Stay Connected

Monday, May 15, 2017

Using a Small Bit of Time to Do One of Those Pesky Tasks

I had just put the hair color in my hair, so I had about 20 minutes to kill.

I've been meaning to repair my purse. The strap has been about to come off for the last 3 weeks. I had forgotten to fix it, and would only remember as I was picking up my purse to go somewhere.

20 minutes was just the right amount of time to take care of this nagging problem, and get my purse back into serviceable shape. Tools I used:
  • embroidery needle
  • upholstery thread
  • Sharpie marker
  • rubbing alcohol

I had all of this on hand. If I hadn't had the upholstery thread I would have tried dental floss or heavy duty quilter's thread. I stitched the strap back onto the bag, then went over the light-colored thread with a Sharpie.

I touched up some of my messiness with the Sharpie with the rubbing alcohol. Good enough, right? And when I buckled the strap on, any lack of straight stitching, or too dark Sharpie is concealed, for the most part.

The bag looks good enough to continue using, and the strap is no longer about to come off. Bonus was that this did not cost me a penny to do. I've just bought myself more time while I think about replacing this 11 year old, cheapo purse.

If you had 20 minutes to kill, what task would you tackle?


  1. Great save! It had to also feel good to know that you weren't sending something to the landfill. It always makes me sad to think I am creating more trash. And, I am also one that when I find something that works, I hate to change. If you like your purse and how it serves your needs, it is frustrating to try to find something new or even used that works the same. I have an old wallet that I am still using and it is in terrible shape but I can't find another that is like it. I think I am now going to check it over to see if there is some way I can refurbish it to make it keep on serving me. Thanks for the inspiration! You are amazing! (Good use of some freed up time!)

    1. Hi Linda,
      very good point about not sending it to the landfill. It's nice when I can prevent that. Oh, my wallet needs a fix, too! It's not so bad that things fall out, but it is starting to look shabby. I'll get to that soon. Like you, I haven't found anything at a price point that I like, so far. (Of course, my favorite price point is free, which makes finding a replacement harder. I did get this one for free at a swap many years ago.) Good luck repairing your wallet.
      Have a great day, Linda!

  2. Wise to save the purse with a simple, do-able fix before it completely breaks on you. I tend to do small, hand mending jobs like that: socks, small holes in knitwear, split hem etc.

    1. Hi Carol,
      Yes, the fix at this point was fairly straightforward. And repairing saved me that terrible embarrassment of the strap breaking off completely, in public, and the contents spilling all over the place! It just makes sense to do small fixes, like those tiny holes in t-shirts or leggings, doesn't it?
      Have a great ay, Carol!

  3. That was a good save! I would do the same thing. I prefer leather purses because they seem to last longer than just faux leather. The purse I have now was purchased 3-4 years ago and the straps are peeling the leather and I'm not happy having spent so much on that purse and then having the shoulder straps peel. I've looked at garage sales but the price tags on those are rather high so I'll pass on them. Sadly, there's really no fix for the straps. I'll keep looking at garage sales and resale shops. I probably won't buy new again.


    1. Hi Alice,
      That's a shame, about your purse's straps. It must be such a disappointment. I hope that you find a new one, at a good price, soon.
      I hope that your day is off to a great start, Alice!

  4. I would not be able to complete a fix in that short a time, but taking much longer would not discourage me either. I spent several hours on Saturday repairing three very worn jeans shorts that my husband refused to throw away. All were shredding so badly, missing about an inch from the hems, and the denim fabric so thinned from squatting, especially on the front thigh areas. Bought at Walmart clearance over 15 years ago for $5 each, there was no rational reason to spend those hours and effort to save the shorts. But my husband gardens in them, so I felt I had to give it a try.

    I spent the whole day this past week, working on some embellishments (embroidery thread, beads and a tassel) around the neckline of a top I bought at Kmart for $4. I already took the neckline off once to restitch it better, but didn't like how plain it looked. Now I'm looking through the rest of my closet for other tired looking clothes that can be embellished. I would rather do that than buy myself new clothes, unless of course the clearance price is too good to pass. I also find it a practical way to get my crafting junkie needs met.

    Hope yesterday was nice and special for you!!


    1. Hi YHF,
      Well, I knew I had to work hard and fast to get this done before the timer rang, so my repair isn't as neat as it could have been, having such a brief time period. But that was okay with me.
      Good job fixing your husband's gardening shorts. It did take a lot of your time, but I think worth it. Doing these little things keeps us in the mindset to repair rather than throw away, for many household items. And it probably felt so productive to do this. It always bothers me that with clothing, there will be just a small portion that is wearing out, but the bulk of the item is still in good shape.

      Your embellished top sound really lovely, YHF! My mother used to keep a bag of trims for adding embellishments. I have an older sister, and I wore hand-me-downs from her until I was in high school. My mom would go through her bag of trims and find things to add special touches to the hand-me-downs that I received. I still have some of her trims in a bag. Thanks for reminding me of that.

      Not only are you saving money, YHF, but you are using your time to bring you satisfaction. You can't put a price on that. Have a great day! And yes, yesterday was lovely. I hope you had a nice day, too!

  5. Clever fix! I think I accomplish most of my tasks in small bits of time--I learned when my kids were tiny that 5-10 minutes of uninterrupted time was helpful for so many things. I think before that, I thought I had to have large chunks of time--it took me awhile to figure out that it was ok to only clean, say, the sink and toilet and finish the rest of the bathroom at a later time and/or date.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Wait, do you mean that other people clean bathrooms all at once? ha ha. I clean bathrooms just as you describe, the sink on one day, the tub on another, and the floor, when I grab the towels for laundry. It never feels like a big deal to clean this way. I do the same thing in the kitchen. When I'm grabbing a dishtowel for laundry, I dampen it and wipe down cupboard doors just before tossing into the washer. Like minds . . .
      Have a great day, Kris!

    2. I admit that I like the sense of walking into a completely clean bathroom, so I typically do the whole room at once; this isn't true for any other room in my home, though. And, like Catlady, below, I pick away at bigger projects.

  6. I think this is how I approach most things that need to get done. I'm not sure if I have attention issues or just fear large projects, but I'm really bad at setting aside big chunks of time to work on things - it just overwhelms me. So I tend to just nip at projects a bit at a time. Last night I had about 30 minutes before the sun was going down, so I hauled out the ladder and cleaned out some gutters. Didn't get the whole house done, but that's OK - I did the worst parts, the ones that were overflowing during the last big rain.

    Anyhow, great save on the purse!

    1. Hi Cat,
      Good job on getting the worst of the gutters done! That may be all that matters for now. Tackling big jobs in small chunks is what works for me.
      Have a great day, Cat!


Thank you for joining the discussion today. Here at creative savv, we strive to maintain a respectful community centered around frugal living. Creative savv would like to continue to be a welcoming and safe place for discussion, and as such reserves the right to remove comments that are inappropriate for the conversation.


Be a voice that helps someone else on their frugal living journey

Are you interested in writing for creative savv?
What's your frugal story?

Do you have a favorite frugal recipe, special insight, DIY project, or tips that could make frugal living more do-able for someone else?

Creative savv is seeking new voices.


share this post