How to Make a Small Purse

Updated November 22, 2016

This simple small purse has a flap that closes with snaps. It works best to use lightweight fabric such as cotton, poly-cotton or even satin to make this purse. You can carry this small purse in a pocket or in a larger purse, or add a shoulder strap for carrying just the essentials. You can also adjust the size of the pieces to make this purse larger, or even smaller for a coin purse.

Cut two pieces of fabric, each 6 1/2 inches wide by 5 1/2 inches tall. These will be the front and back of the purse.

Fold the top edge of each piece over 1/4 inch and press the fold flat. Fold the top edge of each piece over 1/4 again, and press it flat.

Place the two pieces right sides together. Stitch along the sides and bottom edge using 1/4 inch seam allowance. Turn the purse right side out.

Cut a piece of fabric 6 1/2 inches square. This will be the flap that covers the top of the purse.

Fold this piece in half right sides together. Stitch along the sides, leaving the edge opposite the fold open.

Turn the open edges over 1/2 inch and press them flat. Turn the flap right side out.

Line up the folded edge of the flap with the top edge of the back of the purse. Pin them together, making sure you catch both layers of the flap in the pins.

Sew the flap to the top edge of the purse, making sure you don’t sew the purse closed.

Place the bumpy half of one or two snaps near the top edge of the open flap. Sew them in place like you would buttons.

Place the indented half of one or two snaps on the front of the purse, making sure to line them up with the snaps on the flap when it is closed. Sew them in place as you would buttons, without sewing the purse closed.

Add a shoulder strap to the small purse (optional) by cutting a strip of fabric that’s 1/2 inch longer than you want the strap and twice as wide plus 1/2 inch.

Fold the strip of fabric in half right sides together and press the fold flat. Stitch along the edge opposite the fold.

Insert a small safety pin through one layer of fabric at the end of the strap. Turn the safety pin to the inside of the strap and push it through the fabric to turn the strap right side out.

Turn the raw edges on the ends of the strap to the inside (about 1/4 inch) and press them flat. Sew one end of the strap to each side of the purse.


You can use snaps that you hammer on instead of sew-on snaps if you prefer.


Use caution when working with scissors, pins, irons, sewing machines and sewing needles.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/4 yard fabric
  • Matching thread
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Sewing machine
  • Sew-on snaps
  • Hand-sewing needle
  • Small safety pin
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