Road trip kit: vintage suitcase chalkboard

About this time of year we all start thinking about summer road trips and with that, how to keep the kids entertained. Sure, we have one of those back seat DVD setups, but gosh I hate to just zombify them the whole way. I want this to be about time spent together, conversations, joking around, looking out the window…good memory-making stuff.

Inspired by a welcome sign spotted at a Michigan antique store a couple of weeks ago, I went home and dug out one of my vintage suitcases. If they’re a few bucks, I almost always pick them up because there are so many things you can do with them and if they’re in really good shape, I sell them in my antiques booth.

Anyway, the one I selected has a raised trim around the edge which perfectly framed out an area for painting. If yours doesn’t, just tape it off, then trim it out with a little glue and fabric later.

I did several coats of plain black chalkboard paint by Rust-Oleum, letting it dry thoroughly in between each coat. If you don’t, it’ll come back up as you brush and you won’t get a smooth finish.

The idea is that I can keep all sorts of car crafts and games inside the case. It’s small enough to fit perfectly between the kids in the back seat. They can use it as a table, draw game boards on it, play tic-tac-toe, bingo, etc. I have a little bag of multi-colored chalk in there, some vintage auto-bingo cards, Old Maid, Go Fish, yarn…And our old standby favorite; a metal ring, hole punch, and pen for making a memory book of postcards from our stops. We did that a couple of years ago on our road trip to Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa. It was such a hit that I made one myself.

As always, please let me know if you do this craft or if you have ideas on how to improve it!

Happy summer, y’all!