Look closely; can you see it?! This endeavour was close to the heart for me…
“Nice purse! Where did you get it?” your friend asks. I made it myself last night, you say with accomplishment. Yes, I know 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. 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 with the pattern. Enjoy!
Fill out form for instant download link. Print it, (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.
Lay out pattern on your felt or leather (or vegan leather). Since this is not sewn it’s best to be some material that does not fray and has some stability to keep it’s shape. Tape or pin your pattern and cut carefully with a rotary or matt cutter. Decide how much of a front flap you like. It can cover the entire front or be shorter as the felt one. The “soft bend” lines gives you the idea where the “corners” are. Poke holes through the pattern to make markings for the hole punching.
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…
Punch holes. I use a hole puncher from a snap installer kit. Or you can use a leather punch tool.
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.
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.
Mark center and amount of overlap.
This “Coach” inspired closure is a turn style that needs a hole.
After punching line up back plate…
…and bend tabs inward.
The other “male” part only needs small cuts for the prongs and also has a back plate to install. I have given it a double layer for durability.
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. 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.
Once the gun pulls this tight, the shaft “pops” off, hence called pop riveter.
Note how the tab is held with 2 rivets and shares a hole. Rivet the “D” ring. I overlap front to back. Rivet your straps to the clips. Once you get the hang of holding the rivets it gets easier. Share your projects and questions. Enjoy carrying your creation!