Resparkle an Old Handbag with Spring Flowers!comments (9) April 26th, 2009
If you have a plain patent-leather handbag lying around that could use a little pick-me-up, how about embellishing it with a fun, sparkly design? I used a handful of colored rhinestones to create a flower pattern on the front of my purse in the style of Enid Collins, one of my favorite vintage designers. Follow these directions to make a floral design, or create your own with other shapes, sizes, and colors. I found my rhinestones at Berger Beads in Los Angeles, but you can also find similar pieces at large craft stores like Michaels.
What you'll need:
- Plain vintage or new patent-leather or hard-sided handbag
- Craft glue of your choice (I recommend Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue or Jewel & Glitter Glue)
- Toothpicks for spreading glue (optional)
- Round rhinestones for flower centers (I used three: small, medium, and large)
- Oval or marquise rhinestones in the same color for the border (I used 15)
- Oval or marquise rhinestones in a contrast color for petals (I used 25)
1. Place your flower centers on the bag in your desired spots. I arranged mine so that the small and medium-sized ones were on the left half, in a loose diagonal, and the large one was centered on the right half.
2. Glue the flower centers down securely with your craft glue. (I used Jewel & Glitter Glue for these larger rounds, and Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue for the smaller oval accents.) If any glue peeks out around the edges, you can wait for it to partially set and then use a toothpick or tweezers to pull it away.
3. Now you’ll begin to add contrast-color rhinestone oval “petals” to the centers. I started with my largest one on the right side, adding ovals symmetrically around it. First, I added one to the top and one to the bottom, as shown, using a toothpick to dab glue onto the backs of the rhinestones and then pressing them down onto the purse.
4. Add a second set of petals to the same flower next to each of the first ones, spacing them slightly apart as shown above. Continue adding petals all the way around—I used a total of 10 for my large rhinestone center.
5. After you finish the large flower, begin adding petals to the small one, with one at the top and a pair of two at the bottom instead of just one (as shown). This asymmetrical style is to accommodate an odd number of petals (I used seven on this one).
6. Fill in the sides of the second flower with four more petals as shown, for a total of seven. You can eye these instead of arranging them exactly symmetrically. Once those are finished, you’ll move on to the third, medium-sized flower—another even-numbered set of petals that can be arranged symmetrically. Add a petal at the top and one at the bottom, as you did with the first flower.
7. Finish the third flower as you did the first one, with a total of eight petals.
8. Now you’ll begin the simple decorative border in your first color, to match the centers. Begin gluing the rhinestones down between and under the flowers, as shown, to create a contrast to the more intricate flower design. Continue gluing ovals down in straight lines until you have covered the front of the purse from side to side and top to bottom, or as desired.
9. Let the purse dry for several hours or overnight before carrying it.
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery
Crafty by Nature
Inspiration for crafting with natural resources.