Add some color to my bag?
July 20, 2012 1:23 PM   Subscribe

I bought a new black canvas tote with brown leather straps. It's very comfortable but it is just so... bland. I am looking for ways to add some decoration or color to it that will still look professional enough for my job.

I am a teacher at a prep school that takes itself pretty seriously. I need to dress in business casual or professional every day. The black tote is large to fit all my papers and looks fine with my outfits, but it's so big and black that it depresses me a little bit.

One of my friends suggested a knitted flower (she decorates all her bags with large knitted flowers, leaves, and vines) but I'm not really on board with that.

Any ideas?
posted by kingfishers catch fire to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Jaunty little scarf tied to it? Doesn't have to be Hermes, but you could then switch it around to play with colors in your outfit or with the seasons. Easy to take on and off, also useful in case you actually need a scarf.
posted by jetlagaddict at 1:24 PM on July 20, 2012 [9 favorites]

Yes, a scarf! Or, since it's canvas, a brooch or pin. You can find really cool old ones at flea markets for like a dollar.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:28 PM on July 20, 2012

You could sew something onto it to cover part of it and make it less bland.
posted by Michele in California at 1:35 PM on July 20, 2012

I immediately thought of an applique like this. I'd poke around on that side - she does a lot with bags and pillows, so there are lots of other ideas.
posted by brilliantine at 1:39 PM on July 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

A name tag from Etsy.
posted by francesca too at 1:40 PM on July 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

What about adding a colorful lining? You could totally do a bright red lining!
posted by anaelith at 4:46 PM on July 20, 2012

A coworker of mine had a black leather tote with a sort of small "necklace" on one of the straps, semiprecious stones with a silver charm. If you saw a necklace on etsy that would look good on your bag, you could probably have one made in a much shorter length.
posted by yohko at 6:17 PM on July 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

As an alternative to embroidering, you could paint or print a design on it using fabric/acrylic paints?
posted by everydayanewday at 7:02 PM on July 20, 2012

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