While I love soft, quality handbags, my budget doesn't. I've yet to purchase a Stone Mountain purse. Even discounted, they're usually over one hundred dollars.
So I was browsing local consignment shops and thrift stores, and I came across not one, but two genuine Stone Mountain purses! (I also came across a fake Coach purse, but I left that one on the rack. I'm not big on fake products.) The smaller, tan purse was beat up. It felt dirty, had a few scratches and dings, and the color was mottled in areas. The black purse was in better shape, but the leather was dull.
The price tags teased me. $5.99 and $7.99 for authentic Stone Mountain purses! Could I pass them up? Really?
Of course I couldn't.
I snagged both, headed home, and promptly Google'd "how to restore leather purses." E-How had an informative article which you can read here, "How to Restore a Leather Purse." I figured even if I ruined both, I would be out less than twenty bucks.
Here are the Before pictures (my camera didn't capture the condition very well):
Next, I had to try to find leather cleaner and mink oil. I tried PetSmart and Pet Supplies Plus, but neither carry horse products. I checked Lowes, thinking they might have leather products, but they didn't. Two weeks went by, and I stopped at our local Tractor Supply Company--they had the soap and mink oil. Yay!
As with all "projects" I've learned not to rush anything. I sprayed, scrubbed, and cleaned the purses one night and left them on the counter to dry. The tan one looked ten times better just being clean. The black one already started to reclaim its previous luster.
The next day, after verifying they were dry, I applied the mink oil. One of my concerns was the oil would smell bad, but it had a pleasant scent, and I lathered it on thick. I let it soak in a few hours, then buffed both purses until all traces of the oil had disappeared.
The end result? The black handbag had started out in better shape, and it looked the best. The tan one, my favorite, still had a few dings, but it looked and felt so much better, I happily began using it the next day.
Tan Stone Mountain purse: $5.99
Black Stone Mountain purse: $7.99
Leather cleaner: $4.99
Mink oil: $4.99
I wasted time hunting down the leather cleaner and mink oil, but won't include that here. :)
Vacuuming out the interior of the bags: 10 minutes
Applying leather cleaner and wiping both bags: 40 minutes
After drying, applying mink oil: 20 minutes
Buffing purses free of mink oil: 30 minutes
Total? Roughly 1 hour and 40 minutes
I still have plenty of leather cleaner and mink oil, so I may be snatching more used purses up in the future!
Do you ever tackle small craft projects? What was your favorite?
Have a lovely Monday!!