My uncle sewed a beach bag as Christmas presents for my mom about 30 years ago. This yellow and gray bag went with us everywhere. It is the bag of my childhood, made of yellow canvas and jeans, I think. When my mom showed me how the handles were falling apart and some holes had appeared on one panel, I offered to make some repairs.
I used some pretty vintage fabric that I had on hand. (bed sheets!) I folded the fabric over several times to get a decent thickness, and then sewed OVER the grey strips, completely encasing the sad, worn out handles.
I made a fabric “flower” out of an old white tee-shirt to cover up the holes. It is just pinned on there and can be easily taken off to throw in the wash.
The best part of making a repair for your mom? Knowing that someday I’ll get it back and it will be MY family’s summer tote bag. The bag of my kid’s childhood. The bag I rescued, reinforced and put back into use for another 30 years.