Monday, December 19, 2011

DIY Christmas gift: A Barbie carrying case

Earlier in the fall, I found this glorious find at my local Goodwill.

What, you don't think it's glorious?!? I know the pink is a little alarming and it is, after all, just an old suitcase, but I looooove old suitcases and can't get enough of them lately. I actually didn't have a plan for this baby. I just saw it on the shelf, checked it for broken hinges, gave it a thumbs up and threw it in my cart. Pretty much every time I go into any thrift store, I check the luggage section. Not to give away my secret or anything but if you've been on Pinterest lately, you've seen how often repurposed luggage is showing up. From a stacked suitcase night stand to kitty beds. So, no, I don't ever pass up a cheap piece of luggage.

When I pulled this piece out of my car, I noticed something familiar about that particular shade of pink. Where had I seen that? And then it hit me, Barbie! It's the perfect shade of Barbie pink. And then I knew what I was going to do with that suitcase. It would make an excellent carrying case for the gobs of Barbies my girls have laying around their bedroom. Let me tell you, I have 3 girls, ages 5, 8 and 9 and with them being in the height of their Barbie-playing years, they've got a lot of junk. What they don't have is a trunk for all that junk. All I needed to do was stencil that familiar barbie logo on the outside and viola, I'd have it! Here's how I did it.

The inside of the case, as you can see, is already perfect for holding all their dolls and the little pouches on the sides will hold all those shoes and clothes they have. So let's just go straight to the outside.

First I went online and looked up Barbie logos. I found the name and the silhouette logos I liked and printed them out.

One thing I noticed with this suitcase is that it was a little faded on one side so the pinks were just a shade or two off from each other. I know my girls would never notice, but let's face it, this project was just as much a present for me as it was for them and I wouldn't stop noticing it so I decided to do the silhouette on the perfect pink side and do a reverse stencil of the name logo on the other side. That way, there wouldn't be enough of the faded pink to really notice a difference.

I bought some black spray paint made specifically for painting plastic and created two stencils. Let me just say, if I had a Silhouette, things would have been a lot easier and less time consuming, but I don't have a Silhouette so this is a true DIY project.

I tore a piece of wax paper big enough to cover the image I wanted to cut out. Then I took green painters tape and stuck it to the wax paper, overlapping as I went, until I had an area slightly bigger than my image.

Next, I taped my image over the green tape/wax paper and used an exacto knife to cut it out. What I had after everything was cut, was my stencil. All I had to do was peel away the wax paper and stick it down. On the barbie head side, I masked off everything around the stencil so the only black would be the silhouette and on the other side, I stuck the letters on and painted everything else black.

One mistake I made when painting over the barbie head stencil was that I put several layers of paint on at once and this caused the paint to bleed under the tape a little. No worries, though, I just used some goof off, a toothbrush and a sharpie to clean up the edges. On the other side, I learned my lesson and did one coat at a time for a nice clean edge.

I'm so happy with how it turned out. This was one of those once in a lifetime lightbulb ideas for me, so I'm hoping my girls love it!

The next time you see a suitcase in a thrift store or a garage sale, look at the color and think of the toys your kids play with. Is it Ninja Turtle green? Star Wars blue? Lego red? Almost any color suitcase could be turned into a great carrying case for all those toys with accessories out the wazoo!

Linking up to these blogs:

Sumo's Sweet Stuff

Tip Junkie handmade projects


Anonymous said...

Too much fun! Such a thoughtful mama!

pamelotta said...

Thank you Miss Leilani! It really was one of those ideas that just kind of hit me in the head! It was fun to do and it started me thinking about all the uses for old suitcases.

Korinne said...

this is really cute.. i wish I could see a pick suitcase just like that.. and I would definitely do what you did :D

Korinne said...