Well..technically a laptop case…but we’ll just call it a handbag for today’s purposes, yes?
I’m a firm believer in using the possessions you have to utter exhaustion: until they are tattered, destroyed specimens of what they once were. Get good use out of it (until it falls apart!) would be my motto.
My first laptop case is still on its last legs (so I only use that around the house and where no one sees it). I needed a laptop case for the computer I use for work, which is smaller than my personal computer, and which I have to carry to and from work constantly.
I spied this amaaaahzing Renny Drive spotted laptop case by Kate Spade (it’s now sadly sold out everywhere but one does show up from time to time on eBay). It’s professional, chic, feminine, memorable, and goes with just about anything I’m wearing to the office, or casually. I purchased it about a year and a half ago and have been using it ever since to tote around my work computer. It’s such a light color though – that it’s like a grime magnet, and I’ve been stumped on how to clean this nylon laptop case for awhile – because it’s nylon and because it has stiffeners and linings that really shouldn’t be thrown into the washing machine. So..
What is Nylon?
Nylon is a synthetic polymer (and actually was the first commercially successful synthetic thermoplastic polymer – thank you Wikipedia!) Though there are a few different types of nylon, nylon used in clothing and accessories is heat-set in terms of pattern and color, and water-resistant – and can be dyed using acid dyes.
You may have a nylon bag in your closet – or a pair of nylon shoes or an accessory – that gets dingy and defies being cleaned (because hey, it’s nylon). I’ve discovered the most awesome trick for getting those grungy nylon accessories sparkling again.
How to Clean a Nylon Handbag (or How to Clean Nylon in general)
Everywhere I looked on how to clean nylon recommended either throwing it in the washing machine with a milk liquid detergent, or spot-clean with liquid soap and water. Nope and nope – I found these methods useless for the amount of dirt on my laptop case. (Plus you should never put a handbag with linings or stiff sides into the washing machine – submerging in water and agitating could permanently damage the structure of the bag.) Here’s the top-secret, ONLY way to clean a nylon accessory and get it good as new:
dirty nylon item // Kiwi Sport heavy duty sneaker cleaner for light-colored sneakers // rag // small amount of water (not pictured)
How to clean your nylon accessory with Kiwi Sport sneaker cleaner:
1. Squeeze a generous amount of sneaker cleaner onto a dirty area, using the bristle brush of the applicator to scrub the cleaner into the nylon weave in a circular motion.
2. Wait a few minutes to let the cleaner penetrate. Use a clean rag to buff the cleaner into the nylon in a circular motion.
3. Dampen your rag with a bit of water, and shammy that cleanser (and the grime) away!
Note: Always do a spot test of the sneaker cleaner on the item before using it in a conspicuous area.
Allow your accessory to dry, et voila!
Your nylon handbag, laptop case, accessory what-have-you…now has a new lease on life!
This method may not work perfectly (and I was left with a few stubborn areas of dirt, especially on the edges of the case), but for a quick, useful solution this can’t be beat!
This post contains affiliate links, wherein I make a small commission if you click through and buy something. My FTC Disclosure is here.
Lately there’s been a plethora of crafty accessories all over the stores. Colorful tassels, fringe, pompons, and embroidery evoke a 70’s Summer with an 80’s pop flair. This means that any wily DIY’er can easily create the look for less and craft up accessories that look fresh, fun, fantastic, and on-trend this Summer without breaking the bank.
Take this Loeffler Randall Tassel Pouch – a big, trendy investment at $225. (And now totally sold out – for good reason! Similar in beige with silver tassels here.)
Why not be inspired to create your own fun version at a fraction of the cost?
BUY – Original
Loeffler Randall Tassel Pouch, $225 (similar here)
DIY – Your Own Version
YOUNA Small Leather Crossbody Purse, $15.99
1/10yd Custume DIY Craft Leather Fringe Tassel trims, $0.99 per 1 yard piece
Loctite Vinyl, Fabric, and Plastic Adhesive, $10.50 for 2
Pick up some suede tassel trim from your local crafts, notions, or leather working store – or from eBay here. (At $0.99/yard – plus a little wait for shipping – eBay is definitely the most affordable options_though if you can buy local, go for it!) If you’re buying on eBay I recommend these colors from the seller to truly recreate the Loeffler Randall look: Yellow, Watermelon Red, Blue, Orange, Purple, Dark Purple, Pink, and Beige.
Use a plain black zip pouch as your base (or try my DIY Leather Laptop Sleeve to make from scratch – just add a zipper closure to the top instead of an elastic!)
Roll up the tassel trims, spreading some Loctite Adhesive at the base to hold the rolls. When you feel the roll is full enough, cut off the remainder. Allow to dry, holding closed with a piece of tape.
One dry, fan out the pompons (you may need to trim the end of the tassels shorter) and use a generous dab of Loctite on the base to secure to the pouch. If you’re worried about adhesion, a hand-stitch using black polyester waxed thread and a leather hand-sewing needle will secure those suckers on there!
Pair with some natural wedges, some washed skinny jeans, and a wrap top make of striped shirting – and you have yourself a foolproof day-to-night Summer outfit!
Emilie M. is an online handbag brand featuring beautifully-designed vegan leather handbags for an affordable price. Offering a number of different colorways for each design, pieces retail for an average of $50-$150, and are referred to as “an investment piece without the investment.”I was sent the Shelia Satchel with Double Shoulder Strap in Ivory/Black ($85), and the Natalie Shopper ($80) in Blue to review. When I received both, I was quite surprised at how light they both were (usually handbags tend to be fairly heavy, even ones using manmade leathers.) But regardless of their weight, both handbags were constructed strongly, with the edges properly coated and sealed, the handles strongly-attached, and the stitching impeccable. Each piece also comes with a large metal M bag charm that adds to the high-end look (though I wish you could actually choose your own initial rather than it being the Emilie M. branding!). I love that the Sheila Satchel is in trendy black-and-white colorblocking with gold accents, and the detachable (and adjustable) shoulder strap has a sliding protector for your shoulder on it. (See the bag in action here in my latest outfit!) Both bags are fairly roomy and structured, so can definitely protect all my essentials easily. Given that they are constructed of man-made leather, I will still have to see how they stand up to daily wear and tear, though so far they seem to be doing well.
For the woman in your life one of these handbags could be a wonderful holiday gift – especially if your favorite lady prefers eco-friendly materials but still wants a high-end look.
Plus, the brand is offering a great deal next week: for a week beginning Black Friday (Friday, Nov 29), you can get 40% off site-wide and 60% off clearance items sitewide!Also, if you want to round out any handbag purchase with a 5-piece “Essentials Box” (pictured above: a kit including a cross-body wallet, umbrella, scarf, cosmetic bag, and key chain), it’s only $25 additional (normally $155). (A wonderful way to add to your handbag gift – or the items could be split up for stocking stuffers! That folding umbrella is super-cute with a little ruffle – check it out here.) Definitely check out all their handbag styles (14 different styles, not including faux ostrich or crocodile versions as well) below:
FTC Disclosure: I received both the Sheila Satchel and the Natalie Shopper from Emilie M. for review purposes. I have not been compensated otherwise for this post. The above are my honest opinions. For my full Disclosure Policy, click here.
It’s that time of year again: September is upon us, there’s a slight chill in the air, and the kids area heading back to school with brand-new notebooks, pencils, and Justin Bieber folders. Okay, maybe scratch that Justin Bieber part – but September always feels like a time of renewal, reinvention, and a brand-new routine. One always needs a ton of pouches and satchels and bags to navigate the beginning of the year – so why not DIY something totally trendy and useful at the same time?
Wander & Hunt is a new DIY supply shop, featuring on-trend DIY kits to create awesome projects for a fraction of the cost. (You may have noticed they feature kits designed by Geneva from the popular DIY blog A Pair & Spare – which is doubly fantastic! If anyone has their finger on the pulse of DIY trends, that would be Geneva. 🙂 I was sent the DIY Transparent Satchel Project Kit to play with – and had a blast making my own!
I’ve tried to create a clear pouch made from vinyl acetate AKA PVC before – and found that it’s actually a lot harder than it looks. With every cut of your scissors, you leave an obvious ragged edge. Punching holes puckers the surface, and you need to have a fairly thick sheet of PVC to hold up to being made into a usable bag. I was happily surprised when I opened the Wander & Hunt kit and found that the edges of the acetate were pristine (laser-cut would be my guess) so instead of a raggedy-looking homemade craft, you can make a very polished off-the-rack imposter. Plus, since the holes are pre-punched (and a bonus screwdriver is included in the kit – yay!), attaching the studs to form the shape of the bag is a breeze. In all, it took me 11 minutes to actually make the bag from start to finish – which is record time for a project that looks so complicated yet yields such a satisfying result! The satchel can actually fit a couple notebooks, a phone, a pencil case, and some makeup – a great size for toting everywhere!
The DIY Transparent Satchel Kit is available from Wander & Hunt for $69 – and all orders over $100 from Wander & Hunt ship FREE worldwide. You can customize your bag with either gold or silver hardware…or pick up some extra supplies (like some glue-on gemstones in settings!) to customize the front flap further. It’s a great project for a fashion-forward handbag perfect for school, work, or play…and no complicated measuring, cutting, or punching necessary.
Happy DIY’ing – and Happy Back-to-School!
FTC Disclosure: I was sent a DIY Transparent Satchel Project Kit from Wander & Hunt for review purposes, as well as some other DIY supplies for future projects. I was not compensated in any other way for this post, and the above opinions are my own. My full Disclosure Policy is here.
I picked up this iron-on decal set last Spring when I visited Japan.
Japan is such a treasure trove of nonsensical English. I find it summarily hilarious.
So of course I could NOT pass up this “Beau Chat” iron-on decal. I am a crazy cat lady at heart (who happens to unfortunately currently reside with this crazy Ewok-lookalike dog instead of a big pile of cats, which is my someday personal goal).
So I can only surround myself with cat-themed items and try to be consoled in the meantime. A stern-looking tabby sporting the crown jewels is an excellent addition to my collection.
I figured the title of this iron-on image was French.
“Good Cat,” I believe, unless my French is really terrible (which, okay, it is…a kind reader told me it is “Handsome Cat.” Whoops.). “Since 1902” it also proclaims in English (making it one very OLD handsome cat, apparently).
And then follows a chopped-up paragraph in German. I don’t speak German, but the online translator says it is something about being outdoorsy, wine, and making a blunder over a duration of time. Maybe.
But the back of the bag is the best.
My cat is only active at night.
YOU ARE BLOWING MY MIND
I mean seriously, who could resist a bag that accuses people of blowing the owner’s mind??!? I always feel that my mind is blown by the amazing-ness (and sometimes craziness) of other people. I think this accusation is excellent in a proactive sort of way.
I made the bag following a pattern from a Japanese pattern-book I have; you could also use this pattern here and come up with a similar result. The faux leather handles were also from Japan; you can buy similar ones here. The grey Essex linen I used for the outside I bought from this Etsy shop (I LOVE this stuff!), and the toile-print lining I bought from the fabric store. The iron-on is of course uniquely Japanese, but you can find something similar here and add some crazy paragraphs in a variety of languages on the computer if necessary.
This little, crazy tote is the perfect size for a quick run out, or just a wonderful conversation-starter.
From one crazy cat lady to all of you~