I’ve had this beloved Marc Jacobs bag (originally purchased at Neiman Marcus Last Call about 12 years ago) and used it as my main bag for many years. It is still in decent shape (a testament to how very well made it is) though the beautiful magenta color had rubbed off the high traffic areas such as the handle and corners. Because it was looking so worn I’ve had it in storage for a few years, thinking about what to do with it. I knew matching the exact color of leather dye was going to be near impossible, so the idea hit me to just have fun and paint it. Over the holidays I gave myself a gift and did just that. I love how it turned out, as not only have I given my beloved bag new life but it is now an original piece of art as well.
I free-handed the image with a sharpie pen and painted it in acrylic paint. (You could certainly use a stencil or transfer to start your image if you are uncomfortable with that). I also painted ombre’ pinks on the lower part of the worn handles (echoing the peony shades) and matched up the bag’s original color as best I could and rubbed that paint on the other worn areas of the bag that the design did not cover, which turned out quite well. Acrylic paint does great on leather, though if it’s very stiff leather you may need to go over the area with a very fine grit sandpaper first. Darker color leather requires a few layers of paint, and even then the leather color may bleed through light color paint (a bit of pink bled through on some of the white areas on the tiger but I don’t mind it). I really enjoyed this project, it was a nice departure from my very time-consuming oil paintings. I am already planning another project with one of my old leather jackets. Recycling at it’s best! I love the idea of giving new life to well-loved designer bags, and am on the lookout for good candidates for more fun painted bags that I may sell in the future (but this one is just for me :-).
BEFORE (You can see the worn corners)
IN PROGRESS (at the Sharpie drawing stage)
Thanks for looking, I hope you’ve enjoyed this project. FOLLOW this blog and see what’s coming next.