Learning how to make fabric handbags is a simple, inexpensive and creative sewing craft project suitable for kids as well as adults. Fabric handbags can be made to be plain and simple or wildly elaborate, depending on your preference. All of the materials needed for the project can be found at your local fabric or craft store. The finished fabric handbag makes a chic accessory or a unique gift.
Select a heavyweight fabric, such as denim, canvas or even upholstery material, and cut a swatch measuring 24-by-24 square inches.
Double the fabric over on itself with the right sides facing in. Pin the fabric at 1-inch intervals along three of the four sides of the material.
Sew the three sides of the fabric together with a zigzag stitch, using a thread colour that matches the fabric. Leave a 2-inch unsewn section at the top, or opening of the purse.
Remove the pins and turn the 2-inch piece of fabric at the purse opening under and pin. Sew along the lowest end of this fold with a straight stitch to create a seamed "pocket," which you will use to thread your cording.
Turn the sewn material right side out and iron flat.
Cut at least 16 inches of ribbon or other cording and thread the strand through the top opening pocket to create a drawstring effect. You may attach one end of the cording or ribbon to a safety pin to help you pull the cording through.
Tie the two ends of the cording into a simple double knot to create a drawstring handle.
You can embellish your purse with embroidery, appliques, decorative beads, buttons or fringe. If you prefer a sturdier purse, you can purchase ready-made wooden or resin purse handles at a craft or fabric store that will slide into the opening at the top of your purse. You may have to adjust the width of the fabric pocket to accommodate the specific size of your handles. If you like, lining can be added to the inside of the purse during the initial sewing stage.