How to Make a Vintage Handbag

Use a boa and marabou trim to decorate this classically-styled purse.


Ready to sport a boa? Here’s how to incorporate one into a handbag of your own making:

Materials and Tools:

basic A-line purse pattern
¼- to ½-yard of fabric
¼- to ½-yard of lining
¼- to ½-yard of fusible heavyweight interfacing
lightweight chandelle feather boa
1 yard of marabou trim
¼-yard of ultra-firm fusible stabilizing material for crafts (or 1 peel-and-stick floor tile cut to size)
3 pieces of 18-gauge stem wire (florist supply)
lightweight craft wire
beads for handle
¼-yard of wired ribbon for flower accent
large bead for flower center
small magnetic purse closure
sewing machine
needle and thread
pinking shears
straight pins
wire cutters
hot glue gun and glue
iron or steamer


1. Place the pattern pieces on the fabric and cut out the fabric pieces, matching the pattern when necessary.

2. Cut out the lining and interfacing.

3. Cut out stabilizing material for the back, front and bottom to give the purse structure. Or cut a floor tile to match the bottom panel. Note: These pieces will need to match the stitch line, not the outer pattern line.

4. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong sides of all the main fabric pieces.

5. With right sides together, machine-stitch the side panels to the front.



6. With right sides together, machine-stitch the bottom piece and facings to the back.

7. With right sides together, machine-stitch the front to the back at the sides and then attach the bottom. Line up the seams and sew the corners carefully.



8. Trim the seam allowances with pinking shears.



9. Machine-stitch the lining in the same manner. Turn the main handbag inside out.

10. Sew the lining to the facings with right sides together, leaving a small opening to insert the stabilizing panels.

11. Apply the handbag closure to each side of the facing according to product directions.

12. Insert fusible stabilizing panels in the opening between the lining and press in place. Turn the handbag right side out and press well.

13. For the handle, cut three pieces of 18-gauge stem wire long enough to slide over the wrist and proportionate to the bag.

14. String beads to the wire in an appealing and uniform pattern. The holes must be large enough for the wire to fit through.



15. Bend each length of wire into an arc shape, leaving about an inch and a half of extra wire for closing.

16. Join the three wires together by twisting them on each end. Cut away two of the wires on each end. Curl the ends of the remaining wire into a hook shape to join to the handbag.



17. To attach the handle to the handbag, poke the wire end through the center of each side panel on the outer edge.

18. Place a bead on each end of the wire inside the bag. Bend the ends of the wire back to secure the beads and cut off the wire end. Shape the handle by bending the bead-covered wires.

19. Wind the boa and trim together to create one long strand. Measure and cut this piece to fit the top of the handbag.



20. Casually hand-stitch the boa and trim together to stabilize.



21. Hot glue the boa trim to the top of handbag.

22. Cut a 12-inch piece of wired ribbon for the ribbon flower. Wind the ribbon together to form the shape of a flower.

23. Loop a small piece of craft wire through a large bead.

24. Wind the bead through the center of the flower. Bend the wire back to secure, and cut off the excess wire.

25. Wind the wire through the feather trim. Hot-glue in place. Steam the handbag or press. Trim the feathers as desired.

26. Close off the lining/facing opening with hand stitching.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Make a Chic, Outdoor Pillow Cover (No Sewing Required!)

Transform an old, faded pillow into an outdoor accessory with this quick, no-sew project.

Make an Easy-to-Sew Lined Tote Bag

Custom tote bags can add to a fun personal fashion statement. Learn how to make a lined fabric tote bag that's perfect for work and play in this straightforward home sewing project for tweens, teens or anyone new to sewing.

Easy-to-Sew Pillows

Add a splash of color and pattern to a room by sewing your own pillows.

How to Sew Lined Drapery Panels

Finding just the right curtains can be tough and having them custom-made is expensive — but with basic sewing skills, you can make these beautiful, lined and pleated drapes in any fabric and get the custom look for less.

How to Make a No-Sew Ruffled Christmas Tree Skirt

Put the finishing touch on your tree with an elegant and feminine linen skirt. The only tools you'll need are scissors and glue to make this easy no-sew ruffled tree skirt.

How to Sew a Bedroom Bolster Pillow

Instead of covering your bed with a pile of decorative pillows, try the simple, fuss-free look of a single bolster. This classic pillow is easy to whip up and provides comfy support when working in bed or just curling up with a good book.

How to Sew a Card Table Slipcover

Card tables are convenient to use when entertaining over the holidays, but they can be eyesores. A simple slipcover that is fitted and washable (not to mention pretty) is the perfect solution.

How to Make a Vintage Suitcase Pet Bed

Give your four-footed friend a custom, one-of-a-kind pet bed by repurposing a vintage suitcase in just a few simple steps.

How to Sew a Simple Outdoor Pillow

Stitching up an outdoor pillow to brighten up a porch or deck is a great project for a sewing novice. Select materials that are made to withstand bright sun and moisture to keep these custom pillows looking great year after year.

How to Sew Chair Covers

Sew fabric panels that imitate the shape of chair backs to minimize the amount of wood in a room or for special occasions. Follow these step-by-step instructions.


Caribbean Life

7:30am | 6:30c

Flip or Flop

12pm | 11c

Flip or Flop

12:30pm | 11:30c

Flip or Flop

1pm | 12c

Flip or Flop

1:30pm | 12:30c

Flip or Flop

2:30pm | 1:30c

Flip or Flop

3:30pm | 2:30c

Flip or Flop

4:30pm | 3:30c

Flip or Flop

5:30pm | 4:30c

Flip or Flop

6:30pm | 5:30c

Flip or Flop

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Flip or Flop

8pm | 7c

Flip or Flop

8:30pm | 7:30c

Flip or Flop

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

Flip or Flop

12am | 11c

Flip or Flop

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Flip or Flop

3:30am | 2:30c

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.