Hand-Painted Canvas Purse
Susanne Williams handpaints the canvas for the purse with a swirling leaf pattern and scrolling lines.
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Materials and Tools:
acrylic gloss medium/sealer
taffeta for the lining
organza for the purse flap
glass seed beads
iron and ironing board
3-4 feet of chain (available from a building supply store)
2 silver rings (available from a building supply store)
1. Cut the canvas to 12" x 20" for this purse. Or cut another desired size.
2. Cut a 12" x 20" piece of iron-on interfacing.
3. Iron on the interfacing to the back side of the canvas following the manufacturer’s directions. Tip: Use tissue paper to protect your iron as the painted surface of the canvas may stick to the hot iron.
4. Cut a 12" x 20" piece of taffeta for the lining.
5. Cut a 5" x 54"piece of taffeta for the strap.
6. Cut a 12" x 12" piece of taffeta for the flap closure.
7. Cut a 12" x 12" piece of iron-on interfacing for the flap closure.
8. Paint the canvas with the background colors. Use a flat or fan-shaped brush and a variety of pale pinks, whites, beiges and blend the colors together on the canvas. Let the brush strokes of color show. Let this dry.
9. Paint a swirling leaf pattern and scrolling lines over the canvas (image) with pale greens and beiges. Let this dry.
10. To make the purse flap, iron on the interfacing to the taffeta following the manufacturer’s directions.
11. Fold the taffeta in half with the right sides together. To create a triangle flap for the purse:
- Sew a seam.
- Clip the excess from the tip of the seam and turn the seam right side out.
- Fold the flap so that the seam is centered at the point of the triangle and press.
14. Lay the painted canvas right side up on the table. Align the triangle flap snap side up on the canvas. Pin into place.
15. Lay the taffeta on top of the canvas and flap. Pin into place.
16. Sew a seam on each side. Turn and press the seam open. Turn the piece back so it’s inside out.
17. Align the seams together and sew side one.
18. Sew side two, but leave an opening large enough to accommodate your hand.
19. Sew the bottom of the purse to create a base by folding the side seams against the center bottom.
20. Stitch a triangle at each end of the bottom.
21. Turn the purse right side out and press the seams. Press the creases.
22. Measure the base of the purse and cut two pieces of stiff interfacing to fit into the base. Adhere the two pieces of interfacing together. Insert into the base of the purse inside the interfacing.
23. Cut a stiff piece of interfacing to fit inside the back of the purse. Insert this piece inside the interfacing. Stitch a straight seam to hold it into place and to also hold the triangle flap into place.
24. Cut a stiff piece of interfacing to fit inside the front of the purse. Insert this piece inside the interfacing. Stitch a straight seam to hold it into place.
25. Install the second half of the magnetic snap into the front of the purse going through the canvas and the stiff interfacing.
26. Close the lining and hand stitch it closed.
27. To create loops that will hold the strap to the purse, cut two pieces of taffeta into 5" x 8" pieces. Sew a seam, turn and press. Hand stitch the ends closed. Fold each piece through a silver ring and stitch to the sides of the bag.
28. To add the strap, sew the taffeta, turn, and press. Weave the taffeta through the chain and hand stitch the ends of the taffeta to close.
29. Attach the strap to the silver rings by opening the chain links with pliers and then closing the links with pliers.
30. Add the final touches. Rip the organza fabric into 1" strips, and then cut the strips into 1" squares. Using a beading needle (regular needles are too big), stitch the squares to the flap of the purse. Stitch a seed bead to each square. Place the organza squares close together and cover the entire flap of the handpainted canvas purse for a rag-edge look.
With a Ph.D. in communications, a full-time job as a university administrator and assistant to the president, and a husband and young child at home, it would be easy, not to mention perfectly understandable, for Susanne Williams not to have any time for outside interests. But that wouldn’t fit in with her goal to wear an artist’s hat in addition to all of her others. She not only wears the hat, but could have a variety of styles to represent all of her artistic skills, including painting, handcrafted invitations, silk-and-wool felted scarves, crocheted jewelry and an extensive selection of stylish purses.
Create a custom purse in a snap with this chic project shared by guest Pat DeSantis.