Distressed Small Messenger Bags

Image of a small, distressed gray messenger bag
Carry it all in style!

With their rugged charm and practical organization, distressed small messenger bags make a perfect carry all for campus students or city dwellers.

The Appeal of Messenger Bags

Messenger bags are a smart choice for those seeking comfort and function. Unlike bulky hobo handbags or backpack purses, messenger bags are worn comfortably across the body over one shoulder, freeing the arms for activities such as bike riding, coffee clutching or dog walking.

Messenger bags made their debut in the fashion world back in the 1950's, when Frank De Martini and his two daughters, Kathleen and Marge, set up an underground shop in New York City known as De Martini Globe Canvas Company. Although messenger bags were previously used for the transport of mail and goods by Pony Express riders as well as bicycle couriers, De Martini Globe Canvas Company created their very first bag for utility workers to carry their tools up the telephone poles with ease.

Today, messenger bags are a popular unisex bag style that meets the demands and lifestyle needs of all sorts of people. If you're looking for a classic way to carry media, documents or school supplies, messenger bags offer durability without sacrificing style.

Where to Buy Distressed Small Messenger Bags

Due to their popularity, distressed small messenger bags can be found at many trendy retail stores as well as the more common big box stores such as Wal-Mart. Unisex boutiques such as Urban Outfitters also carry a large selection of distressed canvas and leather goods.

For an original or unique bag, don't discount resale, thrift, or vintage stores. In addition to thrifting, an auction site such as Ebay boasts a wide and eclectic selection of messenger bags from individual sellers. With worldwide shipping available, finding a bargain priced messenger bag rich in history makes the hunt for the perfect bag exciting!

Get Distressed

If purchasing a distressed bag isn't an option, consider distressing your own canvas or leather messenger bag. Distressing can be an easy way to add character to an otherwise boring bag. If you have an old bag that's seen better days, yet lacks rugged charm, adding additional distressing can entirely change the look. There are several ways to distress a bag on a budget.

Distressing Leather Bags

  • To distress leather, take the bag and roughly beat it across the pavement or gently scratch the surface with a fine grain sandpaper, focusing on the corners where aging would naturally occur.
  • To enhance color, lightly blend a shoe polish deep into the distressed cracks.

Distressing Canvas or Cloth

  • To distress a cloth material, wash the bag in the washing machine on cool, lightly rough the edges of the bag with a fine grain sandpaper until the fabric begins to pill, then leave the bag out in the sun to dry.
  • To add an aged patina to a light colored bag, consider tea staining or dying the fabric. To create a tea stain, you'll need two tea bags for every 8 ounces of water. Boil enough water to cover the bag on the stovetop. Pour the boiling water into a bucket along with enough teabags for the amount of water used. Allow the tea and the messenger bag to soak thoroughly. Always allow the fabric to dye deeper than desired. Once the bag is rinsed, it will lose some color. Tea staining works on all natural fibers, including linen, silk, and canvas, so be sure to consider a dye option when distressing any of these natural contents.

Explore the Uses

Once you have the perfect messenger bag for your needs, you'll quickly begin to realize the comfort and durability the classic shape offers. Whether it's a trip to the store or a walk in the park, a distressed small messenger bag is sure to carry your necessities in style.

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Distressed Small Messenger Bags