Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Goodwill Bag Restoration

I am in love with this bag.
All out. Head over heels. Completely obsessive love.
We were cruising goodwill looking for a granny dress (I have a refashion rolling around in my brain) and I totally struck out. I did see all of these MASSIVE bins, however, filled with bags and I kind of popped my head in as I strolled by. I don't need anymore bags or purses. I have way too many. Plus, I don't generally shop thrift stores for bags anyway... in the past, I didn't see it as a worthy venture. 
My mind has totally changed!
Right on top... literally... was this gem! I couldn't believe my eyes.
A beautiful, vintage samsonite shoulder bag... in great condition.
It didn't have a price, so I marched it up to the counter and played the "how much are we willing to spend" game with my husband. 
Seriously- it was $2.99 ... my jaw dropped in disbelief when the cashier told me. What a steal! That Goodwill is quickly becoming my favorite because of the incredible deals there. Especially in contrast to another store about 20 miles away which is ridiculously overpriced (please, people... I'm not paying $8 for a muumuu or $50 for a scuffed up and unstable tiny table). 
This bag was easily restored to perfect condition. I originally wanted it for a camera bag (there are zillions of DIY tutorials on the internet)  but I like it so much that I may just leave it alone and use it for every day. 
If you're considering buying a vintage/old bag, let me tell you a few ways to clean it up. 

(1) Vacuum it. Take a hose and vacuum the entire thing out. Every pocket, every part. It takes the ick factor down like 20 points.
(2) Descent it. This bad boy (like all of my vintage bags & luggage pieces) smelled of mothballs. Sick. I've tried zillions of ways to get rid of the odor- here are my two faves. A) Make bomb bags from old nylons filled with baking soda + a few drops of essential oil. Zip the bag/luggage up with the bomb bag inside for 1 week & then check it. B) Place a few dryer sheets inside the bag + every single pocket for up to 2 weeks. 

(3) Clean it. Take a damp cloth or sponge and get rid of all the yuck, dry it. If it's more of a fabric/canvas, my favorite cleaner is hot water + baking soda and lemon. Spot treat. Trim off any extra little fraying threads. 

(4) Polish it. Using shoe/leather polish or WD-40/tarish wipes on the hardware.
(5) Embellish it. Want to add something to it to make it special? The DIY camera bag, some paint (acrylic), stencils, lettering, felt flowers... whatever you want! I chose to add a little detail to the shoulder protector on the strap. You can use sharpie, too!

After the first 4 steps, your bag will be in tip top shape. After the 5th it'll be personalized to YOU! You should have no fear of marching into a lovely antique shop (such as Lamb's Gate, if you're in the Lansing, Michigan area...) and buying a treasure. They're easily restored for many more years of rock-age.
I was supposed to submit this pictures of Odette for a bloggy blog link up, but procrastinated for too long. SO, I'll share them with you. Our pets were supposed to be happy, this is Odette right after she's had a nice little neck rub + chew time with her favorite piece of palm tree bark. You can see the palm shavings surrounding her. She goes nuts on that thing. 
I'll never be a bird lover (in general)... but I do think she's pretty cute. In the last picture she's all puffed out. She always makes herself super fat when we pet her. Stinking bird. I love her.
I'm *really* excited about tomorrow's post. It's one of my favorite refashions so far. *And* I used today's bag to accessorize the outfit. I can't wait to wear it all summer long! So be sure to check back in. Also- it's May! That means we need something new to giveaway this month to FACEBOOK fans. What do you want to get? Have an awesome Wednesday! See you tomorrow and as always, thanks for reading ;) 


  1. I love goodwill too and I just found a samsonite there as well. Thanks for your tips, I wasn't sure how to go about cleaning it. new follower

    1. We'll have to be bloggy friends :) thanks for reading!


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