Make Your Own Birdie Fringe Purse

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I love statement pieces, especially accessories! I created this pretty bird fringe purse because I wanted something special to wear this Autumn. This pretty project only took me about two hours to create. I hope you enjoy it…

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This little birdie is my vintage inspiration. I thrifted him a couple years ago and he inspired me to make a larger bag with a similar shape. I added a few personal touches, of course, like 70s style fringe and lace.

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Here's how I made mine…. Supplies Needed: Enough leather (or faux leather) to cut your bird shape (x2), strap and fringe, a small scrap of lace, one black button appx. 1 inch across, scissors, two colors of yarn, paper, a sharpie and a Crop-A-Dile tool. Step 1: Draft a quick pattern on paper for your bird shape. It can be as large of tiny as you like. Mine was about 8 inches wide. Step 2: Trace your pattern onto the back of one piece of leather. Flip the pattern to trace your second side. You should have two bird shapes that match up when the insides are touching. Step 3: Cut all the other pieces you want. I only added details to one side of my bird, so he has one eye, one wing and two sides for his tail (because it's sewn on from both sides). Draft patterns on paper and trace them if you are nervous to cut into your leather. Step 4: Use your Crop-A-Dile tool to punch holes in the leather for the wings. Step 5-8: Use a sharpie to create a template on paper for how wide you want your fringe to be. After you have that part of the pattern you can cut the leather shape for your fringe and start fringing it with scissors. Look closely at the photos to see how I did this. Step 9: Glue lace (eye) on your bird. Allow to dry and then stitch on the button. Next, stitch the wings on. It's always smart to finish all the the detail work on a handbag before sewing it together. Step 10: Punch holes for the exterior of the bag. These should surround the entire bag except for the top. Step 11: Punch any holes needed on your fringe to sew through. It's extremely hard to sew through leather by hand, so try to punch a hole in every spot that you anticipate stitching. Step 12: Put your pattern pieces together, make any last minute tweaks you need to before stitching. Step 13-14: Stitch the two purse pieces together all the way around the bird. Make sure the fringe pieces get caught in your stitches and are secured. Step 15: When you have stiched around the entire bird, go backwards to add another decorativee stitch. (see photo) Step 16-18: Attach tail. I did this step last and I think it created a nice clean look. Step 19-20: Create and attach a simple strap. Measure the strap on your body to be sure you find the perfect length that is comfortable for you. That's all… Have fun stitching this fun and easy birdie purse!

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I made a strap with two long strips of leather, lots of punches and yarn. I love the look of the added hand stitches. A simpler solution would be just one long strip of leather (ReStyle a skinny belt?).

A few thoughts about working with leather: I have been working with leather (and faux leather) for many years. I have a stash that I've picked up from a local leather shop. I buy in larger quantities and use them over the years. It's taken me a long time to collect a good assortment of colors and textures, but most shops also sell scraps at a sweet discount! I also use vintage that is heavily damaged for fabric. If you can't afford real leather (it can be a little pricy) you can purchase a vinyl jacket or bag from the 1970s at a thrift shop for a few bucks. That's a budget friendly (and vegan) option!

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I hope you've enjoyed my little bird purse D.I.Y. I had so much fun creating it! xo. elsie

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  • Very cute and sort of geeky (twitter style)

    http://blog.lauramoodley.com/

  • Hi Elsie, which types of thread do you recommend for hand-sewing? and machine-sewing? Such a cute little purse, too.

  • this is the most adorable ting i’v ever seen. the funny part is when i was little my dad got me the exact same keychain bag!!

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  • I’ve just bought a scrap of black faux leather for just ONE POUND at my local haberdashery stall and I’m planning a cat-face bag along similar lines to this. If all goes well i might head back and buy another piece to make a crow! Thank you Elsie 🙂

  • This is awesome! I’ve just decided I have to make one for myself and one for my 4 years old daughter. I hope it rains tomorrow so I have an excuse to do some crafts 😉

  • I just love the look of this little leather handbag. I would love to have something like this to work as a small purse. Great work on the pictures, it looks so cute!

  • Good website! I really love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS which must do the trick! Have a great day!

  • this is adorable!! i’ll try to make this and then attempt to make an elephant or own version 🙂
    thank you!!

  • This is such a creative idea! LOVE it 🙂 It was nice meeting all of you at Renegade this weekend, you ladies are all so sweet!

  • tooo cute!!! as soon as I get some free time I am DEFINTIELY making one!

    I will send you pictures 🙂

    xx

    angie

    www.fluentbeauty.com

  • I wish I could say “I’m gonna make that!” but I totally know I won’t. I’ll just live vicariously through your DIY talent! 😉

    xo
    cortnie

  • I have a cute little leather owl purse I bought at a fair a few years ago that totally reminds me of this! I of course was not crafty enough to make my own, but it’s one of my favorite unique pieces in my wardrobe. Nice work!

    http://victorypaperdesigns.blogspot.com/2011/07/friday-roundup-owl-city.html

  • So cute! Hurrah for the DIY…can we have some scrapbook/paper related projects one day soon…pretty please? xxx

  • the cutest purse ever!!! i want to make an owl or a flamingo one now 🙂

    Love the new collection also xxx

    Cathy
    Turquoise Flamingo
    www.turquoiseflamingo.com

  • So adorable! I love little birds, but how awesome would an owl version be?! I can’t help but squeal over an adorable owl accessory.

  • That´s an adorable little birdie! Good work, and how loving of you to make an DIY-tutorial of it!

  • That’s really, really cute. I can’t believe it only took you two hours to make! Love!

  • Beyond adorable! I know a few people who would adore something like this – adding it to my Xmas gift makes list!

    Lovely.

    xx

  • I love statement pieces, especially accessories! I created this pretty bird fringe purse because I wanted something special to wear this Autumn. This pretty project only took me about two hours to create. I hope you enjoy it…

  • ooh my goodness…elsie…that´s more than cute!!!
    i think i need one very soon!
    thanks for sharing that great tutorial!

    have a great weeK!!!

    liebgruss from germany
    eni

  • So sweet! I absolutely adore the fringe<3 I’ll definitely be on the lookout for some faux leather or…suede! to make my own 😀

  • That’s PERFECT! Well, done Elsie! Thanks for sharing your tutorial. I may try this with fabric as well.

  • Cuuuuuuutteeeee! Love it! Adorable for fall. 🙂

    -Kat
    http://certainsomethingvtg.etsy.com

  • Oh my goodness this is sooooo cute!!!
    I love birds so this is right up my alley!

    Katiediditt.blogspot.com

  • so cool – and i totally agree and owl purse would be awesome! thanks for sharing girls!

  • CUTE!! I would love to make a little owl purse like this. Such a great idea, thanks for sharing! xx

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