How to Reshape a Handbag

A woman carrying a black leather bag

All of us own at least one leather handbag that we love more than anything, and it’s simply like our baby. We keep it like it’s a prized possession, take utmost care of it, and prevent it from falling victim to scratches or pokes. It’s our absolute favorite thing in the world, and we use it every day and take it with us wherever we go.

However, regardless of how much we look after our beloved handbag, there’ll come a time when it’ll lose its proper shape and will droop like a sad little beautiful flower. Even if it’s a designer handbag, it’ll end up slouching and will bend out of shape.

When it comes to handbags, the rules are quite simple; the more you work it out, the more likely it is to become saggy and lose its natural structure. Also, considering the number of items that we normally chuck into our handbags, ranging from wallets and keys to our water bottles and laptops, it’s a given for them to wilt and sag.

For a handbag lover, that’s a total nightmare. But you need not despair because you can easily reshape and reform a handbag and make it look as good as new! Isn’t that great? While it certainly won’t give the exact feel and look like it did when you first bought it, you can still ensure that your handbag stays fit and lasts you for a few more years to come.

Here’s a handy guide on how to reshape a handbag, which requires you to follow a few easy steps, but with great care and attention. After all, we can do anything for our much-loved handbag now, can’t we?

Things You’ll Need

Before you begin working on reshaping your handbag, there are a few essential tools and materials that you’ll need to complete the task properly.

Here are the things you’ll need to restore the shape and condition of your bag:

  • Sharp scissors
  • Stiff plastic lid
  • Box cutter
  • Cardboard
  • Old newspapers
  • Ruler
  • Removable or washable marker

Once you have all these things well in place, it’s time for you to follow the subsequent steps to keep your handbag’s shape intact.

Step 1: Measure and Mark

The very first thing you need to do is take your handbag and measure the bottom-most section. Similarly, take the piece of the stiff plastic lid you have and take the same measurements according to the bottom of your handbag. Use the ruler to mark the required dimensions on the plastic lid with the help of the removable or washable marker.

Step 2: Cut and Trim

The next thing you need to do is take a pair of sharp scissors or a handy box cutter and carefully cut out the shape that you marked on the plastic lid. At this point, you must exercise great caution –it’s vital for you to ensure that you don’t end up cracking the plastic. A perfectly cut out plastic lid is essential if you are to reshape your handbag successfully. Once you’ve cut the plastic according to the size of your handbag’s bottom, trim the edges properly to remove any sharpness and round the corners off nicely.

Step 3: Wash Off

Wash off or remove all the lines and markings that you made with your maker to avoid ruining the fabric of your handbag from the inside. Since you’ll be using the plastic lid as a solid base or foundation for your bag, make sure that it’s clean and spotless.

Step 4 (Optional): Repeat with Cardboard

This step is for all those who don’t have a sturdy kind of a plastic lid readily available in their homes. You can always substitute it with heavy cardboard or any other similar material that’s resistant to wear and tear and is likely to hold its shape. In the latter case, repeat the first three steps till you have a nicely trimmed cardboard cut-out ready to use as a makeshift base for your handbag.

However, it’s important to note here that cardboard tends to bend and slouch way quicker than plastic. So, the chances are that with cardboard, you’ll find yourself searching ‘how to reshape a handbag’ online every now and then.

Therefore, we suggest that you stick to plastic and make sure that you have good-quality spare plastic lying around every time wardrobe emergency strikes without notice!

Step 5 (Optional): Decoupage and Decorate

Some serious handbag lovers might not like the idea of clear plastic or brown cardboard staring at them from the bottom of their handbags. If you’re one of those, we suggest that you decoupage the base, which simply means covering it with fabric or any printed paper to make it look pretty and match the insides of your bag. You can even decorate it as per your liking.

However, the only problem here is that in the case of using a plastic base, you can easily see when any of your belongings or items get trapped underneath it since plastic is clear and transparent. But you can also always keep removing the base to check, so it’s all up to you and your personal preferences.

Step 6: Insert

Now that you have the sturdy base ready, it’s time to reshape your handbag! Simply take the cut-out cardboard or plastic piece and insert it in the bottom lining of your bag. Make sure that the sides completely match and align well with each other, or you’ll end up with a weird-looking bag with a bizarre shape.

Step 7: Stuff It Up

Many people make the mistake of leaving their handbag crumpled in the back of their closet, or they just throw it on the sofa and leave it there for it to deflate like a balloon and slouch even more. If anything, this is a sure-fire way to ruin your bag’s condition and shape.

What you should do instead is to stuff it up with old newspapers to prevent it from sagging any further. This will greatly help your handbag stay upright for as long as you want without bending at all. You can also use any plain white paper if you don’t have access to old, spare newspapers.

Whenever you’re not using your bag, follow this step and stuff it to the point where it starts to maintain its natural shape. Then, cover it with a dust bag to prevent any dust or dirt from ruining the leather.

Step 8: Hang or Rest

The last thing left to do is to appropriately store your handbag because the way you store it can make a world of difference to how it looks. Once your handbag is all stuffed up, you have two simple options; rest it against the back of your closet or hang it with its own handles or straps on a hook.

Whichever step you choose, it’ll prevent the bag from bending and simultaneously folding under its own weight.

An Easier Way to Reshape a Handbag

If you want an easier and less do-it-yourself way to reshape your handbag, take a look at handbag shaper pillows. These pillow purse shapers work charms on your older purses. They can also be used from the beginning to ensure you keep the shape of your bags.

Our Final Thoughts

Handbags are surely a serious investment for most women, and the chances are that you own more than one handbag. Most of them come at quite a heavy price tag, which calls for the need for taking good care of them and making sure that they last you for several years. Naturally, they’re likely to lose shape during the whole process because they are subjected to daily wear-and-tear.

For these very reasons, you must follow our guide on how to reshape a handbag to keep all your handbags in perfect condition and extend their longevity!

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