How to Make Album Purses

Written by araminta matthews
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How to Make Album Purses
Convert vinyl records into handbags for green crafting. (record sleeve image by Nicemonkey from

Handbags have a long history of fashion and function. From medieval wedding purses embroidered with a love poem or sonnet, to the carpet bags associated with post-Civil War Reconstruction workers and later with Mary Poppins, handbags have been a method of demonstrating social status, fashionable attitude, and simply carrying small items for centuries. The record album purse is a modern spin on handbag fashion that can vary in design from simple album cover totes to hard-nailed record latch bags.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 3 large vinyl records
  • Laminate cutting blade
  • Power drill with 3/16-inch, 1/4-inch and 3/4-inch drill bits
  • Metal ruler
  • Sandpaper
  • 1/2 yard fabric
  • Fabric glue
  • Sewing needle
  • Embroidery floss
  • Metal bread pan
  • Adhesive magnet strips
  • 4 key chain rings

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  1. 1

    Cut the top off a record about 4 inches from the end at the widest point using a laminate cutting knife. Reserve both pieces.

  2. 2

    Cut the bottom off the same record about 2 inches from the end at the widest point and discard.

  3. 3

    Lay the top of the cut record on top of a second record and cut along the edge with a laminate cutting knife. Repeat with the centre, larger piece of cut record to ensure that you have two same-sized top pieces and middles pieces of record. Discard the remaining bottom piece.

  4. 4

    Lay the two top cut pieces of vinyl on top of a third record and cut the record along the edges of the cut pieces. Set the top cut pieces aside. Use a ruler to create a straight edge on either side of the new centre cut piece of record and trim off the curved edges, leaving a rectangle of record. Set the rectangle aside.

  5. 5

    Return to the two original centre cuts of record (the larger pieces) and measure along the curved edge. Multiply this measurement by two and add it to the length of the rectangle you cut in the previous step.

  6. 6

    Cut a piece of fabric in a rectangle so that the length matches the measurement you completed in the previous step and the width is 2 inches larger than the width of the record rectangle.

  7. 7

    Center the record rectangle on the patterned side of the fabric and glue it in place with fabric glue. Allow it to dry.

  8. 8

    Fold the fabric completely under the record, and lay the piece over the bottom of a bread pan so the record is facing up. All of the fabric must be folded up between the record rectangle and the bread pan. Place the pan in a 350-degree oven and bake for five minutes to fuse the base of the record to the fabric and create a mild ripple effect.

  9. 9

    Drill four 3/4-inch holes, side by side and slightly overlapping, into the centre of the two top pieces of record to create handles. Sand the rough edges of the vinyl to remove any slivers or splinters kicked up by drilling.

  10. 10

    Drill a 1/4-inch hole in both bottom corners of the two handle pieces and both top corners of the front and back panel pieces.

  11. 11

    Drill several matching 3/16-inch holes along the curved sides and the bottom straight edge of both the front and back panels to create holes for stitching.

  12. 12

    Line up the bottom of each side panel with the long edge of the record rectangle on either side and fold the fabric up and inside. Glue the fabric flaps to the bottoms of the front and back panels between the stitching holes and allow to dry. Fold the fabric up and glue to the curved sides of the record.

  13. 13

    Stitch the fabric to the sides of the record starting at the top of the front panel and working to the top of the back panel all the way around. Use an overcast stitch for decorative edging.

  14. 14

    Thread key chain rings through the bottom corner handle holes and the top corner holes on the front and back panels to secure the handles to the purse.

  15. 15

    Cut two magnets strips into 1/2-inch squares, peel off the sticky backing, and adhere them to the centre of the top of the record purse to create a clasp.

Tips and warnings

  • Line your purse with a second piece of patterned fabric (facing inward) and add a zippered pocket for a more functional purse.
  • Instead of embroidery floss, use grommets, washers or hobnails to fasten the fabric liner to the record side panels for a hard rock look.
  • Recycle juice boxes, vinyl bibs or old tote bags for the purse lining.

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