Craft Tutorials and Sewing How-Tos
If you would like to show off your creative and crafty side, why not start making your own purses? You can still follow the fashion trends, but you can create whatever style and size that suits you, and it'll be totally unique!
There are all sorts of different styles of purse you can make including small clutch bags, coin purses, wallets, eyeglasses cases and camera pouches - In fact there is a tutorial for every requirement, taste, sewing ability level and pocket!
I hope you find the below roundup of projects useful, and I hope it inspires you to let your imagination run wild :-)
Leather Drawstring Purse
Useful Purse-Making Tools & Materials
You're only as good as your tools, so make sure you buy good quality basic tools to help you to create awesome purses!
Purse Making Intro & Tips
There are many fabrics out there which can make for a confusing choice, however if you're a beginner I would definitely recommend cotton or linen first. Nothing too thin or flimsy, unless you are doing to add interfacing to stiffen it, or batting to bulk it up. Quilt weight cotton is most common. Home décor and upholstery fabrics are often used too as they're quite sturdy and durable. Other fabrics you can use are leather (or faux leather), vinyl, canvas, silk, wool, calico or denim. You can also reuse other materials such as vintage tablecloths, or even sweaters (however watch out for sweaters as they stretch unless you felt them first in hot water). Purses are hardly ever made with stretch fabric so don't make life difficult for yourself by choosing a stretchy material!
- For linings, a thinner material than the outside is used and it is often smooth and slippery such as polyester or nylon. Cotton is also a popular choice, especially if you want the lining to be patterned. Fabrics made specifically for lining will be labelled as such, and if it's polyester then try to go for an anti-static option.
- There are various fastenings and closures you can use for purses, with the most common being zippers, button flaps, velcro and magnetic snaps.
- Interfacing (also called interlining or stabilizer) is used to firm up the walls of your purses, making them stiffer without completely losing flexibility. For instance if you are using thin cotton and it's too flimsy for you, then you can add interfacing to the inside of the fabric, and perhaps a lining too (in order to hide the interfacing on the inside). Or maybe you want a purse to stand upright when put down? Interfacing is not usually necessary for small purses but is more more often used for larger designs. The important thing is to not fear it because it is an extra stage in the project and because you may not have heard of it before.
There are different 'weights' of interfacing (lightweight to extra heavyweight), and the heavier the 'weight', the stiffer the resulting fabric will be. Medium-lightweight is usually enough for a purse project, but it's a useful product so I would suggest experimenting first before you use it in a final project. Interfacing is available as either 'fusible' (also called 'iron-on'), or 'sew-in'. The fusible type is ironed directly onto your purse fabric so that it sticks, and you should use a fusible interfacing that is a lighter weight than your purse fabric. On the other hand, the sew-in type can be a higher weight than your purse fabric and is often used with the fusible type.
- Wadding/batting is a material used in a similar way to interfacing but is there to add bulk rather than stiffness. You will find it used in quilted bags, and it is basically a cushioning layer you add to the inside of your purse fabric (and is also good for handles/straps). Wadding is also available as either fusible/iron-on or sew-in.
Tutorials List - A Varied Selection to Get You Started
- Make-Up Pouch
Useful boxy purse.
- Zippered Wristlet
Cute purse with wrist strap.
- Water Bottle Carrier
With quilted exterior.
- Pinch Pouch
A purse with a flex frame top; perfect for your sunglasses.
- Quilted Fabric Wallets
With a smart professional finish.
- Change Purse
With a zipper.
- Receipt Wallet
Made from cleanable, waterproof oilcloth.
- Purse Organizer
Keep your things neat and tidy in your handbag.
- Zippered Wallet
With separate coin compartment.
- Handmade Bunny Purse
Adorable rabbit face purse with a strap.
Recycled Fabric Pouch
More Sewing How-Tos
- Piggy Bank Purse
Adorable and unusual purse shape.
- Mini Wallet
In an envelope style.
- Lip Balm Cozy
So you won't lost another one!
- Triangular Prism Purse
Sturdy cosmetics container.
- Stripey Pen Case
With squishy felt sides.
- Super Simple Camera Case
Quilted, with bias tape edges.
- Felted Camera Case
Made by knitting simple rectangles - but you could use an old sweater instead.
- Reversible Purse
To be carried on the wrist.
- Drawstring Pouches
Great for a storage and a travel solution.
Duct Tape Purses
Wallet Making Video Tutorials
Purse Tutorials Galore!
- Framed Purse
Fab tute on how to add metal frames.
- Zippered Pouch with Pocket
And clear plastic section.
- Loop Handle Purse
With pleats and a metal handle.
- Pleated & Darted Silk Purse
Pretty purse with wooden handles.
- Wristlet Clutch Purse
With added ruffle embellishment, snap and eyelet.
- Linen Tissue Case
Made from yummy fabric.
- Mini Wallet
Made from some cute Japanese fabric.
- Summer Wallet
With button closure.
- Pop Bottle Purse
Recycle plastic bottles into a fun coin purse.
- Clutch Purse
Wth button closure.
Cute Felt Purses
Purse Making Video Tutorials
Another Tutorial List
- Open Pocket Pouch
Ideal for packed lunches.
- Zippered Flat Purse
Lined case with a zip.
- Single Pleat Clutch
Straightforward slimline purse with a pleat in the center.
- Sketch Wallet
To keep your pencils organised with your sketchbook when travelling.
- Reusable Snack Bag
Perfect for keeping your dry snack in.
- Oilcloth Makeup Pouches
Oilcloth is very useful if you want a wipe-clean surface.
- Mini Keyring Pouch
Perfect size to hold your lippy in!
- Bleach Dot Clutch
Envelope style purse with a bleach dyed pattern.
- Kitty Pencil Case
A sweet design for cat lovers.
Pleated & Framed Purse
More Purse/Wallet/Pouch How-Tos
- Patchwork Purse
Pretty case with zip.
- Ms. Lipsie Pocket Girl
A purse with a girl's face design.
- Clasp Frame Purse
Classy rectangular template.
- Japanese Coin Purse
With a clasp top.
- Zipped Purse
In polkadot material.
- Hip Pocket Purse
With little tassels and a cord strap.
- Quilted Pouch
Perfect for keeping your (sun)glasses in.
Polka Dot Wallet
A Further Tutorials List
- Puffy Pouch
With fabric stripes.
- Purse Pouch
In Cath Kidston fabric.
- Laptop Sleeve
Quilted for protection.
- Ipod / Camera Cozy
Quilted, with a simple flap top.
- Phone / Camera Cozy
Quick 'n' easy case.
- Patchwork Pouch
Easy zippered purse.
- Cylindrical Pencil Cases
With piping around the edges.
- Triangular Pouch
Little linen and cotton purses.
- Heart Shaped Pouches
Learn how to insert a zipper on a curved shape.
- Manly Wallet
With a cool metal eyelet feature.
- Necktie Glasses Case
Easy-to-sew pouch from an old tie.
There are many different pleating patterns you can try to incorporate into purses if you want to add an interesting design accent; including box pleats, pintucks and diagonal pleats. The above diagram shows 3 different ideas to get you started; I've tried to show how the pleats in each picture are formed and what they look like both from the top and from the front.
1) This is a pleating design where the middle section is furthest forward. The vertical line on the diagram represents how much of the pleats are pressed with an iron; not usually more than 1/3 of the way down the purse. A lot of the time you will see bags and purses that have the pleats formed and sewn in place at the top and not at the bottom so that the pleats disappear as they go down to the base, giving a flared effect.
2) This is a repeating pleat pattern, with the back-and-forth folding being the same going across the top. Again, this one is only sewn at the top, with a short amount of the pleats being iron pressed, so that the pleats disappear about midway. The pressed section of the pleat folds can also be sewn if you want to keep them in place permanently.
3) This is an all-over pattern of parallel pintucks. The thin pleats are folded and pressed all of the way down, and therefore they must be secured with stitches at the top and the bottom. You can also sew vertically along each pleat too if you like, especially if the surface you are pleating is large.
You can be creative with pleating so don't be afraid to experiment :)
Scrappy Phone Case
Even More Instructionals
- Craftster Collection
Huge number of purse tutorials from forum users.
- House Pouch
Fun design with button embellishments.
- Organiser Wallet
- Gathered Clutch Tutorial
Stylish creased design.
- Cord Wallet
With card and zip compartments.
- Recycled Sandwich Bag
Made from khaki pant pockets.
- Make-Up Pouches
Handy for general use.
- Lil Cutie Pouches
In fun fabrics.
- Keyboard Wallets
Made using a computer keyboard.
- Zippy Wallet
Fab everyday purse.
- Scrap Ribbon Wallet
Funky clutch wallet.
- Zakka Inspired Pencil Pouch
With cute car embellishment.
- Vinyl Wallet
See through sections keep you organised.
Pocket House Purse
D12 Dice Handbag
Pretty Purse Projects
- 5 Handbag Accessories
A set of pouches for eyeglasses, tissues aand more.
- iPod Clutch & More
A variety of purse, pouch and bag how-tos.
- 3D Padded Pear
Really unusual and cute pear coin purse.
- Hip Pouch Sew-Along
A 3-part walkthrough for making a zippered pouch.
- Simple Foldover Clutch
Cute, functional and really easy to make.
- Pencil Pouch
Classic pencil designs with a zipper. Perfect for school or college.
- Wool Camera Wrap
Beautiful camera case made using wool blanket fabric.
- DIY Geometric Pouch
Make your own funky fabric with fabric marker pens.
- Upcycled Menswear Pouch
Use quality thrift store jackets to make luxury pouches.
Purse Projects to Impress
- Craft Passion Collection
A list of awesome purse tutorials including macaron shapes and pencil cases.
- Kiwi Wristlet
A summery and fresh purse in a novelty shape.
- Double Flap Pouch
With clever compartments isnide.
- Sophisticated Bow Clutch
Simple and stylish clutch purse with bow embellishment.
- Tartan Wool Purse
With silver chain embellishment.
- Rotary Phone Purse
Retro vinyl handbag making great use of real phone parts.
- Textured Leather Clutch
Clever sewing technique for making stripe accents.
Mini Keyring Purse
Please Comment On My Lens!
Rebecca PARKS on August 25, 2016:
Amazing and all the time it took to gather this information. Cudo's
peachy from Home Sweet Home on December 10, 2014:
cool idea. i am going to make the strappy phone ouch. lovely
Jenn Dixon from PA on July 30, 2014:
I have knit purses! I think I made one out of a brown paper bag once as a kid, too.
Anna from chichester on April 22, 2014:
I'm definitely going to attempt to make one of these nut I bet it doesn't turn out looking as good as yours! These are awesome :) bookmarked!
katiesnow on April 19, 2014:
like the lens! I think I'll try to make one...thanks!
Monica Lobenstein from Western Wisconsin on February 14, 2014:
Quite a variety here. Great collection!
mysticwulf on February 13, 2014:
Nice Lens! Great products and patterns.
ShelbyLinMarie on December 14, 2013:
Thank you! I have been looking for scrap crafts and I see several that I can use my scraps up on here. Thank you again!
Laura Hofman from Naperville, IL on November 27, 2013:
Great info here...very creative! I want to make a purse now!
zzzzzzc on October 22, 2013:
Very informative and interesting. Wonderful job!
Jimmy J Oliver on October 19, 2013:
Hi nice lens you got there and ranking well. I just forwarded a link to my daughter in law
Have given you a squidlike.
jiancara on September 27, 2013:
i want to do this again!
mariacarbonara on September 19, 2013:
@anonymous: Im gonna shwo this to my daughters. Great lens
anonymous on September 17, 2013:
Beautiful. Thank you!
jura on August 27, 2013:
It is a great idea to make your own purse it is cheaper this way .
Klinetka on June 03, 2013:
So many great ideas. Have to try some
MaxMunch06 on April 15, 2013:
belinhafernandes on April 08, 2013:
Another great lens! First time I heard about duct tape purses! Useful lens!
DecoratingMom411 on March 18, 2013:
Wow! This lens is very helpful! I love the Leather Drawstring Purse idea. Very adorable. Thank you for sharing.
Susan Caplan McCarthy from Massachusetts, USA on February 25, 2013:
I wish I knew how to sew, these are so cute!
blueredblueyellow on February 19, 2013:
I've never made a purse, but some of these are really inspiring me to try!
HughLasso on February 18, 2013:
These would make a good gift for the gf
JackThompson21 on February 12, 2013:
salharald on February 05, 2013:
I'll have to try making one sometime :)
ErnestGregorski on February 05, 2013:
This lens is stellar! Nice job :)
TarahFlesch on January 04, 2013:
Very nice lens!! :)
IssacAlouf on December 19, 2012:
Love this >:D
adrianjohnstone on November 08, 2012:
Great lens! :)
MariannMroczkowski on October 23, 2012:
This lens is really great... nice job!
anonymous on October 16, 2012:
Nice tutorials with some great ideas. Thanks :)
anonymous on October 12, 2012:
Thank you for all your effort-what a great site! Love the patterns
StanfordBrendle on October 09, 2012:
HomeDecorKnight on September 26, 2012:
Creative idea, nice lens with nice information, thanks for sharing it.
anonymous on September 22, 2012:
Looks great! User friendly, thank you!
VspaBotanicals on August 13, 2012:
When i was a paid seamstress, I made lots of bags for clients. this is a wonderful lens.
Laychee on August 13, 2012:
I love this, makes me want to go and try it out :) Everything is beautiful!
anonymous on August 10, 2012:
i love this so muchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
PhotographicStu on July 29, 2012:
I love the wallet making tutorial, this is a great lens!
anonymous on June 30, 2012:
These would be great as Christmas gifts. I'd love to make some of these as gifts. Nice lens!
leonasharon on June 29, 2012:
Very trendy wallets.Thanks for sharing.
Please visit my new lens.
I would really appreciate it
kmyangel on June 12, 2012:
All the wallets were great !
VeseliDan on May 28, 2012:
This wallet making video tutorial was great! Thank you for sharing such great ideas!
biggking lm on May 28, 2012:
SICKKK. i can sure use this!
julia-stella on April 08, 2012:
I always use these tips when I sew... It helps me alot http://howtofixstuff.blogspot.ca/2012/04/how-to-se...
mizrae on April 07, 2012:
My sister and I get together every week working on quilting projects. The wallet patterns are so elegant that I sent her some of the free patterns. I think we have a new project.
KarenCookieJar on March 08, 2012:
These are all so cute!
MelonyVaughan on February 29, 2012:
Brilliant ideas! Thanks!
Kim from Yonkers, NY on February 17, 2012:
another I've added to my Favorite Lenses lens
ericalauren on February 13, 2012:
jimmyworldstar on February 01, 2012:
A leather hip pouch is a great way to have coins on you if you don't have a wallet with a coin holder.
leeleon on January 13, 2012:
kimark421 on January 10, 2012:
Great lens. I'm not much into sewing, but my better half is. I will have her check this lens out. Thanks!
howtosewadress on December 30, 2011:
Learning how to sew is very economical. Since the baby always outgrows his/her clothes, making them by yourself can help you save a lot. This is perhaps the reason why many mothers are indulging in making childrenâs clothes. Not only are they saving budget for the family, but also, they are using their recent knowledge on how to sew as a source of income.
prosepine lm on December 22, 2011:
Some really nice patterns here!
Harshitha LM on December 18, 2011:
Lindrus on December 15, 2011:
Very nice lens with some great ideas! Love it! Thanks.
nigel7725 on December 06, 2011:
sherioz on December 03, 2011:
So many good ideas. Got this one bookmarked for future reference.
nursecraft on November 30, 2011:
Love, love, love this lens! So much to see and do! I'll visit daily probably ~very good!
seosmm on November 27, 2011:
Very nice lens!
seedplanter on November 26, 2011:
I've always admired purses and little zippered bags like these, and have seen quite a few shops on Etsy that sell them. But tutorials...wow, this is such a great service. Thank you!
bames24 lm on November 24, 2011:
will definitely try some of these projects out... :)
jvermilion on November 24, 2011:
This is a nice one. I loved reading it. Make more!
anonymous on November 24, 2011:
Super nice lens. Thanks for sharing. Squid-liked!
Bloomsandbugs LM on November 17, 2011:
that's a lot of cool purses! Thanks
artemisart lm on October 24, 2011:
wonderful lens ! easy diy :D thanks !!
ananimoss2 on October 12, 2011:
We just love your ideas!
Formosangirl LM on September 15, 2011:
well done. I came here and learned techniques to put in a zipper. Thanks.
lucybrz1 on August 25, 2011:
Great lens, I like DIY projects and I often browse for ideas.
Frankie Kangas from California on August 10, 2011:
Love this lens and that you have the tutorials available. Angel blessings. Bear hugs, Frankster
anonymous on July 29, 2011:
i love the mismatched fabric. great lens
anonymous on July 24, 2011:
Shanir LM on July 08, 2011:
These are all so cute! Thanks for a great lens :)
KANEsUgAr on June 30, 2011:
I love these, they are so creative. I wish I knew how to sew.
Mary from Midwest on June 25, 2011:
I can see myself making some of these projects. Funny thing is bought a sewing machine years ago and every time i tried to use it the needle would break. It didn't matter how i tried to set it for the correct tension it would still break. I finally just gave up and have never used it again.
moonlitta on June 21, 2011:
any creative idea is always welcome!
anonymous on June 06, 2011:
sooo cool! this lens is awesome.
get the perfect DIY conservatory to improve the look and feel of your home!
notcathy on May 03, 2011:
Wow, what an awesome lens..:):) very creative. I like the tutorial you have shared.. Good luck..:)
pinkrenegade lm on April 12, 2011:
dahlia369 on April 01, 2011:
Nicely done & great resource. ***Angel blessed*** as part of the April Fools' Quest & featured on "My Life with Angel Wings" lens ... :)
sukkran trichy from Trichy/Tamil Nadu on March 11, 2011:
lovely lens. ~blessed by a squid angel~
Shannon Williams from Davisville, WV on January 27, 2011:
Wow! This is like the motherload of purse making tutorials! Thanks for a great lens! I am bookmarking!
Adriana from New Market on January 24, 2011:
Excellent lens! Blessed by a Squid Angel :)
Ann from Yorkshire, England on January 14, 2011:
nice lens - blessed by an Angel x
sig2k30 on January 05, 2011:
cute bag for girl friend
TWOnline2 on December 30, 2010:
anonymous on November 28, 2010:
Awesome lens! I loved the linen wallets!
Obscure_Treasures on August 25, 2010:
Your purses and wallets are very nice, Creative lens.Thanks.
anonymous on June 03, 2010:
I can't thank you enough for these purses. I really want to try some of them. Thank you!
LadyFlashman from United Kingdom on May 23, 2010:
I really like these purses and wallets, very cute! I especially love the pleated pouch purse, gorgeous!