· Homekeeping Tips · Crafts & DIY Projects · Make Your Own One-Of-A-Kind Découpage Handbag

Make Your Own One-Of-A-Kind Découpage Handbag

This may come as a shock to you….so I hope you’re sitting down. (Of COURSE you’re sitting down! You’re on your computer! Oh wait…you might be on your phone. Hmmm…well sit down for heaven’s sake!) I have NEVER decoupaged anything in my LIFE! I know…I’m a little ashamed to admit it…but in the spirit of full disclosure I feel like I must fill you in on this fact. Hopefully now that you know my “secret”, you will cut me some extra slack on this project.

Even though *I* was thrilled with how my first attempt at “mod podge” turned out….I’m sure I am lacking in the finer points. But I’m more than willing to learn! Because………I had SO much fun doing this project! It involved some of my favorite things!  Thrifting, fabric, painting, flowers, and glue. :-)

I want to thank Erica at Honestly…WTF for the inspiration for this project! I knew the minute I saw it that I wanted to make one!  AND…I wanted to do it on the cheap!

Here’s a list of items you will need to make your own découpage handbag:
  • a handbag
  • fabric with a large floral pattern
  • Mod Podge
  • craft paint
  • small dishes
  • brushes
  • scissors

So my first stop was the thrift store to find a suitable purse. (I wasn’t about to attempt this on a NEW purse!)  I lucked out because I found this leather Fossil bag for FOUR BUCKS!  When I found it, it was completely flattened! Like it had been in a box with a bunch of other stuff for a long time!

So I decided to stuff it with a bath towel until it stood up on its four stubby little legs and let it sit like that for a day or two to see if it would regain it’s “girlish figure”. :-)   And it did!  Yay!  I’m feeling confident now! Bring on the mod podge!

Next I needed to find some floral fabric. Hmmmmmm. Remember, I wanted to do this “on the cheap”…so I searched through my closets to find some old shirt or dress or something I could salvage some fabric from. Unfortunately I’m not exactly a “large floral print” kinda girl, so I didn’t have anything that would work.

Then I spied this ANCIENT canvas tote bag that I had on the very top shelf of my closet. I have literally had this probably 20 years! It has served me well for a ten buck bag I got at Target! I decided I could get some pretty nice flowers out of it.

Next it was time to paint! I love to paint! Not necessarily LARGE objects….like houses and walls, etc. But I love to paint crafts! :-)  The tricky part of THIS craft was coming up with a decent color. As you can see, my collection of craft paint leaves a lot to be desired. But after a l0t of mixing…I came up with a color I liked.

decoupage purse

After two coats I could probably have called it good….but I decided to do one more, just for good measure.

Here it is after 3 coats.

Remember how I said I love to paint!??  Well, that was before I’d ever tried découpage! Now I LOVE to use mod podge on stuff! (No wonder Rosie O’Donnell used to rave about it so much when she had her talk show back in the day!)

After I spent what seemed like HOURS trying to figure out the “perfect” flower placement on the purse….I finally got to découpage! (Even the WORD “découpage” is fun! Try saying it in a French accent! It’s fun! lol!)

Once again….two coats probably would have been fine….but I decided to do a third “just to be safe”. It helped that I had this super secret weapon for drying things fast. This BOX FAN made quick drying work of each layer.


Not bad for my first attempt at decoupage huh? Truth be told though….it’s really not that hard. Mod podge is a pretty “forgiving” medium. And I LIKE that in a craft!  I’m definitely going to be keeping my eye out now for MORE things to “mod podge”.  I love how fun and easy it was to transform an ordinary purse into a one-of-a-kind signature accessory. :-)

Read This Next


Homekeeping Tips

  • I love this! I have a great little Coach bag that I love and have had for years. I never registered it with Coach because I didn’t know you were suppose to lol!. my Ex- husband spilled salsa on it and it made a very bad spot on it so its been in the closet for years. I didn’t have the heart to throw away a Coach purse. its hard leather. so I’m either going to try your new cleaning method or decoupage it! thanks for all the wonderful tips!

  • love your mod(ge) podge purse idea. got this great purse from my mother-in-law and it needs some tlc.
    i will have to take it out, treat it and get creative with some paint n podge.
    when i do, i will share pics of my process.

    Cheers, Jillee and to all your readers!


  • Just a gentle heads up, it is Mod Podge although I commonly call it modge podge too.LOL. I really like the idea and I was wondering if the paint looks like it will crackle? Maybe add a fabric additive to the paint if it does. Love your website, and your upbeat cheerful manner. Thanks

    • Oh gosh! How embarrassing! I can’t believe I’ve been calling it MODGE podge. LOL! I remember reading this comment a few days ago and being confused and then my daughter informed me today that it’s technically MOD Podge. DOH!
      My apologies to everyone. This just proves I’m a total MOD Podge newbie. :-) But I’m learning!
      (Going to fix the post now.)

  • OMGosh, this is such a great idea! The wheels are turning…So many ways to use this technique.
    BUT truth be told, I prefer the distressed leather bag before you jazzed it up – silly me!

  • Wonderful outcome! BTW… did you know you can make your own Mod Podge? Yes indeed – mix Elmer’s Glue and good old water in equal amounts – Viola! Homemade Mod Podge! I usually put it in a plastic bottle and shake well! I’ve done this mix on my kitchen cabinets using torn pieces of brown wrapping paper overlaid. It ended up looking like old leather.

    Happy crafting and I <3 your blog!

  • Cute purse Jillee! I once covered an old Samsonite hard sided suitcase with bright floral material (using Mod Podge), stuffed it with thrift store prom/party dresses as a dress up kit for my niece. The material was busy enough that I cut it into manageable pieces before applying with mod Podge.

  • Thanks for this beautiful project, Jillee! :-) I’d like to do this to the bag I currently carry. I noticed that the handles, sides and bottom of your finished bag are darker and newer looking than the original (at least on my monitor), did you give them any kind of special treatment?

  • Rock on, chili-pepper!
    I think Id have to use the foam brush as well, depending on the fabric being painted.
    I remember the old Fay Swafford purses my mom and I would get back in the 90s I think.
    And the fabric could be painted with a good bristle brush, but others would definitely do well with the foam.
    I cant wait to get to my mom’s this week. My son and I are driving from Colorado to PA for my grandmothers memorial. And I already have her hooked on a few of your concoctions. When we go through her storage unit, if I find a few purses that have minor stains, I can utilize this project.
    Thank you so much!

  • Trudy –
    Why do you need a foam brush for ModPodge? I’ve used a bristle brush and so far have not had a problem. Is there some secret that I don’t know? I’d love to avoid a possilbe future problem.

    Jillee –
    I noticed in the pictures that you used a foam brush. Did you not use a bristle brush for any particular reason?

    This project sure does look like fun!

    • Haven’t used a bristle brush to do it, but my daughter did – once. she said she was picking bristles out of the mod podge, hoping to get them all before it dried. It’s like using a bristle brush for any other glue – whether it will work well depends on the type of brush, the quality of the brush to begin with, and how old it is. If it’s likely to be “shedding” on your project that’s going to be a problem. You don’t even have that question with a foam brush, and since they’re super cheap you don’t have to worry about washing all the glue out of the bristles either. =)

  • I mod podged for the first time yesterday, too! I covered some switch plates with pretty scrapbook paper to match my newly painted, soon to be christened craft room. Learned an important lesson: use foam brushes, not bristle brushes. Glad my first attempt is one I hadn’t planned to give away. Or wear. LOL Love the purse and what a fun way to customize an accessory.

  • Very, very pretty! And the paint won’t flake off of the leather?? I used to découpage years ago but on wood, plaster, etc. I never thought of something like this!! I can’t wait to try it!

  • >