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How to Make Purses | Wallets | Pouches | Cases

Updated on February 18, 2016
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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

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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!

Fiskars 45mm Contour Rotary Cutter (195210-1001)
Fiskars 45mm Contour Rotary Cutter (195210-1001)

A rotary cutter has to be a must-have for any sewer because they allow easier and more accurate fabric cutting. This model is by Fiskars and has a lifetime warranty.

 
Singer Sewing and Detail Scissors Set with Pink and White Comfort Grip
Singer Sewing and Detail Scissors Set with Pink and White Comfort Grip

Sharp fabric scissors are essential for clean cuts, and they should only be used for cutting fabric.to keep them in the best condition. These 2 pairs are a perfect set for large and small jobs, and are guaranteed for life.

 

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 d├ęcor 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.

Click here, here and here for excellent interfacing information.

- 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.

Recycled Fabric Pouch

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Duct Tape Purses

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Wallet Making Video Tutorials

Cute Felt Purses

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beige big babushka fabric matryoshka dolls Kokka (per 0.5 yard multiples)
beige big babushka fabric matryoshka dolls Kokka (per 0.5 yard multiples)

The choice of fabrics you can choose from for your sewing projects is endless, and this particular product is a matryoshka design on 100% cotton. Buying fabrics can be very addictive!

 

Purse Making Video Tutorials

Pleated & Framed Purse

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Recessed Zipper

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Chain Wristlets

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Polka Dot Wallet

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Sewing Pleats

how-to-purse-pleats
how-to-purse-pleats

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

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Pocket House Purse

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D12 Dice Handbag

dice-handbag-diy
dice-handbag-diy

Photo and purses by Lenore Edman - Click here for more details.

Pyramid Purses

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Mini Keyring Purse

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Have you made a purse before?

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Please Comment On My Lens!

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    • LadyFlashman profile image

      LadyFlashman 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      I really like these purses and wallets, very cute! I especially love the pleated pouch purse, gorgeous!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I can't thank you enough for these purses. I really want to try some of them. Thank you!

    • profile image

      Obscure_Treasures 6 years ago

      Your purses and wallets are very nice, Creative lens.Thanks.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Awesome lens! I loved the linen wallets!

    • profile image

      TWOnline2 6 years ago

      nice

    • profile image

      sig2k30 6 years ago

      cute bag for girl friend

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 6 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      nice lens - blessed by an Angel x

    • Adriana Daniela profile image

      Adriana 6 years ago from New Market

      Excellent lens! Blessed by a Squid Angel :)

    • wvclaylady profile image

      Shannon Williams 6 years ago from Davisville, WV

      Wow! This is like the motherload of purse making tutorials! Thanks for a great lens! I am bookmarking!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 6 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      lovely lens. ~blessed by a squid angel~

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 6 years ago

      Nicely done & great resource. ***Angel blessed*** as part of the April Fools' Quest & featured on "My Life with Angel Wings" lens ... :)

    • profile image

      notcathy 6 years ago

      Wow, what an awesome lens..:):) very creative. I like the tutorial you have shared.. Good luck..:)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      sooo cool! this lens is awesome.

      _____________________________________

      get the perfect DIY conservatory to improve the look and feel of your home!

    • profile image

      moonlitta 6 years ago

      any creative idea is always welcome!

    • quickcutterss profile image

      Mary 6 years ago from Midwest

      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.

      Nice lens.

    • KANEsUgAr profile image

      KANEsUgAr 6 years ago

      I love these, they are so creative. I wish I knew how to sew.

    • Shanir LM profile image

      Shanir LM 6 years ago

      These are all so cute! Thanks for a great lens :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great lens!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i love the mismatched fabric. great lens

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 5 years ago from California

      Love this lens and that you have the tutorials available. Angel blessings. Bear hugs, Frankster

    • lucybrz1 profile image

      lucybrz1 5 years ago

      Great lens, I like DIY projects and I often browse for ideas.

    • Formosangirl LM profile image

      Formosangirl LM 5 years ago

      well done. I came here and learned techniques to put in a zipper. Thanks.

    • artemisart lm profile image

      artemisart lm 5 years ago

      wonderful lens ! easy diy :D thanks !!

    • Bloomsandbugs LM profile image

      Bloomsandbugs LM 5 years ago

      that's a lot of cool purses! Thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Super nice lens. Thanks for sharing. Squid-liked!

    • jvermilion profile image

      jvermilion 5 years ago

      This is a nice one. I loved reading it. Make more!

    • bames24 lm profile image

      bames24 lm 5 years ago

      will definitely try some of these projects out... :)

    • profile image

      seedplanter 5 years ago

      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!

    • profile image

      seosmm 5 years ago

      Very nice lens!

    • profile image

      nursecraft 5 years ago

      Love, love, love this lens! So much to see and do! I'll visit daily probably ~very good!

    • profile image

      sherioz 5 years ago

      So many good ideas. Got this one bookmarked for future reference.

    • nigel7725 profile image

      nigel7725 5 years ago

      Great craft.

    • profile image

      Lindrus 5 years ago

      Very nice lens with some great ideas! Love it! Thanks.

    • Harshitha LM profile image

      Harshitha LM 5 years ago

      wonderful tutorials.

    • prosepine lm profile image

      prosepine lm 5 years ago

      Some really nice patterns here!

    • profile image

      howtosewadress 5 years ago

      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.

    • kimark421 profile image

      kimark421 5 years ago

      Great lens. I'm not much into sewing, but my better half is. I will have her check this lens out. Thanks!

    • profile image

      leeleon 5 years ago

      Wow.So beautiful.

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

      A leather hip pouch is a great way to have coins on you if you don't have a wallet with a coin holder.

    • profile image

      ericalauren 5 years ago

      Great lens!

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 5 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      another I've added to my Favorite Lenses lens

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      Brilliant ideas! Thanks!

    • profile image

      KarenCookieJar 5 years ago

      These are all so cute!

    • profile image

      mizrae 5 years ago

      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.

    • profile image

      julia-stella 5 years ago

      I always use these tips when I sew... It helps me alot http://howtofixstuff.blogspot.ca/2012/04/how-to-se...

    • biggking lm profile image

      biggking lm 5 years ago

      SICKKK. i can sure use this!

    • VeseliDan profile image

      VeseliDan 5 years ago

      This wallet making video tutorial was great! Thank you for sharing such great ideas!

    • profile image

      kmyangel 5 years ago

      All the wallets were great !

    • profile image

      leonasharon 5 years ago

      Very trendy wallets.Thanks for sharing.

      Please visit my new lens.

      I would really appreciate it

      http://www.squidoo.com/paint-a-canvas-in-your-own-...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      These would be great as Christmas gifts. I'd love to make some of these as gifts. Nice lens!

    • PhotographicStu profile image

      PhotographicStu 4 years ago

      I love the wallet making tutorial, this is a great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      i love this so muchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    • profile image

      Laychee 4 years ago

      I love this, makes me want to go and try it out :) Everything is beautiful!

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 4 years ago

      When i was a paid seamstress, I made lots of bags for clients. this is a wonderful lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Looks great! User friendly, thank you!

    • HomeDecorKnight profile image

      HomeDecorKnight 4 years ago

      Creative idea, nice lens with nice information, thanks for sharing it.

    • profile image

      StanfordBrendle 4 years ago

      Nice lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for all your effort-what a great site! Love the patterns

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Nice tutorials with some great ideas. Thanks :)

    • profile image

      MariannMroczkowski 4 years ago

      This lens is really great... nice job!

    • profile image

      adrianjohnstone 4 years ago

      Great lens! :)

    • IssacAlouf profile image

      IssacAlouf 4 years ago

      Love this >:D

    • TarahFlesch profile image

      TarahFlesch 4 years ago

      Very nice lens!! :)

    • profile image

      ErnestGregorski 4 years ago

      This lens is stellar! Nice job :)

    • profile image

      salharald 4 years ago

      I'll have to try making one sometime :)

    • profile image

      JackThompson21 4 years ago

      Nice lens!

    • HughLasso profile image

      HughLasso 4 years ago

      These would make a good gift for the gf

    • profile image

      blueredblueyellow 4 years ago

      I've never made a purse, but some of these are really inspiring me to try!

    • WeeCatCreations1 profile image

      Susan Caplan McCarthy 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I wish I knew how to sew, these are so cute!

    • profile image

      DecoratingMom411 4 years ago

      Wow! This lens is very helpful! I love the Leather Drawstring Purse idea. Very adorable. Thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      belinhafernandes 4 years ago

      Another great lens! First time I heard about duct tape purses! Useful lens!

    • MaxMunch06 profile image

      MaxMunch06 4 years ago

      Nice lens!

    • Klinetka profile image

      Klinetka 4 years ago

      So many great ideas. Have to try some

    • profile image

      jura 3 years ago

      It is a great idea to make your own purse it is cheaper this way .

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Beautiful. Thank you!

    • mariacarbonara profile image

      mariacarbonara 3 years ago

      @anonymous: Im gonna shwo this to my daughters. Great lens

    • profile image

      jiancara 3 years ago

      i want to do this again!

    • Jimmy Oliver profile image

      Jimmy J Oliver 3 years ago

      Hi nice lens you got there and ranking well. I just forwarded a link to my daughter in law

      Have given you a squidlike.

    • profile image

      zzzzzzc 3 years ago

      Very informative and interesting. Wonderful job!

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 3 years ago from Naperville, IL

      Great info here...very creative! I want to make a purse now!

    • profile image

      ShelbyLinMarie 3 years ago

      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!

    • profile image

      mysticwulf 3 years ago

      Nice Lens! Great products and patterns.

    • AcornOakForest profile image

      Monica Lobenstein 3 years ago from Western Wisconsin

      Quite a variety here. Great collection!

    • profile image

      katiesnow 3 years ago

      like the lens! I think I'll try to make one...thanks!

    • tazzytamar profile image

      Anna 3 years ago from chichester

      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!

    • jennabee25 profile image

      Jenn Dixon 2 years ago from PA

      I have knit purses! I think I made one out of a brown paper bag once as a kid, too.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      cool idea. i am going to make the strappy phone ouch. lovely

    • profile image

      Rebecca PARKS 11 months ago

      Amazing and all the time it took to gather this information. Cudo's

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