Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Repairing a Cooler Bag

Some things look good when you buy them, but turn out to have major flaws. We packed a cloth-sided cooler for an overnight cruise. Carrying the heavily packed cooler down to the boat put a lot of stress on the handle attachment points, resulting in ripped open cloth sides and exposed foam insulation.

We needed to find a way to make it better than new. First, I stitched the ripped sides closed at the handle attachment points. I salvaged a shoulder strap from a damaged folding chair bag and used it to wrap around the bottom of the cooler for extra support.

I stitched the strap to both sides of the bottom, to the side trim (the original stress point), and the plastic loops where the handles attached to the cooler. I snugged the strap around the bottom so it would support the weight when the cooler was full.

The result is a cloth-sided cooler that's better than new. A stitch in time didn't save nine (it took me more like a hundred), but it did save more than nine dollars. That's a plus in my book.

Have you made something better than new? How did it work out for you? -- Margy


  1. Great job - we do a lot of patching and repair around here - I just can't bear to let go of something until it at last can not function as intended - and then sometimes it becomes something else. My homemade piano bench from my first piano in high school (I bought it myself with babysitting money) later became part of a cradle for our first baby. It has gone through all three of our kids and then to our grandsons.

  2. JoAnn - I agree. But I'm much better at reusing things up at the cabin. In town there it's too easy to discard something. - Margy