Friday, November 27, 2009

The Gift of Thrift: Train an Old Bag New Tricks

Here's another oldie from the past, but with gift-giving time coming up, I thought this might give you some ideas.

As you may know, I make Hooch Bags that make a perfect little something for that saucy, someone special in your life. Basically, they're vintage bags filled with funny money, a nip of booze, a vintage surprise and candy cigarettes making for a naughty-but-nice gift. It's like a party in a handbag -- all concealed in pretty wrappings

This is one of the first bags I made last year out of a 1960s satin, beaded clutch in perfect condition that I ran across at a Housing Works thrift shop. And since my best gal pal Bevy Smith's birthday was coming up, it seemed predestined for her.

About the same time as finding the bag, I was dumfounded to discover a heap of vintage shopping bags in the recycling pile. I gasped when I spied among them a Bonwit Teller bag from the famous department store that closed its doors in 1990. Now this bag held special significance for me, since it reminded me of the stories Bevy shared with me about her parents purchasing school clothes for her and her siblings at Bonwit Teller and the warm memories she holds for a department store that only lives in memory.

From there, everything started to fall magically into place. I took the beaded bag and filled it with miniature bottles of rum and vodka and nestled them among bills of faux dough. Bevy's own Hooch Bag had finally started to materialize! Enough money in the world couldn’t buy Bevy the jewels she deserves, so I settled instead on the gloriously photographed book, Alchemy: A Passion for Jewels by Temple St. Clair, the inimitable jewelry designer, and wrapped it up in lavender tissue. The crowning moment came when I propped a vintage fan from the 1960s honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. and Bobby Kennedy inside a bed of silk violets that I bought in Manhattan’s floral district, all peering out of the top of the shopping bag.

If you'd like me to make a Hooch Bag for a special occasion or even a holiday gift, email me at theelegantthrifter@gmail.com and I'll give you all the details.

And remember, on Monday, November 30th, my first ever mystery giveaway begins. I'll be giving clues all week long, reveal the prize on Friday, December 4, and finally announce the winner on December 7. I hope your Thanksgiving was a wonderful moment shared with family and friends!

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous!

The Elegant Thrifter

4 comments:

  1. hi stan! LOVE this hooch bag idea! and i can't tell you what an honor it was to have you visit my blog and leave that sweet comment!! did you know that i have asked for your fabulous book for Christmas???!! hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving!

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  2. What a great idea--and Bevy is a lucky girl to have you for a friend!

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  3. What a awesome gift for your dear friend... I am sure she will be thrilled... the wrapping is as sweet as the gift...

    Just wanted to add that I am loving your book Stan... and thanks so much for the inside template, it just makes it that much more special... it has found a spot front and centre on my carpenter's chest disguising itself as a coffee table...

    Hugs Deb

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  4. STAN, YOU'RE A RIOT :) LOVE THE NAME OF THE BAG, I USE THAT WORD ALL THE TIME LOL ARE YOU HAVING FUN IN EUROPE? STOP BY & SAY HI, TO MY BLOG THAT IS, I'M NOT IN EUROPE YET, BUT IF I WAS, WHAT A SIGHT SEEING TIME WE'D HAVE GIO

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