Handmade Gifts 2014- Upcycled Fabric Embellished Leather Bag




07-DSC_0602Of all the things I tend to hoard, bags are probably the most plentiful around my house. I have tons of purses! Some of them I made myself, but a lot of them have been gifts, or thrift store scores. I am not a label lover, but I do love a bag that has a fabulous shape and wonderful details! Sometimes I love the shape of a bag, and the price is so great, I snatch it up, but it is a little plain and tends to sit in the closet for a while. Well, I thought I would add a little style makeover to a couple of my latest closet dwellers and upcycle them with some lovely fabric embellishments! Check out the how to!

Here’s What You Need:

*An old boring bag with a flap

*Fabric ( I was able to use a couple of large scraps)



*Marking Pen or Pencil

*Basting Spray

*Sewing Machine

*Leather Needle and Heavy Duty Thread



Gather up your bag(s) and your fabric.


Trace the flap of your bag onto your fabric. If you have a directional print, make sure you trace it so it falls in the direction you want.


Take your ruler and mark 1/8 to 1/4″ out from where you traced the flap all the way around.


Cut out your fabric using the outside line you marked.


Fold the fabric under to the backside by a 1/4″ allowance. Fold under and iron all the way around


Lay a piece of cardboard over the back of the purse and spray the front of the flap with basting spray.


Carefully lay the fabric on top of the sticky flap. Smooth and reposition as you go until you are satisfied with how everything lines up and looks.





Now you need to topstitch the fabric. Start stitching close to the edge on one edge of the flap. Stitch down and around the flap. Pivot when you get to the back of the flap then stitch across the back and then pivot and stitch back around the side to where you started. It can be a little tricky maneuvering the purse around the machine, but go slowly and carefully and you’ll be fine.

09-DSC_0563Now clip your excess threads and close up your flap. And that’s it! Admire your new bag!




02-DSC_0611I love how these turned out! For the brown bag I used a scrap of a fantastic vintage Grandma Moses bark cloth fabric, and the black one was an adorable Pam Kitty vintage button cards fabric. You can really customize this just by the fabric colors and patterns you use. I think I will end up keeping the brown cross body. One of my gals will be getting the black one. So, grab that gently used bag from the back of your closet or the thrift store or discount store, and turn it into a custom accessory for your favorite gal or even yourself! I’ll be back tomorrow with another fun project! Until then…

Happy Crafting!

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