the black bag.

A couple of months ago my friend Sue found this old black leather bag for me.

It doesn’t look like much in that photo, but I knew I could dress it up with a stencil.

The trick with stenciling something like this is being able to provide some support behind the surface you are stenciling.  In this case I laid the case on its side and filled it up with a stack of large books so that I would have a firm, flat surface for stenciling.

I stenciled it with Ceramcoat acrylic craft paint in Deep Taupe.  I know it appears white next to the black, but trust me.  It’s this color …

This is one of my favorite tricks for stenciling on black.  If you use a white paint the contrast will be much more stark.

I used just the lower portion of a stencil that I purchased from Maison de Stencils (and I noticed it just happens to be on sale at the moment).

Sue tells me that the person selling this bag said it was actually used as a doctor’s bag.  It is quite old, but unfortunately not in the greatest of shape.  You wouldn’t be able to use it as a bag anymore.  The zipper is broken and the leather handles are starting to give way.

But it works perfectly if you just want to use it as decor.

I filled it with crumpled paper to give it some shape and then I stitched the opening closed since the zipper wasn’t functional.

It looks great on a stack of vintage suitcases …

It has a bit of a spooky feel which is perfect for this time of year.

Adding a quick stencil is a super easy way to give something just a little more interest, don’t you think?

18 thoughts on “the black bag.

  1. Thanks for the dark taupe tip. The bag looks great with the suitcases. If you wanted to go the Halloween route, I bet it could have some spooky, medical stencils.


  2. Fun black leather bag, it has lots of patina – and I bet it has seen some interesting things! Thanks for the color of stencil tip, and the link to the stencil shop. I may just have to get some new stencils! Although I just read somewhere that signs were passé, but they are always one of my favorite things. Words, words, words….


  3. I love the bag! Looks like something Claire (Outlander) might carry. Maybe Fergus gave it to her 😂 Thanks for the QTip on stenciling. 😊


      1. It is coming back in February. I have been reading all of the books this last year. I am on book #7. They are fabulous ❤️


  4. Cute idea. I see these at auctions at times. They usually are a bit worn out! I would have never thought of this cute idea! For this time of year It does look spooky! You could always put a few fake bones in it, hanging out of the top.💀👻 Boo!


    1. Well …. truth is, it wouldn’t really be accurate to say that I can sew. I can do the most basic of mending jobs with a needle and thread, but that’s about it!


  5. Thanks for the taupe tip. This is a very cool accessory the kind that is a conversation starter. Of course that stencil brings it to ife once again. Love it!


  6. I’ve had a passion for doctor bags since I was a little kid and this one is a beaut! The stencil added just the right touch of extra character. Isn’t Ceramcoat just the best acrylic craft paint?!? So thick and creamy! I discovered it at the local “junk store” and bought an unopened bottle of the most gorgeous blue for 10 cents and fell in love. It’s great for stenciling because it’s thick enough that bleed-under isn’t an issue if you dry brush.
    BTW ~ I practice new painting techniques or ideas on cheap glass vases – it works great and you usually have something pretty after. Anyway, I tried using the Metallique Wax in Aged Bronze through a small damask stencil (like you did with Prima wax on that dresser) over MM Warm Silver metallic paint, which almost exactly matches the Metallique Vintage Gold Wax, and it came out beautifully even though it doesn’t have quite the shadowy effect your dresser did (almost!). It’ll make a great little gift. Thank you for that wonderful idea! You have the best ideas and most useful tips. You always inspire me to try something new. Thank you!


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