My blinged up bag

After much ado in trying to arrange an outfit and accessories for the Children in Need Rocks Manchester concert, I decided to make use of an old bag and some new costume jewellery. 

Here is my Kyoto bag from Coast – 

And here it is pimped up –

And this is how I did it.

1) First, find suitable costume jewellery. I use necklaces and brooches which have a flat back, so that they lie on the bag more easily. For this project I choose a small faux pearl and diamond brooch and necklace, both from Monsoon.  They are a little pricy, so take advantage of the sales and student discounts if you can.

2) Arrange your jewellery on top of your bag until you find a pleasing design.  I turned the necklace upside down and arranged it to allow space for the brooch.

3) I then tacked the necklace in place with black thread.  Your sewing skills don’t have to be brilliant, but try to make the stitches small and inconspicuous. 

One of the reasons why I turned the necklace upside down is because I want to reuse both the necklace and the bag. 

4) I didn’t want to separate the chain from the necklace.  Neither did I want to leave the chain dangling on the bag, which would have spoiled the look.  So I again tacked stitched the chain on the back of the bag flap.  This allowed me to place the tickets and my handkerchief to the flap, saving me from rooting around in the darkened venue.

Here is a close up to show what I mean –

5) Then I pinned the brooch on as the centerpiece.

To prove the versatility of this approach, here are some more ideas on how to bling up your plain bag.

Yesterday I purchased 6 buttons (yes I brought even more buttons, eek!) from a very nice lady at Portobello Market (near the Ladbrook Grove entrance).  Her company is called Uroco, and she sells loads of handmade items including bags, vintage kimonos, obi belts and wall hangings. As you may know, I love Japanese food, language, culture and fabric, so I will be returning.

These 6 buttons are made from preloved kimonos.  They cost £4 each or you can buy 3 buttons for £10.  They are well made, chic and unique – no 2 buttons are the same.

Here is how I plan to use them –

Here is another idea –

Here is a close up.  I simply grouped 4 of the buttons together to make a Japanese themed bag. 

Another idea, here just using the faux pearl and diamond brooch again, but on it’s own.

So a number of different looks from a few brooches, a necklace and a bag.  Designer bags are great, but nothing beats carrying something you created yourself. 🙂

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