Every little girl loves to pretend they are grown up. Make this handmade purse with your little one and she’ll learn skills as well as make memories of her time spent with you!
Most ladies love a nice purse. I haven’t had many in my life, but they’ve all served a purpose. They’ve been more practical than pretty. I had a large one in high school that held a novel, geometry set, snacks, pens, and everything else I might possibly need during the day. In university I moved on to a backpack to carry books, etc in. Then I moved to the tiniest purse possible-it only held an asthma reliever, my bank cards and a bit of money. In Japan I had a purse that could hold my small camera and my keitai (cell/mobile phone). Then over to Northern Ireland and it was back to a back pack for carrying course books, work lunches, work shoes, etc. Then as a Mom I progressed to a diaper bag, and now I seem to be moving between my tiny purse and a backpack once again now that Kallista is out of the stroller and I have to carry milk and library books home myself.
My Mom has made Kallista a couple of small handbags to go with different outfits, and she enjoys using them. When I came across some faux leather I had, I thought we could make her another handmade purse, but this time it could be an over-the-shoulder style.
After the enjoyment Tristan had with his Papa last year working with leather I bought us our own starter kit from Tandy Leather as well as a mini-punch. This was our first try at using the punch, and it worked well. I’m sure you’ll be seeing more projects in the future that it has been used for.
To make this handmade purse I used my old cell phone as a rough guide for the size because Kallista loves to carry it around and ‘call’ Daddy while he is at work. I made a rough pattern on a spare piece of paper and then adjusted the pattern so that it would fit the piece of leather we had. This meant that the purse has a flap with the corners ‘cut off’, but it looks great this way!
I cut the leather around the pattern. Next it was time to mark out the spots where I wanted the holes to be punched out around the purse. I marked half of the purse. Then I moved to the kitchen floor with some folded newspapers under the leather and used the new mini punch and wooden mallet to cut the lacing holes into the leather. To ensure that the holes lined up during lacing, once the first side was punched, I folded over the purse and marked the locations of the remaining holes through the already punched spots.
Once all of the loud punching was completed, we moved back up to the table and took out some waxed cord that we have used for making necklaces and stitched up the purse. By using the stitch that we did, it helped to ‘hide’ any holes that were not quite evenly spaced. Tristan really enjoyed lacing this purse for his little sister. Kallista also enjoyed helping to sew her own purse, and she took pride in her work.
Once the purse was stitched up, we tied knots in the ends of the lace and hung a bead from the ends and knotted again. This just gives the purse a little extra element of character.
The final element was to add the shoulder strap. We used some thin and narrow leather strips that we had purchased at a dollar shop while in Canada. Kallista thought that blue would be a nice colour to use. We punched another hole in either end of the top fold and threaded the strip through and knotted it off.
We could have added a button or Velcro closure, but we decided to keep this one simple for Kallista to use without frustration, but we may add a more secure closure in the future.
Kallista loves her new handmade purse and can be seen with it around the house and about the village with it. That is when she’s not using her back pack to hold pencil crayons, paper and library books! She does take after her mother some days!
Now I’m curious, what is your handbag of choice; large, small, fancy or plain, or somewhere in between?
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