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Beach tote from old paintings

So, I guess I don’t have enough to do with organising the house for Eugenia to take over while I’m in Mexico, and besides, I’m not leaving till this afternoon and I needed an excuse to spend more time with my flowers, I decided to make myself a beach tote to take to Mexico with me.


Now I’ve been meaning to do this for a while and finally got around to it. I have a collection of old paintings. Either ones I’ve painted which I no longer love, or thrift shop finds, (because I get some idea or other in my head). In this case, because, as usual I have very little idea of what I’m doing or how it’s going to turn out, I used two thrift shop finds and leather straps from a thrift shop purse, (which was bought for the straps and purse was recycled.)

Total cost: seriously under $10.

Ran the paintings past C and we both liked a West Coast mountain one and a rich Mexican colours one. A sort of yin-yang balance.

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I’m sure you all know that my sewing skills are very limited by now, but a basic tote pattern is easy as pie and there are loads of how-tos out there. I winged it somewhat. No paper pattern, very few straight lines, and my wonderful little Bernina sewing machine chugged away straining a little to get thru the thicker parts of the canvas, but I managed.

C and I took turns sewing the handles back on by hand. The wonderful thing about re-purposing leather is that someone probably already made convenient holes in it for you. 😀

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And, so here you are, our wonderful new beach tote is all ready.

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I’m glad I used cheap thrift store paintings because all paintings aren’t made the same and all canvas isn’t the same either.

The thick, chalky “Mexican” side is sturdier canvas and a better quality of paint and didn’t peel or crack, (although some of the heavy bits did break off), but the “West Coast” side was probably painted with thin acrylics and maybe not a great quality, and in the turning right side out, a lot of the paint powdered and fell off.

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Not that that bothers us in the slightest. We love the well used/aged/loved to death look, and want this tote to show its wear and tear.

Next stop: THE BEACH! 😀

C model

Ok, one more shot of those amazing flowers before we go. 😀

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Comments: 15

  • Christie

    March 22, 2014

    What a great tote! Have a wonderful time on your trip!!

  • March 22, 2014

    terrific! i hope you are lying on the beach there, as i’m freezin’ my sunday b** off here… ;)))
    thxs for your word on how kids can be a pain… seriously? 33? and still troubled? oh dearie…..

  • March 23, 2014

    What a great idea! You will have to experiment with this idea a bit more so paint won’t fall off and I’ll bet you could even sell some… as if you aren’t already busy enough.. xox Have fun soaking up that Mexican sunshine!

  • March 23, 2014

    What an eye-popping, original bag!! woman, you are amazing!!
    Have a great time in Mexico !! yay for vacations WOOPIE

  • March 23, 2014

    Yay! I saw you working on this on Facebook, and I’m excited it turned out awesome for you!

  • daryledelstein

    March 24, 2014

    you are SO clever … if you want to preserve the crumbling side i think there’s some fixative you can sort of brush on a light form of shellac …

  • March 24, 2014

    Have a wonderful beach trip!! You are so clever using painting canvas for those bags–I love them!! 🙂

  • March 25, 2014

    Wow, wonderful idea for using old canvases! Beautiful flowers and tote! Enjoy your trip!

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