May 6, 2011

Pretty Pink Purse (upcycled from an old shirt)

Our Pretty Pink Purse

I'm lucky to be the mom of two adorable girls (and a handsome boy, but he's not part of this project!)  My girls love pink, love flowers, and love toting around their prized possessions.  Unfortunately, my girly girls don't always remember to use their napkins or change into play clothes when crafting or mud-pie making.  By the end of each season, I usually have a pile of clothes with stubborn stains that just won't budge.  

For this project, I went to my stash of "trashed" clothes and pulled out an old pink shirt and a pair of pants and set out to transform them into a "treasure".  I kept the neckline of the shirt, but cut off the sleeves and the bottom half.  I found a cute cupcake fabric remnant to use as a lining and made a simple purse tote.  Then I sat down with a pair of scissors, a hot glue gun and a few DVR'ed shows and got to work turning that simple purse into something a little bit more special.  I cut a bunch of strips from the remaining part of the shirt and the pair of pants.  I braided several of the strips together and attached them to the neckline of the shirt to make some purse handles.  With the rest of the strips, I rolled them into a bunch of little rosettes.  After two episodes of GLEE! and a few hot glue burns, I had enough rosettes in various sizes to cover the front of our purse.  I simply hot glued them on and my old clothes to pretty pink purse transformation was complete!

Now for the step-by-step:

1.  Start with an old shirt and any other old clothes.  I had a long sleeved girls' crew neck shirt and a pair of capris.

2.  Cut off the sleeves and part of the bottom the shirt until it's the size and shape you'd like.  Put the sleeves and bottom aside for later.

I ended up making the bottom a little more rounded after this pic.
3.  Pin the right sides together and sew down the sides and across the bottom.

Pinned in place.

Edges sewn.  I also zigzag stitched around the edges for extra durability.

4.  Take your lining fabric and put the right sides together.  Put your stitched purse on top as a pattern and cut out the lining.  ( NOTE:  I have never lined something before and I didn't feel like looking up the proper way to do it so I just totally winged it.  It ended up working well enough for me, but if you know a better way, by all means, use it!)

5.  Cut out a small semi-circle on the fold for the opening.  You'll cut it to size later.

6.  With the right sides still together, pin and then stitch along the sides and bottom of your lining.

7.  Now you have your purse and lining ready.

8. With your purse fabric right side out and your lining wrong side out, slip your lining into your purse.

9.  Now trim the opening of the lining fabric so it's about 1/2" larger than the opening of the purse.

10.  Flip the whole thing inside out.  Now the lining is on the outside and the wrong sides of the purse and lining are together.

11.  Fold the edge of the  lining fabric down about 1/4-1/2" and pin it around the neckline of the shirt.  The edge of your lining should be just a bit lower than the edge of the neckline.

12.  Stitch the lining in place close to the edge all around the neckline.

13.  WooHoo!  The purse is just about done.  Now it's time to add the extras!

14.  Cut the bottom part of the shirt that you put aside before into several strips.

15.  Braid them together to cover the shirt's neckline and form your handle.

16.  Decide how long you need your handles to be and hot glue your braid over the neckline.

Looks cute now.  You can stop here if you want.

17.  If you want to add a little more fun to your purse.  Cut a bunch of strips.  ( I used the slightly darker pink from those old knit capris. )

18.  Roll the strips to form fabric rosettes in a variety of sizes.  There are a lot of rosette making tutorials out there.  I basically just started rolling at one end, twisted the strip around now and then, and put a dab of hot glue to hold it in place after every few times around.

19.  Place your rosettes to cover the front of your purse and hot glue them in place.  

That's it!  You're done.  I love the way mine turned out and totally want to make a few more.  ( Mommy even has a few stained shirts that could work for a "big girl" sized purse!)

One happy owner of a cute "new" purse!

Sharing this Pinkalicious Project at: 
Junkie handmade projects


  1. Love your purse. I cannot see where to vote. Can you put a CLICK HERE TO VOTE button on your blog for those of us who are (ahem) techno-challenged please? Thanks!

  2. Oh my gosh, my girls would LOOOOOVE this! That must have taken you forever to make all those flowers! You are one awesome patient, Mama!

  3. Precious! I am addicted to fabric flowers...

    I have a stash of clothes waiting for rebirth. But that requires me to drag out the sewing machine.

    gah. I need a craft room again...

  4. Parabéns , a bolsa ficou linda,

    Vou aguardar o PAP .

  5. Laura, I awarded you The Versatile Blogger Award. Love your blog!

  6. This project turned out all of your projects! =) I've also awarded you the Versatile Blogger Award...stop by my blog when you get a chance!

  7. Such a cute little purse! I think it would make a great big girl purse too!

  8. Adorable! You really do make it look so easy!

  9. Oh my, this is so adorable and to think you made it from recycled clothing!!! What a beautiful makeover!

  10. Very Cute Idea!!!
    I'm following you from The Girl Creative linking party. I would love if you'd follow me at

  11. So pinky cute...My girls going to love this!

  12. This is the cutest thing ever! Love it!

  13. Laura, that is so precious!!! I love it! Wishing I had more time to make things like this right now.

  14. Super duper cute! I'm inspired to try it - LOVE it!!

  15. Omg love love love this one. I have two purse crazy girls who will love this.

  16. This is sooo lovely!! What lucky girls to have such a creative Mommy. I love everything about this purse. :~)

  17. This is adorable and I am going to use it to make summer bags out of DH's old t-shirts! A bag for bathing suits and towels, a bag for library books, a bag for quick snack picnics in the yard, so many possibilities! Thanks for sharing!


    So cute. Saw you at Someday Craft link up. I hope you will stop by.

  19. such a simple yet amazing, fantabulous, cute, pink and girly idea! how on earth did this manifest itself to you? my 2 nieces (who are staying with me this weekend) will LOVE this purse!!! amazing!

  20. that is adorable! I can't believe it came from a shirt, amazing!

  21. freaking adorable! If only I had the patience/talent to underatke that kind of project! :)

  22. Wow Laura - This is so creative and such a clever use of recycled tees. The rosettes are so pretty! Fantastic job. Thanks so much for linking to the Sunday Showcase Party - I greatly appreciate it. I have featured this today. Hope the rest of your week is wonderful~ Stephanie Lynn

  23. This is so darling. Hooray- a use for old t-shirts!

  24. interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you

    mud pie clothing

  25. Laura, you've done it again. Something CREATIVE FUN AND EASY! I love your laid back style (you've totally got it!)I love your blog!

  26. Hmm, I got inspired! Perhaps I'll give this a go :D

  27. Super cute!! I love the cupcake fabric for the lining. Great tutorial! I, like you, wing it when I sew too! Makes life more...interesting!

    I found you via your link-up at CSI, would love if you stopped by my blog too!


  28. amazing! i'd love it if you'd find a moment to share it on Craft Schooling Sunday!

  29. Such a cute idea! I would love to feature this on Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle. Feel free to stop by and grab a featured button. Thanks!

  30. I love, has been wonderful. Maybe I could do it for a "big girl. "


    Greetings from Granada, Spain, from
    Patchwork from the Alpujarra "

  31. Hvala za tut! Odlična ideja! Prelijepa cvjetna torbica :)))
    Lijep pozdrav

  32. how clever, and thanks for a great tutorial, might just be something i can get my teen daughter to try, im sure she will have a ton of clothes she dosent wear, just waiting to get her attention to show her this post.

  33. Lovely! This makes for a good mum & daughter project. Thanks for sharing!

  34. What a great idear....And i love your blog...
    I will be back to read more....
    Heidi from Denmark

  35. Amazing. That is just too clever. I love it.

  36. wow..
    i amaze for that cute bag!
    u are really creative person.
    i want to try your idea soon(^___^)

  37. Featured this today on my "Walk Around Blog Land" -

  38. Too cute! I have a grandblessing that I'm just sure would be delighted with one. Followed you here from Shoregirl's page.


  39. This mini purse is totally awesome! I just got hooked-up with stitching which makes me love and appreciate such things. I think it's also beautiful if the coating of the purse be stitched. What do you think?

  40. Truly awesome!!!i'd love to make some of these for my lil girls!!!thank you for sharing such a wonderful idea!

  41. The rosettes might be extra work but I think it's worth it. If you had an adult shirt you could actually make a low cost dress from it with rosettes along the hem too. Thanks for sharing this idea for reusing clothing.

  42. This is so creative! My little gal would love this kind of similar pink purse. I am gonna try this for her.

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