How to Make a Holiday Themed Purse

With the holiday rush coming within a few days, it might be worth it to dig into your fabric stash instead of your wallet. Come on you can do this!!


  1. Image titled Make a Holiday Themed Purse Step 1
    If you have holiday fabric you are off to a great start. But if do not have holiday fabric, you can use plain fabrics that suggests the holiday such as "red and green", "stars", or "gold and silver". Surprising, Goodwill and thrift stores now have a good bit of fabric, but you could use old sheets, or a piece of clothing you no longer want. Remember, this is budget sewing!
  2. Image titled Make a Holiday Themed Purse Step 2
    You will need to choose two pieces of fabric. One piece of fabric will be for the main part, (background fabric with holiday design) and another piece of fabric for the lining (the fabric inside of the purse). You will need some additional small pieces of fabric for creating your design. Example: Cut out designs of trees, stars, gifts, etc. and a long piece of fabric, folded for a handle.
  3. Image titled Make a Holiday Themed Purse Step 3
    Create your holiday themed design on the outer background fabric before you assemble it. You can applique these shapes using a raw edge look (un-finshed) which is done by cutting out a shape. You may find it easier to iron fusible (Example:Wonder Under(r)) to the back of the small fabric, cut it out, peel off the white paper and iron it on. Applique the cut shapes onto the background with a sewing machine using a zig-zag stitch. If sewing by hand, use a short length straight stitch or blanket very close together. You can embellish with beads later.
  4. Image titled Make a Holiday Themed Purse Step 4
    You will need batting for the middle layer. Batting will give your fabric a lift. Sew around the shapes and evenly in the background. You could use commercial batting for this, but you can use flannel or anything soft for the quilted portion. This part will not show. This will create a "sandwich" of purse's design on the background fabric, the batting (middle)and the lining (inside the purse.) Each layer needs to be cut to the same size. Follow a pattern or use a rectangle as a simple shape about 12" by 24".
  5. Image titled Make a Holiday Themed Purse Step 5
    There are many purse patterns on the internet. If you don't use a pattern, cut dimensions of fabric about 12" wide and 24" long, basically a rectangle. If you fold this in half, you will get a square, and have both the front and back sides of your purse to design. Pay attention on both sides of the folded fabric as to which way you will be carrying the purse with the handles on top. You don't want your artwork to be upside down.
  6. Image titled Make a Holiday Themed Purse Step 6
    When you are satisfied with your themed purse, make a 1" binding going around the top of both sides of the purse to add durability and to later attach the handle(s). Binding is made by attaching a 2 and1/2" strip of fabric ironed in half and sewn down on the open side to the correct side of fabric. The folded edge is flipped over the top and re-sewn to secure.
  7. Image titled Make a Holiday Themed Purse Step 7
    Now is the time to make a handle too. It can be a two handled or a longer over-the-chest type bag. To make a handle, decide on the length you want and cut it about 18" to 22" for a double handle and 24" to 30" for a single. Cut the fabric about 5"-6" wide and carefully fold in both sides of the width and press with an iron. The cut edges are folded inside and then folded in half again. Check to be sure your folded handle is an equal width by matching the length of the handles top and bottom. Sew straight lines using your sewing machine end to end about four times for strength.
  8. Image titled Make a Holiday Themed Purse Step 8
    Return to your purse design, making sure all the layers still line up. The fabric which has the design, will be sewn along with the batting on three sides. You will also sew the same size lining on three sides. Pin these together and either pull the lining out from a small hole in the purse or just insert the lining inside of the purse right sides together, and carefully center the lining along with the handles and closure with a basting stitch and then go to the machine and secure it properly.
  9. Image titled Make a Holiday Themed Purse Step 9
    Make a closure by taking a small strip of fabric about 8" long 3-4" wide. Make this like you did following the steps to making a handle, but this time the thick fabric is folded so it comes a point. The point is made by folding the fabric over the top twice and close together. (Picture the shape of a man's tie.) Sew at the top where it overlaps and again about 1-1/2" down. You will be sewing this in place when you do your handles. On the opposite side you will sew a big button and slip the pointed closure over the big button. Make sure it is snug so items will not fall out.


  • Don't be afraid to mix your fabrics! Use good sewing scissors or purchase a mat and rotary cutter. A child 8+ years old can make this with adult help.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Batting or flannel for quilting the project
  • Sewing needles
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Large button

Article Info

Categories: Handbags and Purses | Holidays and Traditions