I’m having a love affair with fringe lately. Today we’re making a DIY fringe purse…and it’s not only frilly and fun, it’s also super budget-friendly!
*This post contains affiliate links. Please read our full disclosure policy here.*
You are welcome to sell handbags made from this pattern. Please link to and credit The Heathered Nest in the product listing. Copying and distribution of this pattern in any form is prohibited.
PRINTING THE PATTERN:
This pattern is FREE to all of my newsletter subscribers (and yes, my newsletter is ALSO FREE…I ❤️ free, don’t you?) Subscribers have instant access to all the printables, patterns, lunchbox notes, and DIY guides we publish here on our blog. And again, they are all freeeeeeee as a bird. So, if you want to join and GRAB THE PATTERN (as well as the FULL SUPPLY AND DIRECTIONS GUIDE for this project) click the image above.
** Make sure that your scaling is turned “off” in the printers 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.**
I have a friend who works with Stella and Dot. They are selling a fringe purse this season called the Taj clutch (above), and it’s ADORABLE, isn’t it?
The same week I saw my friend posting a picture of this super fun bag, I ran into Five Below for something or other. And I spotted these $5 rugs…
And so my angled fringe purse from a rag rug was born. But it was a heck of a labor, I’ll tell you. I’m novice (at best) when it comes to sewing. I knew I wouldn’t be able to give you guys the best instructions for completing this DIY project. So I reached out to someone who is a waaaay better seamstress than I. Jessica of Designer Sweet Spot came to my rescue. She’s an FIT grad, folks. Know who spoke at her graduation? Oscar de la Renta. How fantastic is that?
After talking about the project with Jessica, I quickly realized that my biggest mistake with this project was choosing the wrong rug. This project would have been much easier if I would have chosen a lighter weight rag rug to use.
I’ve included pictures of the angled fringe purse that I made from my heavier Five Below rug. It’s the one that has the thread-like fringe, and is in the pictures with me in the dress and pants. And although I LOVE the colors of the rug I chose, and I adore the end result, Jessica wisely chose a better weight rug to use for this project…
She worked with rugs found at Wal-Mart (seen in the images above and below). I purchased same rugs and am going to now make another fringe purse with the new material. I could tell just by feeling these rag rugs that this DIY project would go MUCH smoother using these lighter options.
fringe purse recommended fabric, notions & supplies:
- 1 rag rug (we recommend either this Mainstays version or this larger Better Homes & Gardens version. Each rug has enough material to make multiple purses.
- 1 yard lining fabric of choice (linings can be cut from scrap fabric, acetate, cotton, linen or other light to medium weight woven fabrics)
- 1 yard medium weight to heavy weight fusible interfacing (fusible interfacing is recommended for use with the lighter weight rugs to add stability)
- Heavy cotton thread suitable for machine quilting
- Heavy weight sewing machine needles suitable for denim or heavy weight fabrics, size 90/14, 100/16, or 110/18 or larger
- sew-on snap or magnetic closure (optional)
how to make a fringe purse from a rag rug:
BEFORE WE BEGIN:
This fringe purse will have an angled fringe on the front flap, interior lining, optional contrasting pocket, and optional magnetic or snap closure.
Sewing level: Beginner to intermediate.
Sizing note: The pattern in this tutorial is for an approximately 8″ x 12″ clutch. The one I made from the Five Below rug is approx. 10″ x 14″ just for reference, but alter your sizing based on personal preference!
CHOOSING A RAG RUG:
This handbag pattern is designed for a light to medium weight cotton 2’ x 3’ Chindi rag rug. **The weight of the rug you are choosing is KEY. The one that I originally used, from Five Below was a VERY HEAVY rug, so I struggled with this bag. It turned out in the end ok, but it is MUCH easier, and will work MUCH better if you start with a thinner, more pliable fabric type!!
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 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 marked edge of 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 THIS DIY PURSE MADE FROM A RAG RUG:
1.) To make a 3” fringe as shown in the above image, mark angled flap placement from pattern on front of the rug/fabric with pins.
Sew a zigzag stitch along marking, pivoting at center front. Cut angled edge of rug 3” away from stitching.
2.) Clip rug threads between vertical fabric pieces, stoping ¼” away from zigzag stitching, creating fringe. Cut any extra loose threads close to fabric.
Trim fringe edges as necessary to make them even and angled.
If you prefer a thread-like fringe as shown in the image below,
Use a rug that has fringe attached (such as the rug we purchased from Five Below), or alternatively, purchase fringe at your local fabric store or online.
3.) Fuse interfacing to back side of rug/fabric piece with a warm iron.
4.) Stitch ½” angled hem on top of lining, pivoting at center point.
5.) Sew top edge of lining pocket with a ¼” hem. Turn again and stitch over first line of stitching, creating a ¼” rolled hem. Fold under seam allowance on sides of pocket.
Press pocket side hem in place. Pin pocket to lining matching top edges with marked circles on pattern. Pin in place. Stitch around pocket edges.
6.) With right sides together, pin lining to fabric/rug matching side and bottom edges. Stitch side seams and bottom edge together.
7.) Turn right sides out, press.
8.) Line up top edge of handbag with the top edge of lining. Pin in place. Slip stitch lining in place with needle and thread.
9.) Add snap closure if desired.