The altered train cases I do are inspired by an article I once read in the Cloth Paper and Scissors Magazine-Summer 2005. The article is titled "Time Travel" by Linda Linn. Here are the instructions that I use.
Vintage train case-or also called old cosmetic case-luggage-I usually get them off ebay but I did find one once at an antique store for 10.00.
Acrylic Paints-and Paint markers are nice to do detail work
polyurthane to protect-
You paint it as desired. I usually put a couple of coats to increase durability.
You add collage elements with the gel medium. Use a damp, soft rag to keep it clean and without fingerprints and smudges
Do detail work with paint markers
Coat with the polyurthane-allow to dry. Repeat a couple of times to increase durability-so it can actually be carried as luggage and survive.
Add some luggage tags. I have used soldered charms I made, old keys, all kinds of things to hang off the handle. Have fun with it.