Folk Purse

posted in: Embroidery, Recycled, Sewing | 0



This purse is made of recycled materials and scrap fabrics. I ripped the leather off of some benches that were being thrown away. I had a general idea of what I wanted the purse to look like, which drastically changed three times as I got further along in the project. The bottom of this post are my first few sketches.

I was aiming for minimalism (not something that comes naturally to me), with possibly some embroidered details. My minimalist aspirations fell to the wayside when I decided I wanted to paint the leather.

I had never painted leather before, so I bought a few bottles of paint in whatever colors were calling to me that morning. There was a lot of messing around while I worked on reducing my watercolor design to match the selection of leather paints that I had bought.

The final painted design is heavy influenced from Dinara Mirtalipova’s book Imagine a Forest, which is a source of endless inspiration for me.

I started laying in a white undercoat and then slowly building up the final design. The leather paints I bought (Angelus Leather Paint) were more translucent than I had anticipated, so I ended up doing at least five thin layers of paint on each detail to reach the opacity I wanted.

The purse took way longer than I had originally planned. I thought it would be a quick Saturday project, but I ended up spending two weeks doing just the painting portion. I’m very happy with how the purse turned out!

See below for sketches and photos. Click to make larger.


Early sketches (bottom left and top right).

Final watercolor design.

White undercoat.

Detail (ft. squirrel).



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