How to make a DIY purse from a $10 kitchen rug…
Do you love clutches and handbags as much as I do? It can be a problem. A problem in the old wallet 💵. Am I right? Well, THIS project is a total winner. Wanna know why?
At the end of this tutorial, you’ll have yourself a gorgeous, colorful DIY purse that you made ALL ON YOUR OWN. And wanna know how much it will set you back? The cost of a cheap kitchen rug. Read on, friend…
If you’ve been here before, you may be aware that I don’t really know a needle from a thread. But I DO know a fun DIY project when I see it. And when I saw these rugs, I knew that we could turn them into something summery and colorful and fun for us.
We’re going to tackle another DIY purse today. A cute little clutch made from a very inexpensive (and easy to find) rag rug, also known as a chindi rug.
Jessica from Designer Sweet Spot helped me with creating a pattern to share with you guys. And she also helped write this tutorial.
Just because I used the word “pattern,” try not to freak out. The use of proper sewing terminology does NOT mean this is a project that you and I, and our fellow sewing novices can’t tackle.
But I felt like Jessica was a much better candidate to teach you the technique because she knows REAL sewing things…like “basting” and “gussets” and all-manner-of-sewing-lingo that they teach people at FIT, which is where she went to school. How cool is that?
Materials Needed for DIY Purse
- rag rug (AKA chindi rug) we recommend one of two from Wal-Mart (smaller “Mainstays” brand or larger “Better Homes & Gardens” brand)
- 1-yard lining fabric (can be scrap fabric of light to medium weight…cotton, linen, acetate or other light to medium weight woven fabrics)
- 1-yard medium weight to heavyweight fusible interfacing (recommended for use with the lighter weight rugs to add stability)
- Heavy cotton thread suitable for machine quilting
- Heavyweight sewing machine needles suitable for denim or heavyweight fabrics, size 90/14, 100/16, or 110/18 or larger
- sew-on magnetic or standard snap (optional, and sized per personal preference)
Before You Begin Your DIY Purse
DESCRIPTION: This rag rug DIY purse tutorial will help us to create a clutch with an interior lining, optional contrasting pocket, fringe, and optional sew-on snap or magnetic closure. The clutch has horizontal fringe on the front flap.
SEWING LEVEL: Beginner to intermediate.
PRINTING THE PATTERN: This pattern is FREE for personal use only.
** Make sure that your scaling is turned “off” in the printer’s dialog box. Set scale to 100%. Page scaling should be set to NONE. EACH PRINTER IS DIFFERENT, BE SURE TO CONFIRM. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. Select page orientation to “Auto/portrait Landscape”.
Print out the page that contains the calibration square, page 2. Measure the square ( 5 cm or 2”) to make sure your pattern piece was printed to the correct size. Tape pieces together in order as marked.**
Choosing The Best Rug
This handbag pattern is designed for a light to medium weight cotton 2’ x 3’ Chindi rag rug. The shape of the bag may vary slightly depending on the type and weight of rug that you choose. For rugs that are less than 3/8” thick, the small or medium size bag pattern will work well.
For rugs that are ⅜” or ½” thick, it is best to choose the larger size bag due to the bulk of the material. It is important that you follow all the pre-cutting steps to keep your rug intact. The rugs are made from recycled fabrics that are woven together and secured with multiple threads. You must sew anchor stitches before cutting the rug to keep the entire rug from unraveling. *Be sure to follow the pre-cutting directions.
There are no grainline markings on this pattern. Some rugs are woven horizontally, some are woven vertically. You can choose to cut the rug in either direction depending on the size and design of the handbag you choose to make.
Note: All seam allowances are ⅝” unless otherwise noted.
- Layout pattern and match the direction of the grain on the rug. Mark pattern with a fabric pencil or marker.
- Decide whether or not you will fringe the edge of the rug. Some rugs already have fringe, if yours does not, you can add it. Recommended length of fringe is maximum of 3”. Sew a horizontal zigzag line on the rug from edge to edge, ½” above the cutting line. This step is required to keep the rug from unraveling. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.
- Cut rug threads and unravel fabric to within ¼ of zig-zag stitching. Trim fringe fabric edge to one length if needed. Fringe is not included in the size of the pattern. Be sure to place your pattern piece at the base of the fringe when cutting.
- Sew another zig-zag stitch ½” from each side edge, along pattern cutting line before cutting. Stitch length of 2.5-3 length is recommended.
- Check edges of cutting line to be sure you are cutting on the outside edge of the zig zag stitching. Cut along the marked edge of the pattern.
- Secure any loose edges if needed with single needle stitch.
- Layout purse lining, including pocket and any gusset pieces, mark and cut.
- Layout interfacing, mark, and cut.
Sewing Directions for your Rag Rug DIY Purse
* All seam allowances are ⅝” unless otherwise stated. Press as needed. Clip seam allowances as necessary so they lay flat.
1. Mark top of flap placement.
To make a 3” fringe, mark the top of flap placement from the pattern on the front of the rug/fabric with pins. Sew a zig-zag stitch horizontally along marking, from edge to edge.
2. Cut rug threads.
Clip rug threads between vertical fabric pieces, stopping ¼” away from zigzag stitching, creating fringe.
Cut any extra loose threads close to the fabric. Trim fringe edges as necessary to make them even.
3. Use iron to fuse interfacing.
Fuse interfacing to the backside of fabric/purse with a warm iron.
4. Stitch top of gusset pieces.
With right sides together, stitch the top of gusset pieces together. Turn wrong sides together, press top seam. Baste raw edges together.
5. Sew top of lining pocket.
Sew top edge of lining pocket with a ¼” hem. Turn again and stitch over the first line of stitching. Fold under seam allowance on sides of the pocket.
Press in place. Pin to lining matching top edges with marked circles on the pattern. Stitch around pocket edges.
Clean finish top and bottom edge of lining with a ⅝” hem.
7. Baste and stitch.
Pin gusset to the right side of the lining, matching top edge with marked fold notches on the pattern, and matching circle marking at bottom of the gusset. Baste in place.
Stitch over basting. Trim fabric on the lower edge of the gusset to ¼”, clip as needed to smooth out the fabric.
8. Stitch sides.
Place lining and handbag with right sides together, matching side seams, and fold notches. Stitch side seams top to bottom, pivoting in a circle at bottom of the gusset.
If your rug is very thick, you may have to break the stitching at the bottom of the gusset to pivot it.
9. Stitch top of liner.
Turn right side out, lining up the top and bottom edge of the handbag with lining. Pin in place. Slip stitch lining in place.
10. Add snap closure (if desired).
Add optional snap closure or decorative button to the front of the bag.
Congratulations! You have finished your DIY purse!
Send me a picture of your creation!
On the hunt for more simple home improvement ideas, and DIY home decorating inspiration? Be sure to check out these articles, too!
Pin this post for later! And if you make one, leave a comment (or better yet, a photo) on the pin! That helps others know whether they want to try this project, too!
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