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Six Tips for Designing your own Handmade Handbags

Aug 5, 2008
Forget clunky and unwieldy shoulder straps. Handbags (minus the shoulder strap) are all the rage in purses these days. Celebrities like Victoria Beckham and Cameron Diaz can be seen strutting the avenues toting the latest in designer handbags. Lately, even more celebrities are carrying the hippest of handmade handbags.

Handmade handbags range in design from sophisticated and classy solids to bold and dashing prints. Of course, it's doubtful that busy Hollywood celebrities are taking the time to hand-craft their own handmade handbags. More likely they've been found in one of hundreds of eclectic, upscale boutiques (both real-life and online.) However, if you are inclined to try fashioning one of your own, consider these design tips:

* Skip the big bolts of fabric. Instead of wandering the beaten path at your local fabric store, venture off into the back and corners. That's where you're likely to find remnants and odd bolt-ends. Make sure you leave yourself ample time to rummage. You might be surprised at the funky and fun textures, colors and prints you'll run across. These smaller pieces are perfect for crafting handmade handbags. Plus, they're less expensive than buying off the bolt.

* Look for garage and rummage sales. Handmade handbags require only small pieces of fabric. Rummage and garage sales are notorious for great finds in small fabric pieces. You'll probably pay little more than pennies. Consequently, your final product may end up costing you less than ten dollars.

* Think outside the box. You need not limit your design ideas to fabric pieces. Scour your local thrift store for used clothing and linens that can be cut down. Look for vintage items that can be turned into one-of-a-kind handmade handbags. You'll end up with a design that is truly unique and reflective of your personality. Plus, you can brag to all your friends that your handmade handbag is recycled and eco-friendly.

* Experiment with colors, prints and patterns. Who says colors need to match? And when it comes to handbags, plaid and polka dots are a perfectly acceptable combination. Try a bold zebra-stripe pattern with fuchsia floral print trim. Mix paisley with dots or camouflage with geometrics. The design possibilities are endless.

* Try different fabric textures. No need to stick to poly-cotton. Corduroy makes an excellent choice for an eye-catching handmade handbag. Linen looks classy and is a perfect choice for accessorizing business or evening wear. Or, combine different types of fabric for a distinctive look.

* Don't forget to accessorize. It's fun to play around with accents for your handmade handbag. Try adding zippers, buttons, beads, sequins or feathers. Add just a few adornments, or go wild with a sequin-covered handbag with bead-studded straps.

If you're not inclined to sew, fear not. Handmade handbags are everywhere. Just because you didn't make it doesn't mean it's not handmade. For a truly unique style, avoid the mass-produced varieties in department stores. Instead, scour boutiques in your area. Pay special attention to up-and-coming local designers. Many of these designers offer one-of-a-kind or even made-to-order handmade handbags. They tend to have the best selection in designs as well as affordable prices. Plus, you'll never have to worry about running into someone else with the same handbag.
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Get handmade handbags and handmade purses online or browse this collection of hard to find hand bags.
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