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!