Saturday, February 28, 2009

REFURBISHING THE DREAM Vintage Train Case Restoration



Oh those beautiful vintage Train Cases! Truly the most alluring of all the lovely and feminine beauty related offerings from our past! I just can’t get enough of them! I love not only their boxy style but I love the era they seem to represent. A time when women were women and weren’t afraid to don a suit and crisp white gloves while shopping in high heels and lunching with friends…

I’ve loved vintage luggage for as long as I can remember and first entertained the thought of refurbishing a Train Case back in the early 1990’s. The idea came when I saw the cover of a craft magazine showcasing an old suitcase with hand painted violets. Back then I was always on the lookout for things to use as PROPS for my retail store…I actually never got farther than just base painting the exterior of a Case that truthfully was better suited for the trash! Still, the concept of taking something once highly sought after, (and certainly past it’s prime), and re-purposing it into something usable for today intrigued me. So, I banked the idea but knew that one day I’d return to the vault that stored all my dreams of restoration.


In September 2006 Romantic Homes Magazine showcased the very Train Cases that once had been only a passing thought (“Cinderella Story” called “Hello, Gorgeous”- written by Hillary Black). I couldn’t have been more excited when I saw my work in print!

Since the day I first saw that craft book cover, I’ve transformed almost 100 Cases turning each one into what I call “Gathering Cases” ™! Perfect for holding memories and keepsakes of all kinds! My favorite Case will always be the one I gave as a gift to my only daughter on her wedding day in September ’07… A creamy cottage white beauty graced with hand painted blush-white and taupe-y white roses! It was lined with the fabric of her gown and included lace from my mother’s wedding dress and the ribbon trim from mine…


It’s taken me years to narrow down the BEST Cases and the ones to pass on! I’ve included a picture above of the first Case I ever gave a FULL MAKEOVER to (circa 2001). She is warped (that is what happens when you choose a Case that is NOT wood) and yellowed (used the WRONG kind of sealer), but I still love her!
Normally reserved for special orders, I finally listed a newly refurbished Case on my website (first picture above). I hope you’ll check her out! Be inspired! If I can make them then I promise, you can, too!

Blessings to you…Rebecca


A day at the Cappuccino Café said...


Gorgeous! You definitely have a talent for creating the most beautiful things =)

Have a perfect weekend my sweet friend XO

Anonymous said...

Ooohh ~r~,
FINALLY !! You listed the most BEAUTIFUL case.. I've soo been waiting for you to do this.. I LOVE mine.. They each are soo precious to mee.. Pictures don't do them justice.. They are GORGEOUS, and oohhh so feminine.. I put sweet vintage lace and ribbons in mine.. Of course I leave them open, so the gorgeous insides show.. These my friend are your trademark.. and they say Rebecca all over them.. Noone does sweet cases like you !! I'm applauding and giving you big hugs.. Can you feel 'em..So blessed to call you friend..huggers ~tea~xo

English Cottage in Georgia said...

The train case is beautiful. How wonderful it must be to have creative abilities and skills. I am a tad bit, not sinfully, envious of your talent :-).
It is a joy to look at your creations.
Miss K is a beauty. What a precious pic.

Anonymous said...

These are so very beautiful, dear Rebecca! You truly have a gift for making lovely things!

Sandy~Romantique Inspirations~ said...

Rebecca, I finially put two and two together- I use to shop a lot on ebay, and had you on my favorites, not realizing it was you. Ever since I started blogging I have met so many people attached to things I have saved. You do beautiful work with everything you touch. Those train cases is something I'm going to get one of these days too..

Just to let you know I did receive the pictures, but I'm still not able to get them enlarged. Oh well thats ok..

Enjoying your blog so much!!

Mary H said...

Ooh pleased you were able to show us the beautiful new train case you finished...I have to admit as much as I love the new ones, my favorite is the one you did for Adrienne. I love the romantic look of the pure white case with the white roses (white on white) and the taupe and cream mixed in with the sagey leaves..ah! A work of art. Loving all the new "pretties". Will try to blog more soon. House is shaping up real nice. Love and hugs to you...Mary

Rebecca Nelson said...

To: Mary H... Oh...I remember Adrienne's Case well! My favorite of ALL the ones I've ever made. Definitely a Bridal Theme! She keeps ALL her beautiufl wedding day memories in hers... She also made me PROMISE to make one for each of her babies when they arrive one day...

YOU KNOW the work involved in making over a Case...that is WHY I don't do them very often anymore and WHY they are so $$$..ox

Anonymous said...

Hello Rebecca :) I treasure the case I purchased from you a while ago. It holds some very precious items in it; I have lost both of my parents long before it was their time (my dad died in 1990 and was only 48, and my mother passed 12 years later at the age of 62), and inside of the case are their birth certificates, marriage lic., favorite photos, cards, etc... Every now and then I like to go thru the items and remember happier times when they were here :) I just want to thank you for creating something very special to hold those precious items in. Warmest, Brenda

Unknown said...

Oh Rebecca!!!!!!!! These cases are to die for, absolutely stunning!! My gosh you are so talented! I love the soft romance of your art! So beautiful! Your work definitely belongs in Romantic Homes Magazine!!!!!

Big Hugs,

Sharon said...

Thank you for visiting me at my blog! You have a very lovely blog and I promise to be back. Miss K is so precious!!!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely beautfiul Rebecca. Your work is so incredibly precious! I have 3 of these train cases on my "project shelf" and they have been there for quite some time. I guess I should work on them, but I have only done a couple of them ever. They are an incredible amount of time so I can truly appreciate everything you go through to produce that gorgeous end result!!

Congratulations on your magazine feature too! What an honor!! I think I have that magazine!!

Have a blessed day,

A Romantic Porch said...

I remember that I've gotta go pull that magazine and reread it! xorachel

Anonymous said...

I still have my copy of this very magazine for this very particular reason. I told myself I will one day either acquire or redo a case for myself from either you or my own hands. My past has taught me patience for the future and one day I hope to either keep stashing away coin to purchase or to skill my hands enough to do the work myself.

I love and admire your cases. Simply beautiful.

Cherub Kisses Boutique said...

All I can do is smile when visiting this blog!! Simply beautiful!!

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