Faux Suitcase Drawers

Rustic Faux Suitcase Drawer: Charming 7-Step Project

Got an old and worn-out looking dresser? Don’t throw it away – instead, give it a makeover!

Faux Suitcase Drawers

Now if you can’t think of a good design perhaps this faux suitcase drawer idea would suit your taste. ;)

The more detailed the paintings are, the better. Faux suitcase drawers should look very realistic for it to look really nice. So if you are going to do this project, make sure to create texture to achieve the impression of a real fabric, leather or wooden suitcase. Don’t forget to apply some shadows, and highlights too!

If you’ve got extra money to spare, buy some vintage design hardware such as clasps and corner brackets as these will complete the look of your faux suitcase drawers!

Need inspiration? You can get plenty from our album below! :)

Do you know someone who would love this idea, too?

Making a Faux Suitcase Drawer


  • Old Dresser
  • Leather Strips
  • Vintage Suitcase Clasps
  • Vintage Suitcase Corner Brackets
  • Screws
  • Various Colours of Paint


  • Measuring Tape
  • Paintbrushes
  • Drill
  • Sander


Step 1: Prepare the Dresser

  • Inspect and Clean: Start by inspecting your dresser for any damage. Clean it thoroughly to remove dust and debris. If there are any loose or damaged parts, repair them.
  • Sanding: Use the sander to smooth out the surfaces of the drawers. This will help the paint adhere better and create a smooth finish.

Step 2: Design Your Faux Suitcases

  • Measure and Plan: Use the measuring tape to determine the dimensions of the drawer fronts. Decide how you want the faux suitcase panels to look. Consider having each drawer represent a different suitcase for a varied look.
  • Sketch: Lightly sketch the design on the drawer fronts with a pencil. Include the placement of leather strips and hardware.

Step 3: Paint the Drawers

  • Base Coat: Apply a base coat of paint in the color of your choice. This will be the main color of your faux suitcase. Let it dry completely.
  • Detailing: Use different colors to add details that mimic the features of a suitcase, such as borders or stitching lines. Allow all paint to dry thoroughly.

Step 4: Add Textures

  • Leather Strips: Cut the leather strips to the required lengths based on your design. These will simulate the straps typically found on vintage suitcases.
  • Attach Straps: Glue or screw the leather strips into place as per your sketch. Make sure they are secure and straight.

Step 5: Install Hardware

  • Drill Holes: Carefully mark where the clasps and corner brackets will go. Use the drill to make holes for the screws.
  • Attach Clasps and Brackets: Screw the vintage suitcase clasps and corner brackets into place. Ensure they are tightly secured and aligned properly with the design.

Step 6: Finishing Touches

  • Final Touches: Check over the drawer fronts for any areas that may need additional paint touch-ups or detail work.
  • Protective Coat: Optional but recommended, apply a clear protective coat to seal the paint and leather, ensuring durability and making the drawers easier to clean.

Step 7: Reassemble the Dresser

  • Attach Drawers: Once everything has dried and set, reattach the drawers to the dresser.
  • Final Inspection: Do a final inspection to ensure everything looks as expected and functions well.

Click on any image to start the lightbox display. Use your Esc key to close the lightbox. 8-)

You can get more details from Lynn Rollins over at Again… Furniture and More!

Choosing the Right Dresser for Your Faux Suitcase Project

Transforming an old dresser into a stunning piece of furniture with faux suitcase drawers can add a vintage and personalized touch to your decor. The key to a successful project is starting with the right base. 

Here’s how to choose the ideal dresser to create beautiful faux suitcase drawers.

Consider the Size

The size of the dresser is crucial for your faux suitcase drawer project. You need to ensure it fits comfortably in the intended space in your home. Moreover, consider the number of drawers. A larger dresser with multiple drawers allows you to experiment with different faux suitcase designs on each drawer.

Assess the Condition

The condition of the dresser will affect the amount of work needed. Opt for a dresser that is structurally sound. Minor scratches or dents are fine, as they can be sanded down, but avoid dressers with significant damage unless you’re prepared for extensive repairs. The better the condition, the more seamlessly you can incorporate faux suitcase drawers into the design.

Style Compatibility

Choose a dresser style that complements the vintage suitcase look. Dressers with flat, smooth drawer fronts are ideal for adding faux suitcase drawers because they provide a clean canvas for your decorative work. Ornate or heavily detailed dressers might clash with the faux suitcase aesthetic or complicate the installation of hardware like clasps and straps.

Material Matters

The material of the dresser influences both the ease of transformation and the final look of your faux suitcase drawers. Solid wood dressers are preferred for their durability and ease of modification, such as drilling and sanding. Avoid materials like particle board, which are less durable and harder to work with, especially when attaching hardware.

Check for Functionality

Ensure all components of the dresser function properly. Drawers should slide in and out smoothly, as this will be crucial once they are transformed into faux suitcase drawers. Check for any issues with the drawer mechanisms or structures, as these will need to be addressed before you start the project.

Evaluate Drawer Alignment

When choosing a dresser for your faux suitcase drawer project, it’s essential to check that the drawers align properly when closed. Misaligned drawers can detract from the overall aesthetic of the faux suitcase look and may require additional adjustments or repairs before you can begin your project.

Color and Finish

Consider the original color and finish of the dresser. If it has a finish that’s compatible with the colors you intend to use for your faux suitcase drawers, you’ll have less prep work to do. A dresser with a neutral or easily adaptable finish is ideal, as it can save you time and effort in sanding or priming before painting.

Hardware Removal

Examine the existing hardware on the dresser. If it’s easy to remove or replace, you’ll have an easier time customizing the dresser to fit the faux suitcase drawer theme. Dressers with non-removable or intricately integrated hardware might require more effort to modify.

Style Adaptability

Think about how well the dresser’s overall design will adapt to the vintage, travel-themed style of faux suitcase drawers. A minimalist or modern dresser can be a blank slate for creative embellishments, while a more traditional style might already have elements that lend well to a vintage aesthetic.

For your faux suitcase drawer project, choosing the ideal dresser in advance will help ensure a more seamless transition and a gorgeous finished piece that complements the design of your house.

Customization Ideas for Faux Suitcase Drawers

Turning your dresser into faux suitcase drawers is an excellent way to bring a unique, personalized touch to your furniture. \Here are some creative ideas to customize your faux suitcase drawers, making them not only functional but also a standout piece in any room.

Theme Variations

  • Travel Themes: Adorn your drawers with stickers, decals, or hand-painted designs of various cities or countries. This gives each drawer a distinct identity and can inspire or remind you of your travels.
  • Vintage Elegance: For a more refined look, use muted colors and classic designs such as old world maps or postcard motifs. This style works well in a bedroom or living area with a rustic or vintage decor.
  • Colorful Suitcases: Don’t shy away from bright colors. Each drawer can represent a different colored suitcase. This vibrant choice can be particularly appealing in a child’s room or a creative space.

Textural Elements

  • Leather Textures: Incorporate different textures of leather or faux leather for the straps and handles. Mixing textures can add depth and make each drawer feel like a different suitcase.
  • Fabric Inlays: Use fabric patches that mimic the look of suitcase interiors or line the inside of the drawers with patterned fabric for a surprise pop of color and pattern when opened.

Hardware Upgrades

  • Unique Handles: Swap standard handles for something that looks more like luggage handles. Consider using actual handles from old luggage or replicas that fit the theme.
  • Decorative Locks and Clasps: Installing functional or decorative locks and clasps can enhance the suitcase illusion and add an element of realism to your drawers.

Functional Add-Ons

  • Label Holders: Attach small label holders to act as name tags for your ‘suitcases’. These can be functional for labeling what’s inside each drawer or purely decorative.
  • Secret Compartments: Create hidden compartments within the drawers for storing valuables or special items. This not only adds intrigue but also utilizes the space more efficiently.

Lighting Effects

  • Interior Lighting: Install small LED lights inside the drawers to light up when opened. This not only enhances the functionality but also adds an unexpected modern twist to the vintage suitcase theme.

Using some of these customization ideas, your faux suitcase drawers can become the focal point of your home decor by combining functionality and artistic expression.


Repurposing an old dresser to create faux suitcase drawers is a fun and creative way to give your room a distinct antique feel. Any space can be made to look and perform better with these drawers if the right materials are chosen and customisation is done with care. This project offers a satisfying and enjoyable do-it-yourself project in addition to improving your decor.

We have more interesting drawers. Check out our staircase drawer project next!



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