Monday, June 18, 2012

Nerding out a Messenger Bag

My Nerdy Bag
When I decided to write this post, I had hoped it would be a follow-up to our Revitalizing an Old Purse project. In case you missed it, we bought a leather purse for a song at a thrift store and added some embellishments to personalize it and cover up some pen marks. The entire project was less than $5 and took about 2 hours. Not bad at all!

This one started out the same way. For $10, my youngest sister sold me an old bag she'd gotten from her school. I probably wouldn't have paid that much for in its condition at a store, but youngest sisters have a way of getting around such things. It had great hardware, except the main magnetic clasp had two male ends and wouldn't close. The bag was filthy and had red Sharpie marks on the outside. I would have gotten a picture of the nastiness of the inside for you, but as soon as I got it, I went to town with the stain spray. The inside had turned a dull grey color, when it was supposed to be tan with white dots.

Then I thought I would get some cool pins and patches for it from various sources to represent my nerdy interests. That part was tons of fun, but also pushed the budget well out of the "cheap" range (for me, at least). All told, I spent about $33 on embellishments. Since they arrived from various sources, opening up the mailbox and receiving a new piece each day was a thrill.

Fixing the Bag

Left Magnetic Clasp and the Center Buckle

1. Fix the clasp.

Before Washing
The bag has buckles (as you can see in the picture), but they are rendered pointless by the magnetic clasps underneath each. To "fix" the center clasp, I undid the buckle and sewed one end of it on top of the magnetic clasp. The center buckle now functions as a buckle. The other two worked just fine, so I left them alone.



 2. Clean! Clean! Clean!

A couple days soaking in a warm bath of OxiClean removed most of the grime from the interior. Stain spray removed much of the red Sharpie from the front  of the bag. Just washing a bag like this will greatly improve its looks.

Reverse Side of the Flap




3.  Attach the embellishments.

After testing the placement of all the embellishments, I started to fasten them in place. Of course, the buttons and pins can be moved around as much as you want, but the patches are harder to move once held in place. I sewed the patches on with matching thread. You can iron on patches, but I prefer to sew them. I think it gives a better hold, and the stitches look pretty.


And it's done! 

Total Cost: $43
Time: 1 day soaking + 30 min. in washing machine + up to 2 weeks waiting for shipments to arrive + 30 minutes sewing on patches
Great Adjustable Shoulder Strap

If you are interested in obtaining some nerd flair like mine, here are the ones still available (as of the publishing date of this post):

Portal 2 Logo Pin Set from ablesisters on Etsy
Xavier's School For Gifted Youngster Patch from aardogfsu on ebay
Phoenix Patrol Patch from jeffbass on ebay
Allons-y! Pin from cafepress
Star Trek Command Pin from cafepress

I'm still looking to add something pertaining to Diablo, Elder Scrolls, and Borderlands, but for now, it's complete. If you should see one of these items, please let me know in the comments. Or, if you have a nerd that you'd like to customize a bag for and need some suggestions, let me know. I found a lot more than I bought.

Update: My amazing husband gave me a present for my nerdy bag! Here are a couple pictures of it:

No comments:

Post a Comment