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Hand-Painted Handbag

In this project, Rachael Price from Durham, N.C., creates her adorable one-of-a-kind hand-painted handbags.

Materials and Tools:

blank stencil sheet
craft knife
fabric paint
fabric paint brush
fabric for interior, pocket
fabric for exterior, pocket, handles
straight pins
sewing pin


1. Pick out fabric to be used for the exterior of the handbag, the handles, and the interior pocket. Pick out a solid colored fabric that matches the exterior fabric to be used for interior and exterior pocket. Iron the interior, exterior, handle and pocket material.

2. Fold the fabric for the exterior in half and cut (leaving the folded edge uncut) a 15" x 13" rectangle and a 10" x 9" rectangle. Repeat with interior fabric.

3. Cut two 24" x 2" strips out of the exterior material. Put material aside.

4. With a pencil, draw your pattern/image onto the blank stencil sheet. Using a craft knife to cut along the pencil outline you just created.

5. Unfold your 10" x 9" pieces of fabric (these will become the pockets).

6. Decide where you want the stenciling to appear and tape the stencil sheet to the fabric.

7. Dab the fabric paint over the stencil design. Set aside and let dry.

8. Fold the 10" x 9" piece of exterior fabric in half so that the back (unpainted) side is facing out.

9. Pin and sew along the edges perpendicular to the fold. Tuck top edges into each other, pin closed, and sew along top edge.

10. Repeat steps 6 through 9 for the interior pocket.

11. Position the pockets in the center folded pieces of interior and exterior fabric; pin and sew.

12. Fold the 15" x 13" piece of exterior fabric in half so that the backside is facing out. Pin and sew along the edges perpendicular to the fold. Turn right side out.

13. Repeat steps 11 and 12 with interior fabric. Place the newly sewn interior fabric inside of the newly sewn exterior fabric. Tuck the top edges into each other and pin closed.

14. Place one edge of the handle strip in between the top edge of the interior and exterior 3 inches from the edge and repeat with other end and the second handle. Pin and sew along the top edge.

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