06 October 2011

Upcycled bag: Boring to awesome in 5 easy steps

A few weeks back, one of my work colleagues gave me a stack of advertising leaflets he'd picked up at a recent firefighting industry expo. This little mound of assorted paperwork was handed to me by Nick inside a simple black shoulder bag, with the expo logo emblazoned on the front. It had little pen pockets and nice long straps and was made of sturdy cotton drill... and it was big enough to fit all my usual necessities plus nappies plus a million kid-sized snacks... the perfect bag! But how to make it less ugly?

1. My initial thoughts were to sew a few crocheted doilies over the logo - but then again, sticking a doily on it is my solution to a lot of things. A large hot pink lace doily, a small green one and a cross stitched napkin fitted over the logo perfectly. But it was a bit too frou-frou frilly, and I was intending to use it for work, so I kept looking for something a bit more modern, but still pretty.

1. At the bottom of my fabric box, I found this little Apple & Bee cotton drawstring bag which was a freebie giveaway with a magazine years ago. It fitted perfectly over the screenprinted fire logo, so I sewed it on with contrasting red thread. Then I realised I needed to add velcro to the inside, as the pocket gaped open and wasn't very practical.

3. The back had great pockets but was pretty dull, so I added a little ribbon pull tab and some velcro to the main pocket.

4. So I had a front pocket for my Moleskine and my diary, a back pocket for my keys, but where do I put my phone? A bit of salvaged navy cotton drill from my hubby's old work pants made a neat little inner pocket. I also put a strip of velcro along the top of the bag itself, in between the handles for extra security.

5. A bit of dangly stuff on the front pocket - a jump ring from my scrapbooking stash, an old skeleton key and some pretty blue cotton ribbon - and I've got a great little bag that suits my work gear during the week and comfortably holds all the kiddy junk on weekends!

What kind of things have you turned from drab to fab?

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