If you’re like me, you’ve been shopping for your bags, clutches and totes anywhere you can, on any eretailer you can. namely Amazon, eBay, Etsy and Poshmark, where I found mine. Since a most of these sites are for used items, you may run across some bags and clutches that need some work. The damage I ran across was water stains, cat scratches and general wear and tear. Don’t let a tear or stain stop you from a purchase.
If the bag is in general good shape and the damage is minimal, then go ahead and buy. The damage I saw above was indeed water damage, tears, cat scratches and general use. The bags themselves are in good shape and still have years and years of good use in them. Basic repair tools you’ll need are: leather cleaner, leather dye (works on natural and vegan leather), superglue and colored duct tape. Truly, duct tape can fix anything!
From above, the Xtra-Large Piel Leather Laptop Tote had water damage about 1/3 up from the bottom and all around. I cleaned with two different leather cleaners, both which promised to clean any stain but didn’t. So I bought an acrylic leather paint for the bat. You can see the shine from where I painted to cover the stain. I think it turned out pretty well, considering the stain was white, now the bag will not stand out as much and last me years.
The Orange Marc by Marc Jacobs tote had rips where in two places where the divots were. For this bag, I used orange duct tape, a close match. I’m not worried about anyone giving my bag that close attention where I covered the rip. This will do until I can purchase some superglue. When I receive a leather bag, I immediately clean with the two leather cleaners. That alone gives the bags and clutches a super shine. When the Piel Leather rolling garment bag came in, it was dusty, dirty and gamey. I cleaned with both cleaners and now it looks brand new. Not bad for a bag 85% off the Amazon retail price!
Next was the small Charming Charlie clutch. The front is green and light tan/beige and the back was the same light tan/beige. Very nice. Unfortunately, the seller’s cat got ahold of the bag and the back was now pockmarked all over. Instead of throwing my hands up and declaring a crisis, I snipped off the leather tags that the claws caused, then cleaned with the leather cleaners. When it dried, the next day I put dots all over the back with the acrylic paint, in dark saddle. I let that dry then put the first layer of the paint all over the back, leaving a 2 mm dry space with the original tan/beige leather, giving a wild and free feel. I let that dry overnight and put the second layer of paint across the back. Now it looks like there’s a popup of dots underneath the layers of paint. The layers of paint cover the cat scratches and gives the clutch a three color appearance.
The fourth bag was another Piel Leather, this time the foldover crossbody tote, which was the second I bought, loving the chocolate brown I bought last fall, which I covered in a post itself. This one had pen and ink stains front and back. I used the same saddle colored acrylic paint and simply covered the stains, much like I did the first Piel Leather Xtra-Large tote. The paint only takes minutes to dry but I left out overnight to ensure the paint will not smudge or transfer.
This dark teal slip pocket clutch with tassel was a great find, at $5 on Poshmark. The damage? The edge of the bag on the lower left side had been eaten away. Instead of passing the bag up, I bought a dark teal narrow depth roll of duct tape, much like the orange duct tape also in a narrow depth, both on Amazon for around $7 each at the time of purchase. I cleaned the bag with the two leather cleaners, bringing out the depth and shine of the leather. Then carefully taped over the damage. Again, I’m not concerned with others noticing the bag. If people are looking that closely to my bags, then by all means, they deserve to notice. I’m looking to carry my belongings from point A to point B, for my needs.
Now you see you can do basic repair of your bags without breaking the bank. You get a fashionable bag to carry your items, at a reduced price and you get the satisfaction and knowledge you fixed something!
Until next time,