Upcycling: Mary and the Locks' Embellished Bag

Mary_and_the_locks_bag.jpgAbove: the Chief Bag, by Marianne Lock. You can keep your Kelly bags and your Birkin bags - this is a name bag I'd actually be excited to own.

Looking for inspiration for some spring upcycling? Check out this fab website showcasing the work of Dutch artist Marianne Lock, AKA Mary and the Locks. Marianne is a real dab hand at taking something a bit ordinary - a thrift store bag, or a faded pair of black Converse - and making them truly amazing.

I love Marianne's Chief Bag (above) - I'm a total sucker for geometrically based designs, and who wouldn't love a bag with a face? Plus, I know I've owned - or contemplated owning - about a million bags like the one she's used for her base. They're a bit boring on their own, but with customization they take on a whole new identity.

Want to try out drawing on leather and fabric for yourself? Find a second-hand bag or purse in good condition, give it a good clean (a clean surface is essential for good results with any fabric or leather markers), and watch this super-informative video about what markers work for which fibers.


Above: this video gives a thorough intro to choosing the right markers for fabric and leather, thanks to an Austin-based art store employee. Bless!

Got any simple ideas for upcycling? Please leave us a comment - we're huge fans of this growing artform, and will be talking about it quite a bit in coming months!

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