“Nice purse! Where did you get it?” your friend asks. I made it myself last night, you say with accomplishment. Or even better, give it as a gift! Yes, I know you think it’s difficult when you don’t have all the sewing skills, so I designed a pattern for you that is NO-SEW. It worked great in felt and also worked wonderfully in a medium to heavy weight leather. (maybe that old sofa, or coat can be up-cycled) But really, it could be made out of whatever material you can cut and punch holes in. I have used pop-rivets to hold it together, and it is really strong. Most guys have a rivet gun in their tool drawer… just gathering dust. So, here goes your tutorial complete with the pattern. Enjoy!
Step 1: Step 1 : Get the Pattern and Supplies
I have designed my own simple pattern. Go here and download the pattern (it is large so you may need to print it on 3 separate pages and tape it together) If you want a wider purse, cut along center line and make it wider by adding some extra paper in the middle.
You will also need:
- Leather/felt sized according to how large you print your pattern
- 2 D-rings
- Toggle Closure set like these (or alternate system)
- 2 spring clips like these
- 20 pop-rivets (more for extras) with back washers (aluminum, I used 1/8" but depends on material)
- Pop-rivet gun
- Hole punch (hammer or tool type)
- Cutting tool (scissors, mat knife, rotary cutter, straight edge)
- (OPTIONAL) Inside sewn pockets for cards etc
Step 2: Step 2 : Cut Leather
Use the pattern to cut the leather. Straps can be cut from leather or from felt. You can also use a webbing material similar to seat belting. It is usually available in the trim sections of fabric stores. Or be resourceful, see what you can find. Even a dog leash works well. Or that old leather belt (kudos to your up-cycling) I like my purse as cross-body so I make it 48″. You can adjust to what you like. Be creative…
Step 3: Step 3: Punch Holes
I use a hole puncher from a snap installer kit. Or you can use a leather punch tool.
Step 4: Step 4: Interior Pouch
If you would like an interior pouch, you can sew one. If you use wallets you don’t really need this. Or you can rivet it together and fasten in with a couple rivets as I’ve shown here.
Step 5: Step 5: Closure
There are a lot of options for closures. Many fabric stores have appropriate hardware as do some leather supply places. You can also be creative and use carabiners and grommets(eyelets). I will include a list of links for my favorite suppliers locally. I found mine in an upholstery supply store. Tip: use tape to plan where you want it. It is best to install the closure prior to assembly.
Step 6: Step 6: Install Closure
- Mark center and amount of overlap.This “Coach” inspired closure is a turn style that needs a hole.
- After punching line up back plate
- Bend tabs inward
- Add back plate to top turn latch by cutting tiny slits to allow prongs through
Step 7: Step 7: Rivet Sides of Purse
The clips used here are similar to the dog-leash style. I cut the 2 small tabs to attach the “D” rings to the purse.
Tool time! The size of rivet depends on a few things. How many layers and how thick the material is. I used the 1/8″ size that was 1/4″ long. I also sourced some small washers under the head. NOTE: you also need to buy the rivet backup washers that fit your size of rivet. It holds it from the inside. The rivet gun pulls the rivets from the outside. It may take some practice to get the hang of holding the gun and also holding the washer to inside end of the rivet. Practice on a scrap first. I work from the bottom of the purse outward, matching the holes by letter. Make sure backup washer has enough depth to catch at the inside. These are easier than the hammer-in type rivets since you don't need it on a flat surface. You can see more explanation on my site
Step 8: Step: 8 Tabs/strap
Note how the tab is held with 2 rivets and shares a hole. Rivet the “D” ring loops. I overlap front to back. Rivet your straps to the clips. Ta-da! Good job! And show it off or give it to a friend.
Enjoy carrying your creation!