If you love purses, handbags and well.. any bags, and are tired of the price tag attached to many of these designer purses and bags, then why not try and create your own purse art?
Before you hit the back button thinking this will be too hard, just think about it. You could purchase patterns and books and download ideas, and make a purse from scratch, OR you can create a work of art or "purse art" by getting your hands on some old estate sales, garage sale, and thrift store finds!
If you have a creative eye, then this just might get some of those creative juices flowing. Rather than make a purse from scratch, you are going to create a original purse from many purses!
How many times have you been to that second hand store, thrift store, or garage sale, and seen those tired old purses piled up in a box for sale? Many times they have been used up, or on the verge of collapse. Plus many times, these sad purses are only going for a few cents, as many homeowners, have moved on, and purchased that new purse and these poor used up ones are in a bin, and they DON'T want to take them back in the house.
Many times, these purses were of good quality, designer purses, and the parts on them are still working well, the rest is just a bit tired looking. It would be a shame for these designer purses with good quality hardware on them to go to the landfill, when you could put them to good use!
Head Out This Weekend
So, here is what you do. Grab the whole box of beat up purses, and take them home. Of course your family will think you have turned in the "bag lady" literally! But with a few tools and some imagination, you can create and make a purse from these old purses.
Start by taking them out and laying them out on a table. See if there is one where the main bag is in good shape. Then see about taking off the handles if you don't like them and replacing them with the handles from another purse. Replace a clasp from one purse to another, or if you can get a purse apart, especially a quilted one, you could use it as a template. If it is a old beaded purse, you could add to it with your own bead design.
If you don't have many tools, then stick to the canvas style ones or totes. There are just as many of those in the garage sales. Many just look tired,. You could remake the purse using the old one as a template or pattern. Take it apart and retrace it on fabric of your choice. Switch out the handles, or get creative yourself.
I saw a great tote bag at a craft sale, that was actually remade with a yellow slicker or rain coat and then they used those punched metal eyelets around the top edge, and used new bungee cords as handles. This would make a great beach bag.
Grab a Few Tools
With just a few tools you could take apart garage sale finds, and transplant pieces back and forth to make a purse that could be a piece of purse art. You know for sure, that no one else would have a purse like yours.
With all the strong fabric glues out there now, you don't even need to sew anything if you don't want.
You could take a quilted bag, and add a few additional vintage fabrics in a pattern on top of the old bag.
I find the best way is to lay the purses and bags out and just see which ones catch your eye. Maybe it would be the main body of a purse here and the handles from there and a added pocket and before you know it, you have a designer purse of your own.
If you enjoy making purses, you could make a business out of this idea. I really love the idea of reusing purses rather than making new ones. It is a way to do your part for recycling! Give an old purse a new lease on life. Just a few updates and no one will know that you got it at that garage sale for a buck!
Making purses, or purse crafts are fun, and because it is more your labor than money, you can have one for every occasion. Your friends are going to wonder where you got that great designer purse.
Sometimes, if you are good with a needle and thread, it is just a matter of replacing the lining, which you can do yourself. Carefully remove the old lining and use it as a template. Many times that is the reason a purse was tossed, no one likes to lose things into the bottom of their purse through a worn out lining.
If you have a talent for using leather tools, then you can find old worn out leather purses and really create something stunning. Think of what you want in a purse, and just create it.
Recycle Purses as a Business
You could then try your hand at making purses, or more like "recycling purses" and selling them as "one of a kind designer purses" which they are. They are designed by you! You could try online with sites such as Etsy (which is for handmade things only) or you could make some for your friends, and get them to use them for word of mouth sales.
So, take this weekend and browse the garage sales, estate sales, second hand stores and thrift stores. A friend that works at the thrift store says that many times these old purses just end up being thrown out, as no one wants a worn out purse, so you may even get them for free, or a small donation.
Just think of making purses or recycling purses as finding lost treasures. You do all the leg work and design work, and then someone pays you for this treasure.
Either way you approach this, if you have been looking for a original designer purse, and can't afford the latest and greatest then make your own purse art.