DIY bag restoration. How to repair and restore a leather handbag like new.

bag restoration

DIY leather bag restoration.

In this DIY bag restoration video, I restored this black leather handbag that I bought second hand from my local thrift store for $6. It had clearly been well loved, particularly around the handles where the leather had worn off. I loved the style, shape and design. It actually looked like crocodile skin (it isn’t) and would be a practical addition to my corporate wardrobe. Other than the leather wearing off in sections, it was in very good condition. This was a very easy, quick restoration project with great results.

Watch my bag restoration video

The 4 steps in this leather bag restoration

  1. First I cut away and used a very fine sandpaper to remove any rough edges.
  2. Next, I used a shoe dye that I’ve had for ages and has seen me through many restoration and upcycling projects to dye the areas where the leather had come off.
  3. After waiting an hour or so for it to dry, I buffed it all with a leather conditioning spray and a clean cloth.
  4. And here it is finished. I think it looks like new and it will now enjoy a second life in my wardrobe for many years to come.

Thanks for visiting. If you would like to see more DIY restoration videos like this, please let me know in the comments below.

I upload upcycling, DIY, sewing and thrifting videos weekly so subscribe so you don’t miss an update.

See you next time,

bag restoration
BEFORE (above)  – Leather handbag restoration.


bag restoration
AFTER (above) – The completed leather handbag restoration. It now looks like new.


clothes care

Why caring for our clothes, shoes and bags is important.

Clothing care, including shoes, bags and accessories, has many advantages:

  • ensures clothes last longer
  • keeps them looking great (and you too)
  • ensures they keep functioning as they should over time
  • reduces waste, keeping clothes out of landfill
  • saves money, reducing the need to buy more clothes
  • discourages fast fashion – one of the biggest global polluters


Clothing care increases durability

Proper clothing care ensures that garments, shoes, bags and accessories maintain their quality for longer.

This involves following care instructions on labels, using gentle washing cycles, air drying when possible, and storing clothes correctly. For instance, delicate fabrics like silk or wool require special handling to prevent damage. By paying attention to care instruction labels, storing clothes correctly, repairing and mending them, ensures your clothes stay in good condition for many years – even decades.

Caring for your clothes means you can enjoy them for longer, reducing the need for premature replacement.

Caring for our clothes reduces waste

The fashion industry is one of the largest polluters globally, with significant environmental impacts from production to disposal.

Fast fashion, in particular, encourages a cycle of rapid consumption and disposal, leading to massive amounts of textile waste in landfills.

When we extend the lifespan of our clothes through proper care, we can drastically reduce the volume of waste generated and the demand for new clothing production.

Ethical and sustainable

Caring for clothes aligns with the growing movement of supporting ethical and sustainable fashion.

By making a conscious effort to to maintain, mend and repair, rather than discard and buy new, we contribute to a shift towards more responsible consumer habits.

Clothing care equates to significant financial savings

Investing time in clothing care will equate to significant financial savings – now and in the long term.

By prolonging the life of our clothes, shoes and accessories,  we reduce the need to buy more clothes more often.

Mending clothes and repairing accessories can be less expensive than replacing with something new.

Over time, the money saved by not having to replace clothes frequently can be substantial – great for your hip pocket (and the environment).

Image and style

Well-maintained clothes and accessories convey a more polished, professional look, attributing to your personal style and how we are perceived by others.

Without doubt, looking good makes us feel better and boosts confidence.

Appreciating the designers and craftspeople

Caring for our clothes fosters a deeper appreciation for the sewers, tailors, designers and craftspeople who make our clothing and accessories, supporting a more thoughtful approach to the clothes we wear.