Retro stickers, polka dot frenzy & the tiniest buckles in the world


I am a certified travel nut. I LOVE getting away from the everyday, going exploring and visiting extraordinary places, getting shaken out of your comfort zone and thrown into a new culture. It’s serious soul-food right there.

So I think that was part of the reason my next major artwork was a funky old travel case covered in vintage stickers.

I wish we still used the old style of suitcase nowadays, simply because they are just so retro and classic, even though they are obviously crazy impractical and not fitted with convenient wheels. I also love the notion of keeping a record of your worldliness by slapping a travel sticker on the side of your suitcase.

This little guy was relatively easy to put together, being pretty basically-shaped. However once the “I should make the lid hover open!” thought crossed my mind, I knew I was in for an engineering challenge, of sorts. I ended up using a bit of wire to prop it open, which completely contradicted my paper art philosophy, but the results were so good that I stopped caring. Philiosphy Schlemosophy.

Keeping the lid open and giving people a peek into the polka dot interior gave me a nice challenge, and also gave the artwork a little bit of mystery. I am a little bit of a crazy polka dot fan, and they are suitably vintage so the interior worked pretty well.

I added a pocket at the back just to give it a little bit more dimension, and also to be one of those things that you notice the second time you look at it, not the first.

Suitcases with straps is such an awesome vintage look so I had make my own for this piece. I “cheated” slightly and used actual wire for the buckles at the front – I normally wouldn’t – but I think this piece needed it. Plus do you know how hard it is to make paper look like wire? Damn near impossible!

I had fun with the stickers. They had to be as randomly-placed as possible – and some of them even look like they’re peeling off – I wanted it to look like this suitcase had already seen its fair share of travel.

Overall I’m pretty fond of my little suitcase, and really wish I had a life-size one exactly like it.

What I learned:

How to make tiny tiny buckles.
That I need to go traveling again. Like yesterday.


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