How to Make a Purse Out of Plastic Canvas


Express your personal style by crafting a unique purse from plastic canvas and your choice of yarn colors and styles. It is simple to make a sturdy and fashionable purse that can hold all your things. This type of handbag can be created in any size you need.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic canvas
  • Ruler
  • Scissor
  • Yarn
  • Yarn needle
  • Felt or other fabric
  • Clear-drying craft glue
  • Cut two pieces of plastic canvas for the front and back of the purse. For a regular, rectangular handbag, the plastic canvas sheets should be approximately ten inches wide and eight inches tall. Cut narrow rectangles for the two sides and the bottom of the purse. The plastic canvas pieces should be trimmed so they are smooth on all edges. Cut one long rectangle approximately one inch wide for the shoulder strap. You can also use two shorter straps for handles if you prefer.

  • Design the pattern you want on your finished plastic canvas purse. You can make a solid color purse, stripes, or any type of picture on the purse. This can be mapped out using graph paper. Also make a plan for any pattern that you want on the sides, bottom, and strap of the purse.

  • Thread a length of yarn onto the yarn needle and start at the bottom left hand corner of the piece of plastic canvas. Push the needle up through the hole and then back down through the hole up and to the right of the first one. This is the basic tapestry stitch usually used on plastic canvas. You can also use long satin stitches or other fancy stitch designs.

  • Stitch the entire pattern on all the pieces of plastic canvas you will use to make the purse. Do not knot the ends of the yarn, but carefully weave them into the stitches on the wrong side of the plastic canvas. You can change yarn colors by weaving in the old color and then starting with a new color where the pattern for the purse changes.

  • Cut the felt or other non-fraying fabric to fit each piece of the plastic canvas purse. The felt should be slightly smaller than the plastic canvas so the outer edge on each piece is revealed. This will help when you assemble the purse in the next step. Use small amounts of the clear-drying craft glue to affix the fabric to the back of each completed plastic canvas piece.

  • Attach the piece of the plastic canvas together by whip-stitching over the edges with your choice of yarn color. Thread the yarn on the needle, run a couple of inches along the edge of the plastic canvas, and then push the needle up through the last hole. Then, put the needle through the corresponding hole on the next piece of plastic canvas. For example, affix the bottom corner of the front of the purse to the bottom corner of the side of the purse. Bring the yarn over the two edges of the plastic sheet and then back down through the next hole. Continue this until all pieces of the purse are attached.

  • Whip-stitch along both edges of the plastic canvas purse strap or handles. This will give them a neater appearance. Then, attach the strap to the purse at the top edges of the purse sides. Stitch over this joint twice to give extra strength to the strap. Your plastic canvas purse is now complete.

Tips & Warnings

  • Experiment with different purse shapes and styles.
  • Glue or stitch a snap or magnet to the felt fabric on the inside to close the purse.

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