Travel Memory Suitcase

A fun little travel project tonight:

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, and I finally aligned my brain’s “I’m gonna…” with my efforts.

With excitement brewing for some late summer Michigan adventures, we have good incentive to get this suitcase project done. I’ve always loved the idea of kids having a special suitcase of their own for trips to grandparents’ house or family vacations, and I’m all over any project that involves preserving memories.

1: I found a nice vintage hardtop suitcase on Etsy (try eBay too–happened to find a better deal on Etsy this time).

2: I went to and searched for postcards from every city in which my kids have had travel adventures. I was so pleased with their selection of cities and the collection of postcards for each, especially the retro styles. Postcards averaged around $1 a piece, and they arrived within a few days.

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3. Did a little trial and error here. The postcards were too thick to adhere nicely to the curves of the suitcase. I had the brilliant idea of scanning all of them and printing them on sticker paper, adhering them to the suitcase like travel labels and then Mod Podge’ing over them (to weatherproof it). I ended up having to brush Mod Podge underneath the labels as well as on top of them to keep them from bubbling. So final advice: Scan postcards and print on regular bright white photo quality paper. Use matte Mod Podge to adhere them to the suitcase, and brush the Mod Podge on top to seal them.

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We added some polaroid-like prints of photos from our travels and placed each near its postcard counterpart. We covered both sides of our suitcase, leaving spaces to add more adventures as we travel.

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This little suitcase makes me smile.

So did our Father’s Day, spent all day on the beach with friends.

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Blue skies to you and you and you.


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  1. Great suitcase idea. Love all of your beach pics. Coming to Naples in October. CAN’T WAIT TO HIT THOSE BEACHES!!

  2. This is such a cute idea. Not only do you have the memories of the trips but you also now have the memory of making the suitcase and adding to it!

  3. Such a fantastic idea! There is nothing I won’t modge podge, btw. Question–how did you make the instant looking pictures? Is there a program/app that does it for you?

    • Neotoma says:

      You can choose to print 4×4 inch sized pictures when you get prints made (like at the kiosks at CVS, Walgreens, etc.). They resemble Polaroid instant pictures.

  4. Michigan? I thought you were headed to Rwanda?

  5. I am so doing this! Such an awesome idea x

  6. Really cute idea!! You are just full of ’em!!

  7. That is such a brilliant idea! :) x

  8. Awesome! Love it!

    Side note: I just learned yesterday of a beautiful little Downs girl, Annie who was near death because she was not eligible for a heart transplant. She died this morning. Sooooo Sad! I am so happy I can come to your site to admire Nella (your other kids too, of course) she is Sooooo absolutely adorable!! I just love the pictures of her on the beach!
    Thank you for sharing her with us!!

  9. fun idea. reminds me of George Bailey and his suitcase.

  10. Delightful! Pictures, idea and your family! Blessings!

  11. There was a fad back in the 60’s in New York City where I grew up. We would buy a cheap, industrial grade aluminum domed lunch pail, cover them in arty or travel stickers then coat in shellac and carry as a purse. They were quite the fashion statement and original as no two were alike.

  12. Cute idea! You could also make a suitcase or box like this to hold vacation photos and other trinkets.

  13. Love it! I will be doing a road trip and wanted to be able to find a certain kind of postcard (old time version) when I stop for each state I will be driving through. Thank you for sharing your great idea as I think I will purchase them ahead of time, so I will have them ready for scrapbooking. :)

  14. That’s so cute! I love the giant PROVO because that’s where I live. :)

  15. You never seize to amaze me. What a precious idea. You are truly the best mom… I think of you a lot when dealing with my children’s “situations” god bless you!

  16. Those old suitcases weigh a ton! Lainey must have some serious muscles!

  17. Very cute.

    Wow… looks like you had the beach to yourselves. :)

  18. I too was thinking that a suitcase decorated like that would be great to store treasures/keepsakes from trips. Lugging it around on said trips….not so much. :-)

  19. What a fantastic idea. I want to do this for my kids. I think we will be using their newer hard sided suitcases though. THanks for the idea.

  20. Toooootally gonna do this one! Thanks for the ideas!

  21. Those are so so cute!!

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