DI started this blog all ready to blame the holidays for my absence from posting, but when I digitally leafed through past posts, I was startled to see that July 31, 2012 was my last blog. That was when we were gearing up for Costume College. SHAMEFUL! How could I be away for so long?

Luckily, a recent trip to Goodwill has sprung me purse first into creative mode and I finally have a new project to blog about!


As I was spending Sunday thrift-storing a few weekends ago, I found myself in a Goodwill. There I came across a brown manmade leather handbag that was brand-spanking-new, had some interesting features, and many pockets. There wasn’t even dust inside. I immediately snapped it up and headed to the register to shell out my $4.95. Later when I met up with Margot and was prepping the bag, I discovered it had a back pocket and a matching wallet, too.

I grabbed our collection of Lumiere paint chips and started thinking about colors. I didn’t really want to paint the entire bag, so I looked at colors in the Lumiere palette that would complement the dark brown. I settled on four: Metallic Rust, Halo Pink Gold, and a custom mix of Old Brass & Neopaque Black.

Purse steps (1)I also noticed that Margot had spread out several zippers (both plain and hand-painted) on the craft table. I snapped up a plain black, plain brown, and a black one sponged with Halo Pink Gold to create an embellishment.

I had to snip off the bulky brand tag off the front pouch (actually, Margot did it for me, being a whiz with little sewing scissors). My plan was to cover that area with an embellishment to hide the needle holes.

I started painting by mixing Old Brass with a few drops of Neopaque Black and painted the pouch flap. After that dried, I used Halo Pink Gold (2 coats) on the body of the pouch.

One coat of Metallic Rust went onto the narrower pouch and the two tabs securing the handle to the bag. Lastly, I brushed one coat of Halo Pink Gold onto the base of the side strap details.  I didn’t apply multiple, solid coats because I wanted the paint to mimic the mottled finish of the original faux leather.

Paint Collage Next, I had to create the embellishment to hide where the brand tag had been cut off. I measured and marked all three lengths of zipper tape for the width of the flap, and drew a line of Fray-Check where I planned to cut them. Once the Fray-Check dried, I snipped each zipper, being cautious of the metal teeth with scissors.

First I assembled the embellishment by gluing all the zippers together, then gluing the combo to the bag.  Here’s the step by step: I put the black zipper onto the table, then ran a line of Fabri-Tac glue across the top edge, lined up the brown zipper so it was slightly offset, and pressed it down on top of the black one. I left about 1/8 of the black tape showing. I glued the brown zipper the same way and pressed Margot’s sponged zipper on top of that . When the glue was dry, I applied a liberal amount of The Ultimate glue (we prefer this brand for gluing fabric to manmade or painted leather) all over the back and clamped it to the pouch flap.

Zip Collage After the embellishment dried (overnight), that was it! I had a brand new handbag. It’s my “daily driver” so-to-speak and I couldn’t be more happy.  I guess the little wallet will be part 2 of this love story some day soon… Hmmmm.


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