Friday, May 24, 2013

DIY ~ why Lee redesigned a designer handbag

For me, a handbag is the ultimate accessory. It's functional, and everyone who knows me knows there are few things I love more than a Kate Spade handbag. I own an undisclosed number of them, but this is the first time I've had to rescue one.

I recently discovered a previously-owned Kate Spade bag at one of my favorite consignment stores for a very reasonable price, but it was marred by some terrible stains.

Other than the stains, the bag was in excellent condition with pristine leather trim and interior lining.
What to do?
If I bought the bag, could I remove the stains? If the stains couldn't be removed, could I figure out some other way to repair the bag? Of course I decided to go for it!

I tried everything I could think of to remove those spray, baking soda, a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser...and nothing worked.

What to do?

Since I couldn't remove the stains, I needed to find a way to disguise them, and since this is a Kate Spade handbag, I needed to find a way to do it tastefully. Grosgrain ribbon is a signature Kate Spade trim, so I decided that would be the way to go.

I headed to the fabric store and bought a wide strip of cream-colored ribbon and narrow strip of black ribbon, and found some adhesive that would work with both fabric and the bag's plastic coating.

At home, I tested the adhesive on a narrow strip of ribbon and it worked, so I went to work on the bag. And this is the result.

The wide band of cream-colored ribbon does a beautiful job of covering the stains and matches the bag perfectly. The narrow black band adds a nice bit of contrast and, I like to think, a bit of designer flair. And now I can't believe I paid so little for this lovely designer handbag, or that I had the nerve to redesign it.

Does it work? What do you think? What do you think the Kate Spade people would think if they saw it?

Speaking of redesigns and DIYs, my two May releases deal with those very things.

Daddy, Unexpectedly (Harlequin American Romance) is the third book in my Seattle-set Ready Set Sold series about three best friends who run a business that renovates, stages and sells houses while they search for their own home sweet homes and happily ever afters.

In Maggie's Way (Harlequin Heartwarming), the heroine hires a contractor to renovate her house into a natural beauty spa and decides to work some of her magic on him, too.

Thanks for joining me today, and happy reading!



Pat Amsden said...

I think we can safely add designer to your name. And I suspect the Kate Spade people would be impressed.

Jennifer Getsinger said...

Way to go, Lee! We should all be so creative!

Lee McKenzie said...

Thanks, Pat! I'm not anticipating any job offers from Kate Spade, but I hope you're right!

Lee McKenzie said...

Jennifer, if I had the time I would love to do more of this sort of thing!

Anonymous said...

I have to remember this. I wish I could think of things like this when I need them.

Tammy Yenalavitch said...

Very nice redesign, Lee. You did Kate Spade proud.

Laney4 said...

I love it, Lee! Way to go!!!

In our household, we use the term "modify" quite a bit. When one purpose doesn't work any longer, we try to modify the item to work either for the same purpose or even another one instead.

I have used items in my living room, then changed them completely to use in my office, and then split them up to use in the bathroom. Coasters have been sewn together to become big trivets. Sturdy boxes with dividers have been turned on their sides and been used as shelving systems. Recipe card boxes now hold floppy disks. Towels that match my shower curtain now hang as my bathroom window curtains. Pants with "unfixable" knee tears are now shorts.

They say "necessity is the mother of invention", but, really, "imagination saves a LOT of money". I'm glad your "new purse" looks so great - and the total price was perfect!

Lee McKenzie said...

Cathy, I'm glad you think it was a good idea.

I took a chance and emailed the link to this blog to Kate Spade's customer care department and here's what they wrote back: "thank you for sharing your exciting rescue. what a great repair you made!"

How cool is that?!

Lee McKenzie said...

Aw, thank you, Tammy!

Lee McKenzie said...

Laney, what great ideas! Thank you for sharing them! I'm a big believer in "reuse, reduce, recycle."

linda s said...

Great save, Lee. I have no talent that way. Love that the Kate people liked your rescue. Too cool! Looking forward to your books. Must go order.

Lee McKenzie said...

Thanks, Linda! I hope you enjoy the books. If you would like bookmarks, recipe cards or autographed bookplates for any of these books, feel free to pop over to my website and send a request. Happy reading!