As soon as I returned home yesterday I went right to work on my wicker handbag project. First things first, I had to remove the paper lining. It was musty and had some spots of mold. Well and it was really dirty. No sense in trying to salvage it, simply not worth it. After removing the paper, there was access to give the handbag a thorough cleaning. And it sure needed the cleaning.
My original plan was to reuse the original leather hinges and just give them a coat of white paint to spruce them up. But the leather was in pretty bad shape.
I turned to a very recent purchase to replace the leather. The Baby, the Stars Shine Bright stationary set that arrived last week contained a vinyl diary cover. Vinyl means no fraying edges and fairly strong material to withstand some use.
I removed the feet from the purse and used the original leather hinges to make a template. The leather straps are more decorative than functional. They cover up a set of metal hinges that are nailed to the bottom of the bag.
I increased the width ever so slightly. The vinyl is not as thick as the original leather so I wanted to ensure good coverage of the metal hinge when all is said and done. Using a circle template I rounded the corners of the new straps. The vinyl was easy to cut with an Exacto knife. To finish them I used a craft hole punch to make nice clean openings for the brass feet to insert into.
Did my best to polish the brass feet before putting it back together again. I am tickled pink with the result. I doubt anyone will notice this small detail since it is on the bottom of the purse, but if I am going to all the trouble to upcycle the vintage purse there is no point in half assing it.
I’ve got some chores to attend to this morning, but then I have the rest of the lovely 4th of July holiday to continue working on the handbag. Should be a fun and rewarding day.