Friday 5 September 2014

Turning a Purse into a Handbag

It's been a while since I posted a good ol' DIY post here, and whilst this is hardly a full blown DIY post, I thought I'd share it here anyway, mainly because it's such a cute little project (which only takes 10 minutes!!!). Mini-bags were all over the catwalk in the past few months, and this is a great way of creating your own. All you need is a purse, and a spare belt that you no longer need...

I saw this velveteen purse in a second hand shop, and was immediately drawn to it because it looked delightfully retro. A closer inspection revealed that this purse was in fact delightfully retro. Someone get me an honorary degree in thrifting, pronto. Some items are hard to date by first glance, but if in doubt, always check out the guts - the insides and linings of truly vintage items are always a bit more worn, but still sturdier than modern pieces. I'm guessing this purse is from the 70s, mainly because of the glorious flower-power pattern. Peace, man.

As much as I loved this little purse, I knew I wouldn't have used it in it's original state. When it comes to purses, I am really fussy. I need separate compartments for change, notes, storecards, and the ridiculous amounts of receipts I seem to collect. Unfortunately, this one did not make the grade. However, I loved it so much, I bought it anyway, and figured that I would find a way of using it somehow.

Remembering all the mini-bags I'd seen pretty much everywhere earlier on in the year, I decided that this purse would make a really cute cross body bag. Okay, so it's never going to hold all of the books necessities I carry around with me on a daily basis, but I like the idea of using a mini-bag for your phone and other smaller items, and having a bigger bag with you to carry around books larger items.

I am useless with clutch bags (I am liable to lose them at any given moment), so knew that a strap would be necessary. I simply took an old belt I was not using any more, and using a sharp needle and thick cotton, stitched it onto the inside of the purse. I made sure that the belt would be thin enough for the purse to close before stitching it on. If you're thinking of doing the same, just make sure your stitching is very secure - otherwise your strap could be liable to breaking.

The stitching can be pretty fiddly at times, but it's worth taking your time over. Once your stitching is complete, you can now use your mini-bag as you wish. I'll be keeping my phone (and possibly snacks) in mine - it's great for items that you need close to hand.

Let me know if you try this mini project! What do you think about mini-bags?


  1. This is such a good idea, Charlotte! Like you, I know a bag like this wouldn't be big enough to fit all of the books/general stuff I manage to accumulate in my bag haha, but it's a lovely idea :) Will have to try this DIY if I find a nice purse in a second hand shop!


    1. Thanks, Gemma! The bad thing is, the more room there is in a handbag, the more books I generally tend to carry around with me! :)