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Recently we took our first vacation as a new family to Waco, TX because while I was on maternity leave, my love for Chip & Jo went though the roof. I always liked their show, but when you’ve watched a bunch of movies and shows sitting on the couch with a newborn it was always nice to watch them actually create something. I almost felt like I accomplished something that day, when really I was cooped up inside in -13 degrees weather taking care of a baby.

So when we went I fell in love all over again. Not just for the design and decor, but shopping around Waco was different the shopping here in Minneapolis. Yes we have cute boutiques, actually we have a lot of them, but this felt different. Joanna has a lot of leather in her style and i have always loved leather. Mainly because I love restoring it. It’s such a mailable material, and just giving it a drink of the right products and a little love changes the entire thing. If you haven’t read my post about restoring designer boots, check it out. This post uses the exact same products and process and I am excited how it turned out.

I purchased this bag on eBay for $45. It’s advertised as one of Joanna’s favorite bags (and we made it full circle!). However, some of the newer ones that weren’t worn were still selling over $200. NEVER would I spend that much on a medium tote bag. I even struggled a little with $45, but mainly because I really didn’t need another tote bag. Anyway I bought it, and I do love it!

However, it was dry, stained, slightly cracked and everything that comes with leather that’s not cared for. The first thing I use on something like this is my Cadillac Boot Care. I put a decent amount on a towel and pretty much rub down the entire thing. This cleans it and puts some moisture back into the leather.

I had to do it twice on the entire bag. I was surprised when I turned it around after completing that it soaked everything up super fast and needed another coat. You can tell if it needs another if parts still look flaky and don’t feel super soft. That mean, just do one more, it’s not going to hurt!

Now this stuff is absolute gold. Frye Boot Polish. I seriously use this on everything. Ok not everything, but a lot of stuff. It’s perfect for all leather and protects it from the sun, water, and stains. It also seals all the moisture inside to really hydrate to it leather goods. It’s the stuff that the employees at Sorel use on all their shoes in store. I wouldn’t say it wipes away scuff marks but it definitely fades them! Last i follow up on any hardware with Blue Magic Polish. This stuff is pretty magical too. It really erases any tarnish that is on metal. I use it on things sometimes assuming they are clean and the towel is always dirty.

And voila!

It’s obviously not perfect or bran new, but damn for $45 vs $250+, I choose this every time. It also has a little character and it’s broken in a bit too and not stuff, so it hangs off your shoulder a little better.

And there you have it. Another fine leather piece restored for a fraction on the new version!

Designer on a budget my friends!

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