Saturday, August 27, 2011

Altered Doctors Bag

It started out like this...........

An old alligator bag with great hardware,
but in really bad shape.

In fact this bag was given to me by an antique dealer that was
going to throw it away but decided I should use
 the hardware.

OK, still not TOO bad......


What I love about projects like this is you can't lose.  They
are already deemed garbage by "normal folk"
so what do you have to lose?
It's actually somewhat freeing,
and some of my favorite projects have come about this way.

So, with that in mind......

Maybe ready to be used by a different kind of Dr. now??:)

I didn't cover any more than I had to.
After cleaning and conditioning,  the leather
was really quite beautiful. 

But I still needed to make it  sturdy.
So the first thing I did was take a curved needle and some
upholstery thread and sew up all the tears.
It didn't need to be perfect because I knew I was
going to cover it, but it needed to be structurally sound.
Next I started with one of the ends and spread the whole area I wanted to cover with glue.
And I spread it fairly thick.
I actually mixed two glues together, because I didn't want to run to store, and I only had
a few dibs and dabs of different ones.
So just think thick, white, dries clear, will hold a Buick together.
Then I just pressed the fabric on. In my case a wonderful old
saltillo that I have used in so many projects that everything is starting to look alike. 
(But I will miss dreadfully when it is gone) 
I did do a dry fit before I spread the glue, knew that I was going to have a fold on one end etc.
If you get your glue where you want it, you can trim the edges after it dries.
If you are the sort that has patience. :)
So no sewing of the fabric, just glue.
If you do a project like this, remember that you will be opening and closing it,
so cut the fabric big enough and fit it to accommodate the movement.

When both of the ends were done............
I cut a piece to go along the top of the front and back.
Again, just glued it on.
Cutting the botton uneven.
Originally that piece was  for contiguity of color......
as well as to sew the embellishments onto.
You don't want to be pushing needles and wire through
that gater any more than you have to, plus it IS old and
can tear easily.

I soon realized that the blanket by itself wasn't going to hold the amount of stuff I wanted to put on the bag.
So I punched holes through the top corners and wired a chain across to use as the support
for all the beads and whatnots I planned on adding.

The back is still plain, I am not sure if I will add anything to it or not.
The beauty of a project like this is the fact that
it is never done..................
You can add or subtract forever.

I forgot to show you the inside.................
Stained, but no holes.
It actually cleaned up pretty well.

I wish I could tell you where that dirt is from.......
But I can't .
But it's very cool!!!

Shootouts: The round polished bone is from Steph
And a lot and I mean a LOT of the other things are from Terri

And the dirt.......that's my secret!!! :)))



  1. OMG! OMG! OMG!OMG! OMG! WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! I mean WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! Another piece I wish I made... wish my old doc bag was as good looking to start with... but what you did with this bag... wowwwww... you were possessed... by inspiration and talent... it's awesome, it's TRUE if you see what I mean... WOWWWWWWWWWWwwwwwwwwWWWWWWwwWWWWWW... WOWWWWWWWWWWW... jaw dropped to the floor.... WOWWWWWWWWWW

  2. "I told the witch doctor you were a friend of mine!" Sorry...couldn't resist! It's amazing and I just love it.
    P.S. Are you keeping a dirty little secret?

  3. Fabulous piece of art. You have such vision, I'm in awe!

  4. Oh Gayle, if there are words for it, I don't know them...!
    Looking at this, I am feeling small. But in a good way.
    I'm just loving it.

  5. And what secret potion might be in that lil' amulet bottle and medicine bag??? Love the Indian head nickle...well I LOVE everything else too, girl...and I thought I was 'all that' with an original Magnolia Pearl bag...she ain't got nuttin' on you girlfriend!!!



  6. That is way to cool! I love it! I'm always drawn to old bags and that one is awesome now!

  7. Love this! Absolutely amazing transformation!

  8. OMG -- This is freakin' INCREDIBLE!!!

  9. Gayle here i go, I followed garys advice. i had to jump through some hoops. If this does work. The purse is to die for. You are so amazing!!! That last jug is incredible. i am so behind. but i've tried to post a dozon times.

  10. Hey.....thanks to all of you that left such kind and generous comments..........
    I had a lot of fun doing this......

  11. This is fabulous - all the bones reminded me of a piece I heard on Georgia O'Keefe recently. I think this bag definitely has a little Georgia in it!

  12. Fabulous creation. I am in awe of you, Gayle. A bag to die for!!

  13. WoW this is fabulous!! I love what you did with this!!! It have a Native American look to it now... A new repurposed life!!


  14. I know I am very late but I have to echo the others. Love what you have done here. One of a kind and I am so glad you were able to save the basic bag. Not that this is anywhere NEAR basic.

  15. Nice transition of the bag...when things get old and get spoilt they have to be refurbished like this.The flavor has changed to a new and very gorgeous one.

  16. Rats!!big furry ones. I saw a snakeskin handbag at the thrift store yesterday. If I had thought to do something like this with it, I would have bought it.

  17. hay that is cool i like that the little bottle to !that is what i was thinking every time i saw a butterfly lol