Upcycling a Purse

Category Purses
Learn how to recreate a thriftstore purse into a unique bag using velvet, other fabrics, beads, etc. It may become habit forming.
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I have been scouring the internet for upcycled gypsy/boho purses lately. I have found many beautiful ones, but to my shock they are upwards of $300 and more! So yes, I decided there was no reason I couldn't buy a used purse from a thrift shop and upcycle it myself. It took me a few hours to figure out what I was doing, but I'm pretty happy with the result.:) Now my daughter wants a western/horse themed upcycled purse. I better get started.

Total Time: This actually took me about 3 hours. If your plan is in mind, should only take about 1.:)

Supplies:

  • purse of choice, used
  • fabric, velvet scraps, pleather
  • ribbon, shiny plastic trimming
  • old necklaces, beads, pendant
  • scissors
  • measuring tape or ruler
  • fabric glue
  • glue gun
  • jewelry glue
  • wooden dowel or other item to press down glued areas
  • rag for wiping hands
  • wire snips

Steps:

  1. Using velvet from the sleeve of my daughter's old dress, (free), I cut a piece to glue with fabric glue to the top section.
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  3. I then decided to add an iron on applique, which I hot glued on.
  4. If you have a large area to adhere fabric to, you may want to apply the glue directly to your purse first. Then you will lay down your pre-cut and measured piece. I glued a pendant to the fabric as you see here. Make sure to use wire snips and trim any protruding pieces off the back for a flatter gluing surface.
  5. I decided I wanted fringes, so I cut a piece of pleather as wide as my purse. It was about 8 1/2" long. I glued this about an inch from the bottom of the purse. You will want to press your fabric down firmly, wiping any excess glue that oozes from the edges. Be sure all your edges and corners are secure.
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  7. When this is dry enough to handle at all, around 30-40 minutes, cut your pleather into thin strips for fringes.
  8. I also glued a strip of velvet, overlayed with thin, stretchy lace to the left side. I secured both with an edging of shiny plastic ribbon. I used hot glue for this, as it is stiffer. Fabric glue for thin fabric, hot glue for thicker items.
  9. I edged most everything with this shiny trimming as you can see. The key was not to use too much hot glue. The trim is not solid, and it can easily start oozing through. And be sure to let your purse dry overnight before using. Very important for the fabric/jewelry glue.
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  11. I also decided to attach an old necklace to the side of the handle. Along with a few large, sparkly beads on a chain. Just a little finishing touch.
  12. All set!
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Crafts Recycled Crafts PursesApril 28, 2020
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