Sunday, September 13, 2009

DIY: Old Purse Updated with Bamboo Handle

I've had this macrame purse for years, and I love it. Its totally my hippy dippy side coming out--I wore it to Rusted Root this summer! However, me being a small person, the strap has always been too long. This is what has kept me from wearing it more often during our approximately 10 years together.

I was at a cafe the other day and saw a woman with a totally chic version of my fringy hippy purse, and it had SHORTER HANDLES! Before I could ask her where she got it, she had disappeared into the street and I was left feeling sad. Then I started seeing purses like this everywhere:Lilly PulitzerKate Spade

I figured if it was good enough for Kate and Lilly, it was good enough for me! I ordered these bamboo rings off of the internet, and then started brainstorming how to incorporate them into my purse. I couldn't find any as large and chic as the mystery woman's, but these did nicely!

At first I thought I could kind of weave them into the macrame, but I ended up having to cut the handles--warning, these things have a metal post on the inside! I started looking at the purse and realized there are these handy holes at the end of the zipper on each side.

Not being one who burns bridges, I decided to stuff the old, long handle into the space between the macrame and the lining so I could take it out later if incredibly long purse handles come in style. No kidding folks, this thing practically hits my knees!
Once I got most of it stuffed inside, I sewed the leftover part to the edge so it would stay in place and look like a decorative detail.
Strap?? What strap? I don't see a strap!I slid one end of the bamboo ring into the hole where I stuffed the strap, then turned it until the sawed part was on top again. I only used one of the rings. Then I got out some wood glue and clamped the ring back together. When I spun it around so the cut section was inside the purse, no one is the wiser!

The finished product...much better!
Has anyone else played with these bamboo rings? They are pretty cheap and bamboo is so eco chic right now that I can imagine using them all over the place, especially in the house.


Lari said...

oh i love it!!! great idea! it definitely looks much more hip.

i did this once with a cigar box i really liked..but used 2 half bamboo circles for handles, and red ribbon to hold the flap from opening too far. then a loop and button on top as a clasp. it worked great but you couldnt put things that were too heavy in it b/c i used metal tacks to hold the ribbon on...probably could have been sturdier. =)

im jealous at how creative you have been lately!!! you have some really great ideas!

miss you!!

Courtney said...

I have a Roxy purse that is pretty similar to yours...just no fringe on the bottom. Good taste!

We are thinking of using bamboo flooring in our house. Looks wise, it is not my favorite, but the price & renewable resource part are positives.