This upcycled old book purse is sure to be the hit of your wardrobe this season! Nobody will have a purse like yours, and that unique addition to your wardrobe is going to be a huge hit. I love that it is not just pretty, but functional! Grab an old book, some fabric, and get started making this versatile purse!
Upcycled Old Book Purse
I have never claimed to be a fashionista, but I definitely love making unique items like this to upgrade my wardrobe. As long as I can remember, I’ve loved anything vintage. From wearing my grandma’s pearls to high school, all the way to using an vintage book to create a purse, I guess it is meant to be.
I have found tons of old books that were not good for anything and would have otherwise gone in the trash. I’ve been making tons of great old book page crafts like these rustic paper flowers, hanging paper birds, or rustic paper butterflies.
Once the pages have been used though, I’m left with the book covers. Trying to come up with something to do with them, I decided to put them to use for this awesome fashion piece. I know you will love this too!
What Should I Use for the Purse Handle?
I chose to add two different options to show you how they would look. A simple beaded handle makes it a classy look that goes well for cocktail hour. The cloth handle is more casual and a bit sturdier. Those aren’t the only ways to add a handle to this purse though. I have a few other ideas below that can really elevate the look for a different style.
- Braided ribbon or twine
- Strips of leather
- Wooden hoops with or without fabric cover
- Metal hoops with or without a fabric cover
- Strips of denim
- Hay or raffia
- Artificial vines
How Do You Clean a Homemade Purse?
In this instance, the book itself is made mostly out of a cardboard backing from a book. So, unlike a traditional purse you pick up in the department store, you’ll not be able to throw this into the laundry. Avoiding stains is important, but in the case that something happens, you can still clean this, just carefully.
For this, a damp cloth to wipe off any extra bits and dust is recommended. For some stains, a Magic Eraser is suggested. If you happen to spill something creating a deeper stain on the outside, I recommend trying to spot treat it with something like a Tide Pen or a tiny drop of detergent and an old toothbrush to scrub it.
Can I Make These to Sell on Etsy?
This question is asked a lot. So many of these crafts are just beautiful and unique. If you have an Etsy shop for homemade items, this is a great choice to add to your shop.
They are truly unique, and the time spent making them create a value. Many people who aren’t great at making crafts would clamor to buy this unique purse!
- Old book cover
- Satin ribbon
- Burlap ribbon
- Thin colored twine or ribbon
- Jute Twine
- Fake pearls
- Silver button
- Fabric tape
- Craft Glue
How to Make an Upcycled Old Book Purse
You will start by removing a hard book cover from an old book. Once it has been removed, you will trim off any excess pages or bits of paper and set it aside.
Now, you will measure 2 pieces of fabric to go on the sides of your book purse. These will be cut the length of the width of your book on two sides, and the width you want the purse to open on one side. This piece will be a triangle with the point being attached into the fold of the book.
Use fabric tape or glue the cloth in place as shown with the pattern facing outward and the point attached at the binding on both sides.
Fold over and glue or tape excess fabric in place to create the sides of the purse as shown below.
Now, you will measure and cut a length of fabric to fit on the inside of your book.
Glue the fabric in place on the inside of the book purse to create the liner.
Now, add a strip of burlap or ribbon onto the bottom of the purse to cover the book binding area.
Cut a small loop of ribbon and glue together then to the inside of the book purse.
Now, glue a small button on the front of the purse, the opposite side of where you attached the ribbon.
Now, you will choose the handle or strap you will use. I used two different options in the images. One, is below, and the other is a simple thicker ribbon glued in place on one side of the purse.
Below, you will thread fake pearls or beads onto twine in a small loop to your preferred handle size.
Glue this handle in place on the inside of the purse.
Now, to close the purse, you will pull the ribbon loop over and hook around the button to close. You can add a few small items like a phone, your keys, or lipgloss and sanitizer to the purse, but remember it isn’t designed to hold more than 1 pound or so at a time.
More Uses for Old Books
Old books are a great source for making crafts of all kinds. I love being able to turn them into something beautiful instead of putting them into the garbage. This book purse is just one of many projects.
I especially love using them for holiday pieces like this rustic old book Christmas tree, or the old book page Easter centerpiece. I’ve even turned an old book into this folded book heart for Valentine’s Day.
If you want a different style of handle but aren’t sure how to make it, check out these great custom purse handles and straps on Etsy. There are tons of great ideas there that you can order!
- Measure 2 pieces of fabric to go on the sides of your purse. These pieces will need to be the width of the book on one side, and the width you want the purse to be able to open on the 3rd side, and cut into a triangular shape;
- Now, you will glue these 2 pieces onto the opposite sides of your book purse.
- Secure these on all 3 sides of the fabric, and on both sides of the book, with glue or fabric tape;
- Next, you will measure the fabric against your book cover to create a piece that will be glued inside as the purse lining;
- Glue or tape the fabric inside the book cover purse;
- Add a strip of burlap ribbon or fabric along the binding of the book to cover it and glue in place;
- Now, cut and create a loop of ribbon, and glue inside the purse (this will be used to secure the opening);
- Glue a button onto the front of the book purse on the opposite side of where you glued the ribbon;
- Lastly, you will create the purse handle. You can choose to add 1-2 strips of ribbon as loops shown on some of the images, or you can string pearls onto twine, and glue it in place on the inside of the purse to use as a handle;
- Now your purse is ready to use!
Feel free to add any embellishments, beads, or even artificial flowers around the book purse to fit your personal style!
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