magic eraser should do the trick. Cleaning leather gets a little more complicated. Only very mild soap should be used, though an even better option would be leather-specific products ($11.99 on Amazon). As for fabric cases, upholstery shampoo is an option. However, you may also want to reach out to a professional in your area. After all, this piece of luggage is about to go on display, so you really want it to look its best. One other thing to keep in mind about a fabric suitcase: It probably won't be as low-maintenance as a leather or vinyl case, so consider keeping items like glasses of wine or coffee on another table top to avoid tough-to-clean stains. Regardless of the material of your trunk-turned-table, this is one seriously unique piece. Who said old school suitcases were obsolete?