Home Blog How to Fix a Leather Purse Strap

How to Fix a Leather Purse Strap

by jrwarfield

This post has been a long time in coming, I don’t own a lot of purses because I want the ones I do have to be good quality and to last a while. I used to buy really inexpensive purses,but after having to replace them multiple times a year I decided that I would invest in a real leather purse so that it would hold up better. So, to the clearance section of the Coach outlet store I went. I found this green purse, and I used it exclusively for over 2 years. The only thing that started to wear out was the edging on the strap which I would say shows the good quality. Then came the biggest problem of all, what ist that edging stuff made out of? What is it called? How come NO ONE has a tutorial on how to fix it?! I literally searched the most random websites super tadarise trying to figure this out. I eventually found places that would replace the straps but couldn’t guarantee the color matching, and they charged over $100 which is how much I paid in the first place. So, I just kept wearing the purse like that and searching.

Eventually, I found a leather company that had a few products that looked promising and so I decided to give it a try since it couldn’t make my purse any worse than it already was.

DSC_8376So first I took my purse out of storage since Grant got me a new one for Christmas.

DSC_8378Next you can see how it was starting to get frayed; I would say this wasn’t bad enough to not still use the purse,but it really was starting to get on my nerves.

DSC_8379Here you can see how cracked and chipped the edging looks. The edging on leather or Faux leather purses can be all sorts of colors,but the two I found available for purchase were the black and brown. Mine is brown as you can see, and my new purse also has the brown edging which is nice if the edging on that one even starts to come off eventually.

DSC_8381So, the edging product I found is called Edge Kote, and I bought mine from Amazon which cost me including shipping and tax $9.92,but there are also leather suppliers who carry it.

Tandy Leather Fiebings Brown Edge Kote 2226-01

DSC_8382I was hoping this wasn’t money wasted,but I figured $10 was a small price to pay for an almost new looking purse if it worked. Here you can see what other items this can be used on.

DSC_8383Also, my strap was fraying but not pulling apart, if a strap of yours is, this glue works for almost anything. I would use this with a Q-Tip to glue the pieces together before working on the edging.

E-6000 Med Visc 3.7-Ounce Auto/Industrial Carded Adhesive

DSC_8386Next thing I did was to remove all of the pieces of left over and cracked edging. I pulled most of it off with my fingers,but I also sanded off a few parts here and there.

DSC_8389Then trim all of the frayed fly away pieces, don’t worry about it being perfectly smooth because I will show you how to fix that later.

DSC_8390I used Q-tips for this,but the directions say you can use a clean sustanon 350 paint brush or wooden dowel with a rounded wooden tip. I didn’t want to ruin a brush or buy this special leather dowel so I made due with Q-Tips.

DSC_8391I first used what was in the cap, and then dipped straight from a bottle. At first, I would lay the Q-Tip on a paper towel,but it bleeds through really fast so a thick magazine was a better choice.

DSC_8393Once the Q-Tip is slightly saturated, gently wipe on one layer of the Kote. Once everything is covered let it dry for at least 10 mins until it is dry to the touch.

DSC_8404The first few coats might leave it still looking like the leather underneath, but just keep doing coats and letting it dry.

DSC_8406To get to this point, I was at about 5 coats.

DSC_8408It was finally getting to the thickness that I wanted so it matched the rest of the edging,but here you can see the uneven bumps from below are still showing up, and it wasn’t smooth to the touch.

DSC_8413So, I took a fine grit sandpaper and smoothed off all of the bumps until it was level and smooth.

DSC_8415Then I did one last coat, so 6 worked perfectly for my purse and let it dry.

DSC_8417So, here you can see one side of the strap is done!

DSC_8418I didn’t want to worry about either side getting smudged so I did one edge at a time,but I am sure you could rig a setup where the strap is held so both sides can be done at the same time.

DSC_8419Now, it was time to start the second side.

DSC_8425So, it starts again with a rough look and after enough coats, a little bit of sanding, and a final coat,and it will really look great!

DSC_8430Here you can see both sides of the strap done.

DSC_8431The directions said if you want the edging really shiny, just rub with your finger to give it extra shine.

DSC_8429The final product!

One last thing I wanted to mention was that, a few readers have mentioned that this Edge Kote is coming off when wet on their hands. If you want to make sure and waterproof the Edge Kote, us this Acrylic Resolene Leather Finish Protectant. It works really well.


Also, a lot of Faux leather pures also have coating like this on the edges. I had a Guess purse that I threw away because the straps were looking so bad; Sad that I could have easily fixed it. I have a feeling this bottle will last forever! After doing this whole project, I think side the bottle the liquid line when down one centimeter maybe two.

I thought this difference was phenomenal for $10, and am SOO glad that I attempted it! My purse looks as good as new. Have you done anything like this before? I hope this helps anyone who has been having the same issues as me!

One reader, Tammy, was kind enough to share that if you have a coach purse, they will fix it for $20. I have included the links below.



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Madeleine May 11, 2013 - 4:04 pm

Thank you so very much for this tutorial! I’m so happy to find out this can be fixed!

Bo May 17, 2013 - 12:19 pm

Great! I searched internet for months and this is the only useful DIY i found. Thank you so much!

Leanna May 22, 2013 - 3:57 pm

Thank you so much! I too purchased a nice leather purse expecting it to last much longer than my other purses. I was so disappointed when after about a year, the straps started to fall apart. This is the only tutorial/info that I have found, and you did a fabulous job of showing how my purse can be saved! Thanks again for sharing.

Veronica May 22, 2013 - 8:02 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to share this information. You just remedied a problem I have been dealing with for a long time. Appreciation to you!!!

roseyone May 30, 2013 - 3:33 pm

Thank you! I have been searching the internet and specifically leather working websites forever to figure out how to fix the straps on my good leather bag. I’m like you, I would rather keep using a nice bag – it’s the perfect size – then have to keep searching for cheap bags in the right size that would need to be replaced too soon; it’s hard to find something with the right pockets, strap length, etc. You would think more people would want to conserve (maybe they just throw theirs worn out bag away). Going to Amazon right now to order my Edge Kote!

jrwarfield May 30, 2013 - 4:22 pm

I hope it works out great on your bag! Good Luck!

Elizabeth July 31, 2013 - 7:53 am

Do you think that the clear would work well on a colored leather?

jrwarfield July 31, 2013 - 8:01 am

After reading up online, all of the “clear” coatings tend to dry with a slight yellow hue to them, but if your leather is dyed the whole way through unlike my purse strap it might work fine. I just used the brown because the rest of the bag already had it.

leather August 2, 2013 - 12:18 am

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while I was researching on Yahoo for something else, Regardless
I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a fantastic post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the moment but I have saved it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the superb job.

Marta August 31, 2013 - 6:19 pm

Thank you so much for the tutorial! I KNEW someone would have investigated and repaired a purse. The pictures were extremely helpful,as well as sharing product used and resource. Great blog!!!

Jessika October 3, 2013 - 5:35 pm

You’re awesome for finding the answer to this problem and posting it! And with great pics and detailed instructions. Thank you! (from many of us, I bet)

Lee Anne October 9, 2013 - 8:18 am

Thanks for sharing. This is really a great post. I love my purse, which I have had for a year. It has all of the exact features I need in terms of pockets and closures. It is in great shape, but it has the same frayed straps as yours did. I was looking for a new one, but I couldn’t find anything as nice as what I already have. Thank goodness your article came up first when I googled how to fix your frayed purse strap! Thanks again!

Kelly October 12, 2013 - 7:55 pm

So glad I found your blog. Edge Kote is much better than my original plan of just coloring over the edges with a sharpie or using colored glue.

Jenna November 13, 2013 - 11:44 pm

Thank you immensely for researching this issue and then posting about it. I have been trying to figure out how to repair a new JCrew bag that has started cracking in the leather sealant area around the mouth of the bag. I think this is the EXACT same thing they used. I am still in the return window of when I bought the purse but now I think I can happily keep it.

Mary November 16, 2013 - 10:03 pm

Thank you so much for posting this! And the pictures are great–you can really see how well this works. That edging coming off really gives away a purse’s age. This will keep my purse looking new for years! Thank you 🙂

Isabel December 3, 2013 - 3:40 pm

I purchased two new bags from QVC’s fashion line, G.I.L.I.. The name of the bag is the Roma 2 Tote. Many have written in regarding defective sealant edges on the straps touching the hardware. It is cracking after very little use. I’m talking the first time they’ve used them and up to two weeks later. Mine are doing the same. I’m wondering if I can use the Feibing Edge Kote before it gets any worse and halt the cracking in its tracks or if this is just a defect I must accept and return the bags while I can. I’m assuming the sealant the manufacturer used was inferior or improperly applied. I hate to send the bags back but I don’t want to keep them if they are going to crack on me no matter what I do. Any thoughts? Thanks. One bag is ostrich embossed leather, the other pebbled leather.

jrwarfield December 3, 2013 - 5:01 pm

I am not an expert in purses at all,but if you have only been using them for two weeks that would worry me. My purse’s coating started cracking after about 1-2 years worth of constant wear and tear. I tried to “patch” parts of mine,but it didn’t stick well, so I ended up having to strip whole portions and redo it like I showed in the blog post. If I were you, I would return them, unless you are very set on those purses and are okay with having to fix them up. I also agree, that seems awfully fast to be cracking. They might send you replacements if you can convince them it is a manufacturer defect, which it might be. Good Luck!

Isabel December 3, 2013 - 5:36 pm

Thanks, Jess. I guess I was hoping for someone to say they’d had the same experience and fixed it, but I had a pretty good idea that it would be the smarter thing to just return them. They remind me of the Gucci Soho shoulder bag but without the giant interlocking “G”s…I’m not a fan of logos plastered on my bags. I’ll make one more stop at the shoe repair place in town and then probably return them. I appreciate your input.

Sabrina December 6, 2013 - 8:19 pm

Hi! Did you have any problems with the edge kote bleeding or rubbing off when wet? I used it on one of my purses and it bled all over my hands when it got wet from rain. I’m wondering if I missed a step. TIA!

jrwarfield December 11, 2013 - 9:08 am

I hadn’t noticed my kote to be coming off,but for the sake of testing, I vigorously rubbed it with water and my finger. After a while it did start to color my finger, I know the product is supposed to be waterproof. I also know you are supposed to let it dry 24 hours before ever using it. I did some more research and found that the same brand sells the following product http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007V5JPOO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B007V5JPOO&linkCode=as2&tag=warfieldfamil-20 which can be applied on top and is a waterproofing sealer if yours isn’t as waterproof as you need. I hope this helps!

Carleen January 11, 2014 - 8:24 pm

Thank you so much for your post! I may get brave enough to try it on my own. Did you use any special “technique” for removing all the cracked edging? And where do you find the glue you used? Thanks again!!

jrwarfield January 11, 2014 - 8:39 pm

The E6000 Glue I found at JoAnn’s, but I am sure that Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and maybe Walmart would sell it. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004BPHQWU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B004BPHQWU&linkCode=as2&tag=warfieldfamil-20 can also be found at that link on Amazon if all else fails. I didn’t really have a technique since mine was just shredding off. I would use my nail to scrap it off,but I am sure you could use a tooth pick to get certain parts started. Let me know if you have any other questions!

cheryl January 15, 2014 - 3:23 pm

Thank You so much..i bought a purse from QVC. it was a leather bag and i loved it..carried it for about a month then the edging started peeling off….i returned the bag but i was sick over it….then i noticed alot of others were complaining about the same thing….so QVC took 100.00 off the price…so i decided to buy it back and fix it myself……thanks to u i was able to do that!!…

cheryl January 26, 2014 - 3:39 pm

Isabel, i just read ur post about the GILI bags…i returned mine and bought the as- is- GILI Roma 2…almost 100 dollar savings…i stripped ALL the plastic that was cracking off the handles and applied the edge kote….i used about 10-12 coats…it looks great!…i have the black and the espresso…i would love to get the other colors but the edge kote only comes in black and brown….to me its a DEAL…QVC really screwed up….

Jody February 25, 2014 - 2:49 pm

Thank you so much for posting this! You identified the product needed (Edge Kote), and your tutorial re: the process is great! I needed Tan Edge Kote and found it, and other colors, on Ebay for $8.63, including shipping.

DEBRA February 26, 2014 - 10:37 am

I have a Louie Vuitton purse. One of the straps broke at the ring,can I fix?

jrwarfield February 26, 2014 - 10:46 am

I know that they normally just fold over and resew the straps on around at ring,but it all depends on how it looks if that can be possible. I have never tried this before so I am in no way qualified to answer this. I do know that Coach has a customer service section where if the strap broke they will repair it for around $20. So have you tried calling Louie Vuitton’s Customer Service just to ask? If they don’t have anything available, I would suggest find a shoe and purse repair shop and getting an estimate on them fixing it. If that is too expensive, I would look for videos or tutorials on line that have almost the same purse or issue that they are fixing. Here is a video I found on how to replace a rivet, but I am not sure if that is what is wrong with yours. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNUOJNWVSNk

Carol March 21, 2014 - 11:28 am

Wow! You saved me a ton of money!
Since there’s always an occasion that calls for that special accessory, I hate getting rid of any of my purses. Sharing your creativity is deeply appreciated. Thanks

Janina May 19, 2014 - 10:59 pm

I don’t understand one thing if it’s a real leather bag, why they colour straps like that? For what purpose? Maybe some of you know? Because, to be honest I think they are doing that because leather is fake and they “hide” it with that colouring or coating how it calls exactely..

jrwarfield May 22, 2014 - 8:19 am

I think the reason that companies use the coating on the edges is either for a contrasting look(on my purse they used brown to contrast with the green color), to keep the leather thinner(they can fold over the leather so the edges aren’t raw, but then the strap uses more leather and is a lot thicker), and sometimes I think it is because they know it will break sometime so then you will be buying a new handbag. Just like electronics are engineered to break after their warranty dates are passed. Both leather and non leather purses use this type of coating, so it doesn’t mean your purse is or isn’t leather. I know on colored leather they might be trying to hide the the edges because sometimes you can see that the back side of the leather looks different. I am sure there are other reasons, but these are my guesses.

vh May 27, 2014 - 9:54 pm

I think I love you. Lol Thank you so much for this article. So helpful!

JoAnne H June 7, 2014 - 8:48 am

Wow! Did you know that I searched and I searched and Googled until I thought I was either going nuts or this was a VERY well kept trade secret!!! I couldn’t believe how many failed attempts I had just trying to find a NAME for this stuff and how many different ways I tried to EXPLAIN and verbalize what it was I needed to no avail!!! THANK YOU SO FRIGGIN MUCH!! I could just hug you right now!! Ok I’m calm…. Breathe….. Breathe….. Wooooo hoooooo

Julie July 5, 2014 - 11:16 am

Thank you so much. I am so glad you went through the effort to take pictures while you did your repair; you make it seem like I can actually do this!

Robyn August 18, 2014 - 11:09 am

Thank you for your post. I’ve taken my bag to two leather repair shops and neither place would touch it. They both just said it was normal wear and tear. I even took my bag to the Coach store hoping to pay to have the strap revealed and they said no too. Did you remove only the sections that were cracked or the entire side of the strap?

jrwarfield August 18, 2014 - 11:55 am

I also tried to get purse/leather shops to fix it or even just tell me the name of that coating. I don’t understand why they didn’t know?! Oh well. My actual strap itself wasn’t damaged, but I pulled off any of the “edging” that would easily come off. Then I sanded down any extra portions that stayed on. I also trimmed any of the lose pieces from inside the strap so they wouldn’t poke through the coating. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Repairing a leather strap on a handbag | Diana Elizabeth November 28, 2014 - 4:17 am

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Gloria December 3, 2014 - 4:41 pm

I have a handbag thats’ strap slipped out of where it was stitched in for many yrs.[not new] Tried gluing it, but it got too messy so I’m using another bag I don’t like. I want to reuse that bag!! Thought about stapling it, but can’t find a stapler big enough!! HELP!!!!!!

jrwarfield December 3, 2014 - 4:57 pm

Your best bet, might be to use metal rivets like this blogger shows here. http://sewfearless.com/2012/10/15/tutorial-how-to-install-metal-rivets/ Hope this helps.

Parisa Ayazi December 4, 2014 - 2:14 pm

Thank you so much for this!! I bought a Coach Black Leather Tote (Originally $458) at a coach clearance sale for just over $100. I carry around a lot in my purse so after 1.5 year the only wear and tear is on the straps. They look terrible, but the rest of the purse is in perfect condition. I was hoping I could find someone to replace the straps even with a chain so I could keep using it but i was sad to even have to do that. Its just the fraying and splitting on the edges and I was so sad that I just keep carrying it like this. I am going to buy the kote in black and see if I can do as good a job on this purse. You may have saved me having to search and search for another black leather daily tote I could afford! Merry Christmas!

jrwarfield December 4, 2014 - 8:08 pm

I really hope that this works for your bag too!

Jessie December 20, 2014 - 7:46 pm

Thank you so much!!! This tutorial was exactly what I was looking for to fix my Michael Kors Jet Set that I have been using non-stop. This is such a money/life saver. 🙂

2014 year in Review - warfieldfamily December 31, 2014 - 2:48 pm

[…]  How to Fix a Leather Purse Strap – 18,994 views this year […]

Evelin January 16, 2015 - 11:17 am

Thank you so much for this very helpful tutorial! I have a nice Anne Klein purse that is in pretty good condition except I’ve used it so much that I’m having the same problem you had with the straps. I am so glad that I don’t have to get rid of it. I can’t wait to fix it. Thanks! : )

Mary January 21, 2015 - 9:19 am

I need this product asap I’m glad you took the time and pics to walk you thru step by step repairs. Thanks

Melanie January 23, 2015 - 9:58 pm

Fantastic post. I was so close to throwing my guess bag out. I have been back to a ‘cheapy’ all year but am excited to try and fix my beautiful guess bag ($160 here). I would be peeved if this had happened to something as expensive as a coach!!. I hope I can get this product in Australia.


El January 27, 2015 - 7:51 pm

Thank you so much! Found this post after searching for what this goop that coats the purse seams is. Lo and behold, you provided an entire tutorial. I decided I would throw my purse away if I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. My purse owes its life to you, and it will live its whole life not knowing a nice lady saved its butt. Lol

Sarah February 24, 2015 - 5:26 pm

I am so glad I found this webpage!! It was extremely helpful and I just ordered two bottles of the edge kote!
I have one question that I have searched for the answer to for 5 years… If anyone here reads this and can help me, PLEASE DO!!
I have a COACH PURSE POPPY METALLIC SIGNATURE GOLD TAN SATEEN G1193-17890 TOTE. It has a beautiful sky blue silk lining. The bag it’s self is light tan colored cloth material with the large C pattern. The “C”‘s are a few shades darker tan than the bag & outlined in a glittery gold.
This is probably my most treasured handbag ever & most expensive. I thought it would be a great color for hiding dirt from daily use but I was very wrong. The sky blue silk lining now has a dirty brown line at every opening, isn’t as bright as it was, & the outside of the bag just looks so filthy & ” used”.
I’ve asked Coach personally & no answer on how to clean it. Their cleaning kits aren’t made for this type of bag & I’ve even tried several DIY tips like baby soap & toothbrush scrubbing by hand..etc
DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW TO CLEAN THESE BAGS!!? PLEASE HELP!! Comment here or even email me personally if you do know the answer. deft728@yahoo.com
Thank you so much,
You can look at this webpage I found that has the best pictures of the bag I am trying to clean.

Sylvia March 21, 2015 - 5:50 pm

I have a coach purse strap that started cracking with in 13 months of use. I was very unhappy when coach would not fix it but instead sent me a 40% of a new one. Thank you, for posting this online. I’m hoping I can just fix it myself. How did you remove the cracked edging without damaging the strap?

jrwarfield March 21, 2015 - 8:31 pm

I pulled off any portions that were easily coming off, and the other portions I sanded off using a small sanding block. Then I went and trimmed any portions of thread that we hanging off our out of the inside of the strap. I also then glued any portions that were coming apart before starting the edging. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Sarah March 21, 2015 - 9:03 pm

If anyone has any info on cleaning a coach poppy bag as posted above please share! I’m still waiting for some advice! Thanks

Neo March 27, 2015 - 1:01 am

thank you for the info that you share it is the big help to us..

Jenae May 13, 2015 - 8:27 pm

For future reference, Coach will send it off for repair for free within the first year of having your bag or for $20 anytime after a year. They send it for repairs and I’ve never actually had them be able to repair my bags (I’ve sent 5+ bags for repairs). BUUUUT, they’ll give you a gift card for the value of your bag today, which is typically around $20 less than what you originally paid for it. I’ve even managed to make money off of a bag I sent back for repairs (because I bought it with a 30% off coupon). They’ll also sometimes send the bag back to you with a 40% off coupon to go buy a new bag. I call it my Coach recycling program. Their customer service is awesome!!

Chris May 16, 2015 - 5:58 pm

Thank you SO much for posting this! This problem has been driving me insane on my leather Coach bags. You have saved me from having a heart attack!

Kirs May 17, 2015 - 9:54 am

Exactly what I was looking for!! Thank you so SO much. Yay, diy repairs!

Gabrielle May 30, 2015 - 7:37 pm

I love your post and I ordered the Edge Kote today to fix my Coach purse strap. I wanted to add that I sent this in to Coach and they could not repair it, so they sent it back to me with a letter giving me 40% off a regular priced item. Good deal, but I really love this bag. I will give this fix a try. Thank you so much!

maria khan June 1, 2015 - 12:40 am

THANK YOU so much. you are a life saver.

artsyfartsysue June 5, 2015 - 10:00 am

I purchased a beautiful Kenneth Cole that is just perfect for me. The handles are short and rounded and seem to have a rounded rubber or plastic over the seam. Of course it is cracking and breaking off. Is this leather cote you used on your Coach the right product to fix this do you suppose?

jrwarfield June 7, 2015 - 11:09 am

It sounds like it would be the same thing, especially if it looks like the coating that I have on my bag, but again, I’m no expert on fixing purses. Hope you find what you are looking for.

Sarah Delaney August 17, 2015 - 9:35 am

A note of thanks. Purchased an Ivanka Trump purse and after three months of use the edge lost its seal, and now I have little bits of the coating in the seam and a it’s fraying. It looks a mess, and is a shame for what it is worth. I very much appreciate your recommendations.

Char August 25, 2015 - 4:47 pm

Hey, thank you for this tutorial, it seems even professional leather websites don’t easily describe how to do this yourself at home.

I would loooove it if you could tell me one thing though…how did you get the original cracked edge kote off? Did you just pick it off or sandpaper it down?

The reason i’m asking is, I would like to re edge the straps of my bag and I don’t know whether to just paint on the edge kote straight away or to remove the old one, but when it comes to removing it I’m not sure how!

Would love to hear how you removed yours.

Again thank you for this great post!


jrwarfield August 25, 2015 - 6:36 pm

Mine was already starting to peel so I pulled and picked it off where I could, then I sanded down the other areas that weren’t peeling. I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any other questions.

Maggie August 31, 2015 - 11:31 am


Thank you for the great tutorial. It’s very helpful. I cannot find any leather care professional to repair the cracked or peeling edges of my Alexander Wang rockie bag strap. Your post gives me the solution.

I applied edge kote on the edges of the strap and waited for the coating to dry but it crack. I peel it off and reapply but the same thing happened 🙁 Do you have any idea how to prevent this from happening?

Thank you.

jrwarfield September 3, 2015 - 9:25 am

I had to completely sand down most of my edges to make sure I was starting on a fresh surface. If there is a crack below and you add more, it will only be a matter of time. Also, it takes a few coats to get a nice thick line like how the edges are when you buy a purse. Also, there is a clear coat that you can buy as extra protection. I hope this helps.

Gloria September 6, 2015 - 4:29 pm

Thanks for this! I will try it. My only problem with my Coach purse is the handles. Cracked!!! I did spend $20 to send it to Coach and they sent it back saying they could not repair it. Waste of $!!!! Should have done this first! Was ready to put send it to Goodwill.

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