Hey, everybody - on Monday I shared some gold-ified crochet flats with you over at The Thinking Closet. Today, Lauren - a very creative and crafty blogger (plus a really nice gal) is over here sharing her brand of restyle with you! I'm so excited and I know that you'll love Lauren and The Thinking Closet just as much as I do!
Hello dear readers of Dream a Little Bigger! My name is Lauren, and I am a huge fan of Allison and her blog. I have written, "I love this!" on more of her posts than I can count. So, it was a no-brainer to ask Allison to collaborate with me on a guest post swap this month!
On Monday, Allison popped by my craft and d.i.y. blog, The Thinking Closet, and shared her fantastic Gold Shoe Makeover. I sure hope you caught it because it was quite the transformation. But this woman hits shoe refashions outta the park every time, so why am I surprised? She inspired me so much, I thought I'd try a makeover of my own, but in the purse department. Oh, and it happens to involve gold, as well. Here's my Vintage Purse Makeover:
This purse holds great significance for me because it originally belonged to a beloved family friend named Ruth. I can't remember a holiday meal during my childhood when Ruth wasn't at our table, warming us with her smiling eyes and clever quips. I have fond memories of visiting her ivy-covered house; we would sit on her back patio, sipping juice from tiny aluminum cans, and then play croquet in her big backyard. Ruth also made me feel special simply by the way she said my name. She pronounced it "Loren" as in Sophia Loren, which always made me feel so elegant. When I was in high school, Ruth passed away, and I took it extremely hard. I couldn't even get through reading my written tribute to her at the funeral, I was so broken up about it. Ruth's extended family invited my sister and me to her home to choose a few things to remember her by. I chose a box of old stamps, a tiny hand-mirror, and a black vintage purse. This black vintage purse.
The purse is a Coblentz Original, probably from the 1950s or 60s. It still opens and clasps shut with ease, but the exterior leather of the purse has seen better days. In these photos, you can see some scuffs and cracks, especially on the strap.
I knew Ruth would be proud to know that I wanted to give her purse a new lease on life and use it even more than I already do...so, makeover time! I decided to keep the gold and black color scheme, but knew the leather needed some serious help first. I consulted Allison as to what she might recommend for treating the leather, and she suggested black leather dye. So, although I had never before ventured into the leather dye aisle at Hobby Lobby, I decided to give it a go. I mean, black dye on black leather? It's hard to mess that up! I picked up a bottle of Eco-Flo All-in-One (dye and finish) for $5.99. Throw in a 40% off coupon and it was only $3.60. Score!
Step 1. First, I stuffed the purse with some rags to help me get into the nooks and crannies on the sides. I used some fine grit sandpaper (220) and lightly rubbed the entire surface of the purse to remove the shiny treatment on the leather. This was also necessary to allow the dye to soak into the leather. Step 2. After sanding, I used a damp cloth to clean off the dust.
Step 3. Next, it was dye time! I donned my rubber kitchen gloves, grabbed a foam brush, and started applying the dye to the purse in thin coats. There are NO directions on the bottle of the All-in-One, so I did some research online, and folks recommend using a rag or paper towel to massage the dye into the leather. I decided to be a rebel and try a foam brush instead. I just was sure to apply pressure to the brush as I went along, and it worked surprisingly well.
The leather soaked up the dye, and quickly, the blemishes disappeared and the cracks were camouflaged. I was so thrilled with the results, I was almost tempted to stop here and call it a crafty day!
Step 4. But, I eventually decided to the purse could use some gold polka dots on those main panels. So, I used my Silhouette to create a quick stencil. My first attempt looked a little too much like Swiss Cheese, so I went back to the drawing board and used the "snap to grid" feature in Silhouette Studio to create perfectly spaced dots!
Step 5. I secured the stencil to the purse with a rubber band, grabbed the same gold acrylic paint I used for my Punched Tin Christmas Ornament project, and painted in the polka-dots.
TIP: After completing one side of polka dots, I learned that it's VERY important to keep the stencil pressed flat against the purse and to use multiple thin coats. If you apply too much at once, you risk the paint seeping outside the lines and creating mutant polka dots. Where that happened, I just used some of the dye on a tiny brush to fix any blemishes. And here you have it! My newly made-over vintage purse! Polka-dotted vintage purse, that is.