For my second daughter’s baptism, I decided to go with a theme of rustic elegance. To me that meant lots of lace and pearls with a hint of dusty pink as the accent. The formal event was held at a banquet hall and with that said, the time came to figure out where would the envelopes go from our guests. Traditionally a money box was just that, a box made of cardboard usually. Today I am pleased to say the options are endless. Truth is, I enjoy going to parties and formal events and seeing how far the hosts have gone to establish their themes. I also look forward and appreciate anything unique at these functions. In this case since this was a formal baptism, a money box was required at the receiving table. It was just a matter of how I could make it stand out and of coarse fit the theme.

How did I come up with my money suitcase idea? truth be told our family was given a while back for Christmas a gift basket. However it wasn’t a basket, it was a small suitcase. It was made of wood, stained in brown with faux leather and brass accents. Once all the goodies disappeared from inside, I wasn’t sure what to do with it and I didn’t have the heart to just toss it. Instead I stored it away until that day it occurred to me, it would be perfect for holding the envelopes at the baptism. As you know by now if I can repurpose something I will and this was an opportunity just waiting for me. It really does help to think outside the box, pun intended.

First things first I wanted to change the colour, I decided to spray paint it all in cream. Making it monochromatic, a tad modern on a rustic theme otherwise. I gave it two coats for full coverage. Once dried the fun part as always could begin. However prior to sitting down and going to town with the glue gun, my mom and I had visited our local Fabricland. There we purchased cream lace, one was stretchy and wide the other was thinner with no give. We also picked up a box of faux pearls. Earlier, I had found ribbon in different widths in the dusty pink to match the linens at the banquet hall. Lastly on another shopping trip at Michaels, I had come across feathered butterflies with pearls. My daughter’s name is Ilianna and I wanted to find a capital I in a sticker, in which I could place somewhere on the suitcase. I actually ended up finding one with pearls.

Now with everything on hand my mother and I could get to work, she was in charge of sewing and I was in charge of placing and gluing. To begin the decorating, I wanted a large flower in the accent colour. Luckily for me my mom was able to take the widest ribbon we had and cut out petals in different sizes. After that she lightly burned the edges with a lighter to prevent fraying. Then she assembled them to form a flower and began to sew each one together. Once that was done she found an old button with rhinestones she had from her sewing days. She added that to the flower and it was ready to go.

I then had to figure out where this flower would look best on the suitcase. Since it would be sitting on a table open for the envelopes to be placed in, I thought it would look best on the top half. I didn’t like it though up against the back of the suitcase just floating, so we decided to use the stretchy lace. My mom cut a piece just enough to go around the suitcase. From there she pinched an end and sewed it tight, then the same with the other end and then finally joined both ends together. She sewed the flower right over the joining areas. Then I easily slipped it over the suitcase and adjusted it so the flower was off to one side.

I wanted to add a small skirt on the inside of the suitcase, so that it didn’t look so bare. The lace was perfect for that and so my mom took the smaller width lace and created folds by stringing the top together. I then glued one end to the front corner of the suitcase bottom half. I continued to place a bead of glue along the whole perimeter until I reached the beginning. To finish that off I then took the smaller ribbon and glued it along the surface around the suitcase as well. Since the corners had small folds my mom took the thinnest ribbon and sewed small flowers together and added a pearl to each. Finally I glued one flower on each corner to hide the ribbon folds.

Once that was done I took the butterflies and glued those to the suitcase as well. One on the bottom corner and one on the opposite top corner. Lastly I decided to stick the letter I on the bottom front of the suitcase, right where the handle is. Giving the suitcase that monogrammed feel.Then I placed it in a clear bag and in a cardboard box, ready for the day of the event.

I just love, love, love how this money suitcase turned out. Only down fall was our photographer at the baptism didn’t take any good shots of it. However I still have the suitcase and it’s still in good condition with all the cards in it. I can also look back on these photos and reminisce on this unique addition that helped further the theme of the baptism.