Mid Century Nightstand from Curbside Luggage

It’s that time again! The second Tuesday of each month some of my blogger friends and I get together to present to you our latest Trash to Treasure makeovers. It’s certainly one of my favorite times and hope it is for you too! Today’s project is this handmade luggage I found during our spring city cleanup. I’ve been aching to turn it into the vision I had of a Mid Century nightstand. I can’t wait!!

Handmade Wooden Luggage found on the curb gets new life | prodigalpieces.com

First, I have to ask if you would have grabbed it? It is so super cool. Check out the LBJ bumper sticker, and the…ummm…fantastic carpet lining. And get this…the back has original labels and stamps! eep!

Handmade Wooden Suitcase Found on the Curb by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

*post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)

Like I’ve said before, it’s made of wood, therefore it has potential. Right? Onward we go… First, the middle shelf was busted, so in order to pull it out I had to remove the carpet. My cat’s paw tool works wonders for getting into tight spots to remove nails – perfect for mouldings, etc.

Cats Paw Tool to Remove Nails from Tight Spots | prodigalpieces.com

Once the carpet was off, I had to try to remove the nails that held the shelf in place. No worries, I’ll be giving the shelf a new life too…stay tuned. hee hee!

As for the top, it had many holes drilled into it, so I plugged each one with dowel, and cut the flush with my coping saw.

Cutting Dowel with Coping Saw | prodigalpieces.com

Now all the holes are plugged, but the top was still pretty ragged. I then filled every living inch with wood filler. That there be a whole lotta wood filler. Whoa!

Wood Filler to Make Wood Repairs | prodigalpieces.com

As soon as all that wood filler had cured, I took my sander and knocked it all down smooth. Then it was time to complete the finish work of this Mid Century nightstand project.

I chose to use a soft green and my favorite Stubby brush to freshen it up. The soft color reminded me of that Mid Century era with all its green, oranges, yellow, and wood tones.


I began by giving everything a good coat on the outside, leaving the interior for later. While the first coat cured, I decided to cut a new shelf. I could have used my miter saw to make the cut (easy, but not everyone has one), and my table saw too (a bit cumbersome with a long plank). However, I thought I would show you an easy way to make cuts using my cordless circular saw and my Rip Cut jig. This handy jig makes it easy to get straight cuts on big pieces like 4′ x 8′ panels and such.

Using Ryboi Ciruclar and Kreg Rip Cut to Build Mid Century Nightstand | prodigalpieces.com

Just set the guide rail to the length you want and you’re done. So easy! I repeat my motto I’ve had since a teen, #toolsoverjewels. You can take a peek at my full tool arsenal HERE.

Meanwhile, I asked JC if he would mind working on building a drawer while I worked on other parts of this makeover. He eagerly agreed. What a good guy, eh?

Table Saw to Make Rip Cuts for Mid Century Nightstand | prodigalpieces.com

This is the point when we are working together and I say, “Isn’t this fun?” He replies, “IDK, we might as well have built the thing from scratch.” I blankly stare back at him while my brain reminds myself why I don’t take him junking. I respond with, “But this is a piece of history saved from the trash and we are giving it new life! You can’t beat that.” His poor self just doesn’t get it, but he at least is willing. I think he just needs to come with me anyway so he can experience that thrill of the hunt and victory of the score, am I right? I am convinced he just hasn’t found the right thing to get his juices flowing yet.

Okay…so we are nearly done and I’m ready to take this Mid Century nightstand to a new level. One of you awesome readers, Brenda, sent me this set of vintage furniture legs. One set being new in the box, and the other has two left. She found them in her father-in-laws stash and thought I’d love to have them.

Vintage Barton Bee Line Furniture Legs by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Boy, was she right!! I was over the moon to see these babies arrive in the mail. I’ve been waiting for just the right time to use them. TODAY! {{applause}} Isn’t the packaging awesome?!

After much lovin’ on this #trashure find, here it is all finished and ready with a new lease on life.

Repurposed Mid Century Nightstand Made from a Piece of Handmade Luggage Left on the Curb by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Fantastic Mid Century Nightstand Built by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces Using Reclaimed Luggage | prodigalpieces.com

I’m stoked it is just as I had envisioned and the legs look absolutely perfect. Love that blonde wood with brass – so pretty!

Mid Century Modern Barton's Bee Line Table Legs on a Rescued Piece of Trash by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Upcycled Mid Century Modern Nightstand Created by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Vintage Mid Century Magazine Rack by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

You have to check out the paper I used to line the shelf. I found a couple of rolls of vintage shelf liner at the thrift store and I knew exactly what I would use it for. I love it!!

Upcycled Mid Century Modern Nightstand Created by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Retro Vintage Vignette with Mid Century Style by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Also, while at the thrift store the other day, I found this pair of van Gogh prints that had those oranges and yellows of this Mid Century era I mentioned earlier. This time period sure had a fun mix.

Pair of Van Gogh Prints for Mid Century Decor by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Oh, and did you notice that I reused the handle on the top as a drawer pull on our newly built drawer?Inside the Custom Built Drawer by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com I tried to reuse everything possible on this fun upcycled. I even reused the same nails to hold the shelf in place.

And you gotta love while the party going on at the front is happening, the history on the back is still there too.

Handmade Nightstand Back with Original Stamps by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Here is what I did with the old broken shelf…just shortened it up and added some hand-painted goodness. Gotta love the beach – woot!

Rustic Hand-Painted Beach Sign by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

This entire project really was a blast and I hope you had fun following me on my DIY journey too. If you’d like, you can purchase this nightstand, the prints, the magazine rack, and even the beach sign from my shop (SOLD).

Shop Prodigal Pieces | shop.prodigalpieces.com

Retro Mid Century Bedroom Decor with Handmade Nightstand by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

What a blast it was to recreate this handmade piece. So…would you have grabbed it? Do tell and do pin and share this Mid Century nightstand to inspire others to see past the trash and see the #trashure potential in cast-off finds.

Say whaaat? Larissa of Prodigal Pieces found a piece of handmade luggage on the curb and turned it into a Mid Century Modern Nightstand. Awesome! See the DIY details at prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #handmade #homedecor #shopping #furniture

Up next is Finding Home Episode 2, where you will be able to nominate someone you know to receive one of my custom pieces. I’m so excited to do this again! Click the image below for details.

Submit Request Application for Prodigal Pieces Finding Home Program | prodigalpieces.com

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Now it’s time to see what my Trash to Treasure gals have for you. See below.

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Trash to Treasure Tuesdays - Thrifted Makeover Fun | Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Trash to Treasure July 2018 | prodigalpieces.com

Check out these fun and fantastic projects:

  1. Confessions of a Serial DIYer
  2. Bless’er House
  3. Girl in the Garage
  4. Artsy Chicks Rule

More projects like this Mid Century nightstand:

A curbside piano bench and music rest become a DIY Folding Lap Desk with Storage created by Larissa at Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comMid Century Sunburst Table | Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

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  • Denise

    That was awesome!

    July 10, 2018 at 8:06 am Reply
  • Betty

    I definitely need to work on using my imagination more. You always come up with the best ideas for re-purposing Larissa! This is super cute.

    July 10, 2018 at 8:25 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You’re too cute!! Thank you, Betty. Happy to hear it!

      July 10, 2018 at 12:02 pm Reply
  • Christy

    Oh my goodness, I absolutely love how you reimagined this piece!! Definitely a true trash-to-treasure!! XO

    July 10, 2018 at 9:18 am Reply
    • Larissa

      How fun to hear! Thank you, Christy. Likewise on your ugly duckling too!

      July 10, 2018 at 12:02 pm Reply
  • Renee P

    That is amazing! You have some imagination and it was working overtime with this one! I absolutely love it! This is one of my favorites yet Larissa!

    July 10, 2018 at 10:51 am Reply
  • Hanna

    Wow! That is one of your best transformations! You have such great vision! Truly envious of your power tool knowledge/usage!

    July 10, 2018 at 11:07 am Reply
    • Larissa

      That made my day, Hanna! Thank you. It was fun not only to find it, but see my vision take shape. Woot!

      July 10, 2018 at 12:03 pm Reply
  • Nancy @ Artsy Chicks Rule

    That turned out SO cute Larissa!! I adore those legs! xoxo

    July 10, 2018 at 11:25 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks, Nancy! I couldn’t wait to put them to use. Now for the other two..hmmm…

      July 10, 2018 at 12:04 pm Reply
  • Debra Wise

    Another amazing makeover. You have such vision to take a piece from trash to trashure. Awesome job!

    July 10, 2018 at 2:56 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks for the love, Debra! It was fun to do.

      July 10, 2018 at 10:04 pm Reply
  • Becky

    Wow, I REALLY like this one! Adding the drawer was perfect.

    July 10, 2018 at 5:10 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Woot! Thankful JC was willing to help. 🙂

      July 10, 2018 at 10:05 pm Reply
  • Jen @ Girl in the Garage

    Woah, I would’ve never guessed that was a suitcase originally. You turned it into a fabulous nightstand Larissa!

    July 10, 2018 at 8:25 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      I had fun picking through the goodies they had. Even got some other really cool stuff, like a vintage vinyl wallpaper sample book. Fun!

      July 10, 2018 at 10:09 pm Reply
  • Donna Gonzalez

    You never cease to amaze me . . . and inspire me. Absolutely love how this came out!

    July 10, 2018 at 11:10 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      I’m sure excited to hear it, Donna, because inspiring it why I do what I do. Thank you so much!

      July 12, 2018 at 5:29 am Reply
  • Marie

    Whaaaaaaat! Love everything about this, Larissa!

    July 11, 2018 at 12:12 am Reply
    • Larissa

      hee hee! I was actually thinking about you while working on this. So fun to do! Thanks, Marie.

      July 12, 2018 at 5:29 am Reply
  • Mary

    Oh Larissa what a transformation that was. I was not expecting it to look so different and so great!!

    July 11, 2018 at 12:27 am Reply
    • Larissa

      That’s wonderful to hear, Mary. Thanks for the smile! 😀

      July 12, 2018 at 5:30 am Reply
  • Janice

    You are an AMAZING woman, Larissa. Your creativity blows my mind!

    July 11, 2018 at 11:46 am Reply
    • Larissa

      How absolutely wonderful of you to say. Thank you, Janice!

      July 12, 2018 at 5:32 am Reply

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