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.