How to Make a Small Yarn Embellished Purse

Dress up a small purse with a special photo and a bundle of fluffy yarn.


Materials and Tools:

purse pattern
scanner (optional)
printer fabric
small beads
metallic thread
invisible thread
cord elastic
3 to 4 types of yarn (at least one "fluffy")
temporary spray adhesive
double-sided iron-on adhesive


1. Make your own pattern according to the size you prefer, or use a simple, store-bought small purse pattern. Cut out the front and back pieces of the purse from the desired fabric using the purse pattern. Iron interfacing to the back side of each piece.

2. Scan image/photo into the computer or use a digital image. Print the photo on printer fabric.

3. Iron double-sided iron-on adhesive to the fabric picture. Peel off the adhesive back and iron the picture onto the front piece of the purse in the desired location.

4. Adhere beads to the front of the picture to create dimension.

5. Spray temporary adhesive on the front piece of the purse. Take two or three different sizes and weights of yarn and set into place. Wrap the yarn fairly close, but with some of the fabric showing through.  Start by wrapping around the photo, and then go diagonally, shifting to vertically and finally horizontally until the entire purse (except the picture) is covered.

6. Take this piece to your sewing machine and sew the yarns down using metallic thread. Use a wide running stitch or zigzag in place, or just randomly sew around the purse using a straight stitch.

7. Once the yarn is sewn, re-spray the purse with temporary adhesive spray. Lay the "fluffy" yarn/thread over the other yarns. Start by framing the picture several times. Then continue around the photo, allowing some of the base yarn to show through. Sew this layer down by hand using invisible thread.

8. Use a piece of contrasting yarn to frame your picture. Sew it in place by hand using invisible thread.

9. For the strap: Using the same fabric as the purse's front and back, cut a strip 2-1/2 inches wide and the desired length. Fold the strip in half lengthwise and iron down. Open it up and bring outer edges to the ironed crease and re-iron. Fold in half lengthwise again and iron one last time. Sew down each side by machine to finish.

10. Using the machine, sew a piece of yarn onto the strap using either a straight stitch or a long fancy stitch. (A zigzag stitch flattens the "fluffy" yarn too much.)

11. Sew front and back purse pieces right sides together. Baste strap to the purse at side seams, right sides together.

12. Sew a small loop of cord elastic to the center of the back piece of purse.

13. Cut two pieces of fabric the same size as the purse front and back for lining.

14. Cut out a rectangle in a desired size you would like for a pocket (5" x 8" is a good size for a small pocket). Fold the rectangle in half and sew around edges, leaving an opening to turn. Turn and topstitch top to close opening.

15. Sew pocket onto back piece of purse lining. Sew front and back lining right sides together, leaving an opening in the bottom. Sew lining to purse right sides together. Turn, machine-sew lining opening, and topstitch around top of purse to finish.

16. Sew a small button to the top of the purse as a closure.

Linda Everhard, Ohio

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