Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Up-cycled purse

 I got a vintage Coach purse at a yard sale for 50 cents.  I loved that purse.  It was sturdy and big enough to tote all that stuff I need. It has served me well for two years or so.
Well, over the weekend, an entire water bottle was spilled in my purse. 
Sad day.
I set everything out to dry... check book, wallet, coupons (some of those got tossed)... and the purse was set by a sunny window.
It dried like this...
Um.  Not what I want my bag to look like.
I tried cleaning it.  No luck.
And so, inspired by my crafty friend Jill, I painted my purse.
To paint on leather (first of all, paint on something that you won't be crushed if it is ruined... lucky for me, my bag was already ruined... I had nothing to lose.) mix water and acrylic paint to a VERY thin consistency (about a 2:1 mix) and paint on with a large soft, flat brush. That is like a primer.  It softens the leather and opens the pores so the rest of the paint will soak in.  Next, mix a little more paint into the water/paint mixture and paint the bag again (1:1 paint/water).  And keep going with thin layers of paint until you get the look you were going for.  On my bag, the primer layer was a warm grayish tan, and with each layer I added more colors and some metallic paint. I also painted some of the final layers and rubbed some of the paint off with a rag. I used about nine different paints to get this color (cerulean blue, phalo green, yellow ochre, alizeran crimson, dioxazine purple, metallic silver, metallic gold, white, black).  Took me back to my color theory class in college.  :)

When I told my husband that I painted my purse, he was shocked.  "But that was a GOOD purse!" I know.  I was trying to salvage it.
(Mind you, whenever we see a home makeover show and someone paints over wood furniture, he cringes.  So I can see how that carried over to painted leather.)
But I think it turned out quite nice.

And I will carry this beauty for another several years.