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In this instructable you will see two different purses made from inner tubes.  


This stylish purse is made from a bicycle inner tube,  and the body is made from a larger inner tube. It is embellished with iron on rhinestones, red jewels, and skull & bones lining. I used the inner tube spout for the closure and it works very nicely.  
I will be making more of these because I have had so many compliments on it.  

There are so many ways a person could decorate a small bag like this to make it totally unique. Adding beads would be very pretty.  You could place a magnetic strip at the opening or glue a zipper in for closures.  Stamping techniques would certainly work on this purse.

There are some hand sewing involved. The sides and handles are sewn with goatskin lace. Some pattern making skills and sewing skills are needed to make the purse.
  
 
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Step 1: LINING PURSE 1

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This skull and bones lining really sets off this purse.  Here you can see the inner tube spout used for a closure.  It works very nicely.  You could add a metal nut for the closure,  to add some personality.  Artist could paint what ever type of design or picture they wanted and it would really set this purse off.  Adding metal washers, nuts and maybe even wire would give it a rustic look.  I am going to enjoy making more of these and experiment using different embellishments.  

Step 2: POLKA DOT FRINGE PURSE

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The fringe purse is embellished with stickers and has a button closure.  The polka dots add a splash of color.  The inner tube has lines that give it some texture.  These purses would make super nice Christmas gifts and would be very inexpensive to make.   


Step 3: LINING

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I went to the dump to find my inner tubes because we have one bike shop and they were saving their inner tubes for a baseball coach. Hmmm wonder what he wanted them for???

I did manage to get a couple from him, so I went to the dump and found several large ones that were thicker than a bike inner tube. The body of the purse is made from them.  The handles were made from a bike inner tube.


Step 4: SUPPLIES

SKULL AND BONES PURSE
9 1/2 wide and 20 1/2 long

Bicycle inner tube (handle is 24 inches long )
Larger inner tube with air spout  (body of purse 9 1/2 wide 20 1/2 long )
Lining finished 9 1/2 by 20 1/2 long so figure a little extra to turn under and cutting mistakes.
Iron on rhinestones for skull and bones purse
2 red Jewels for skull and bones purse
Goatskin lace
Carpet tape
Black paint as shown
Large hole needle for goatskin lace
Scissors
Glue
Needle and matching thread if following polka dot lining instructions.
Pins or clothes pins
Hole punch or hammer and nail 
Straight edge


POLKA DOT PURSE
Bicycle inner tube (handle)
Larger inner tube (body of purse) 
Purse was cut 6 inches long and 11 wide at the top and 8 1/2  wide at the bottom (cut 1 on fold adding 1/4 inch because it is on a curve.
Fringe is 11 by 2 inches 
Lining finished 11inches at the top and 8 1/2 at the bottom by 12 inches  long so figure a little extra to turn under and cutting mistakes. ( Cut on fold ) 
Stickers 
1Large button with large holes
Needle and matching thread
Pins or clothes pins 
Goatskin lace
Black paint as shown
Carpet tape
Matching thread
Large hole needle for goatskin lace
Scissors
Stiff cording or wire ( altered from mine )
Hole punch or hammer and nail 
Straight edge

After making two of these I would add firm cording or something similar to put inside the bicycle inner tube and stitch it inside to make the handles firmer.  I tried to braid the handle and it did not firm it up any.  I would rather have the handle firmer but most people liked it this way. 




Step 5: CLEAN, CUT AND PAINT INNER TUBE LINING

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You will need to cut the inner tubing.  
To cut the bicycle inner tube cut the center through 2 of the layers to make 2 ends instead of having a circle.  
Then cut right down the center and then trim to even the edge and cut off the inner tube spout. 

Next cut the inner tube in half but don't cut the side where the spout is,  you want the spout to be centered so it can be used for a closure.  
For the skull and bones purse fold the inner tube in half so the spout falls at one end and cut the opposite end to make 2 ends instead of a circle.  



Used inner tube linings need cleaned before you paint them.
Clean with soap and water.
Make sure they are completely dried.  
Paint both the bicycle inner tube and the larger inner tube.   

Step 6: FACTS ABOUT USING USED INNER TUBES.

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Used inner tubes are irregular in spots and are a little difficult to work with when adding lining or trying to make into larger things.  That makes these purses unique.  They aren't perfect.  If you wish to make a purse,  I would suggest you to cut out the tubing the style and shape you want and use a sheet or something very similar to what you want for the lining as a test piece and make a sample purse before using the pretty stuff.  

When cutting out the lining make sure you kind of roll the inner tube purse body as you mark the lining or it will be too small, because of the irregular shape of the inner tube.  The polka dot purse turned out much smoother.   

It is not very difficult to accomplish a smooth look.  You just have to play with it.  Although the skull and bones turned out puckered,  it gave it a different look altogether.  

Here is a picture of the tubing that shows the irregular shape.   

Step 7: CUTTING OUT THE BODY

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Skull and bones:  
Cut out a rectangle from the large inner tube 9 1/2 wide and 20 1/2 long.



( For the fringe purse, cut fringe 11 X 2  inches long.  
Cut purse 11 wide at the top and 8 1/2 wide at the bottom (on fold.)    




(Cut lining 1 on fold adding 1/4 inch all the way around using the purse as a pattern. .


 You will have at least a 1/4 inch seam on the sides and bottom.  

Step 8: IRON IN SEAM ALLOWANCES.

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Press  about 1/4 inch seam allowance all around the lining so there are no raw edges.  

For the polka dot purse: Sew right sides together at the bottom before turning the edges under 1/4 inch.

You could use hemming tape or glue it in,  I am sure there are many different ways to do this but this is how I did it.  

PLEASE NOTE:

When making your own pattern you often discover a better way for certain steps.  I would cut the lining the way I did on the polka dot purse because I think it would have turned out smoother.  But the wrinkled look does add character to the purse.  


Step 9: TAPE PURSE

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Next stick carpet tape around the edges of the purse so you can stick the lining to it.  
Below is the picture to see how I did it.  

Then you remove just enough tape to stick the lining to the top to secure it. I removed the carpet tape backing paper at the top and stuck the lining top to it. Then I removed the bottom backing paper and stuck the bottom. Then I did the same on both sides.  

Step 10: RHINESTONES

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Read the directions on the rhinestone package.
Center the rhinestones on the purse flap.
Follow the instructions about sticking the rhinestones.

Allow to set for a few minutes and then glue the red jewels for the eye balls.

Polka dot purse

Go to step 17 before sewing the button.
After taping  the fringe follow directions below for adding the button and stickers.  

Mark center of the front of the purse allowing a 1 1/2 drop for the bottom of the button.  
Sew the button on.
Make a slit with scissors for the button to go through to close the purse.  

Go to steps 11, 12, 13.




 

Step 11: HANDLE

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To make the handle decide how long you want it.  Like I said,  I would put a firm wire or cord in the center to make it firm but most people liked the handle the way I made it.  

Fold the sides to the center and pin or use close pins.

Mark the holes to thread the goatskin leather through.
 
Using a hole punch or hammer and nail punch holes to thread the needle through.
If using a hammer and nail place a board under it so it does not damage anything under the handle.  

Sew the goatskin leather through the holes as shown.



 

Step 12: SEW SIDES

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Fold the purse into  thirds.  ( For the fringe purse fold in half. )
Mark the holes for threading the goatskin lace through.
Using the hole punch or hammer and nail cut the holes.  

You don't want to run out of thread while sewing the sides.  
I measured double the width and added 2 inches and threaded the needle with a large knot.  
Slip the needle through the inside bottom so the knot will not be seen on the right side.  
Start sewing through the layers up the sides of the purse. 
Secure the end by running the needle through to the inside and tie a large knot a couple of times.

Repeat on the other side.  

Step 13: SEW THE HANDLES

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Sew the handles to the purse and secure with a knot on both sides.  

Mark a hole over the spout and punch it with the hole punch.  This will keep the purse closed. You might wish to add a nut on the end but it stays shut without one.  Omit this step with the fringe purse.  Instead sew a button on and make a slit for the hole as shown in instructions for button.

Step 14: SKULL AND BONES FINISHED!

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Be prepared to receive compliments on this unusual purse.  People will be amazed when they find out it was an old inner tube!  
Next I will show how to make the polka dot purse.  

Step 15: POLKA DOT FRINGE PURSE

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The polka dot fringe purse was made almost exactly the same except for the pattern, fringe, stickers, and the spout closure.  It was easier to make because it did not have the flap.  

Step 16: CUT OUT THE POLKA DOT PURSE

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Cut out the polka dot purse as shown.
Cut out the lining.
With right sides together sew 1/4 inch seam on the bottom of the purse.
Press the seam open as shown in the last picture.

Follow the directions for the skull and bones purse steps 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13. 


Step 17: CUT THE FRINGE

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Cut fringe from inner tube 11 X 2.
Make slits in the fringe, allowing  (1 inch uncut at the top edge.)
Tape fringe to purse front.
Follow instructions for step 10

Step 18: CLOSING

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I usually don't make a lot of crafts so if there are anyone that would like to comment on better ways to make these purses a absolute winner please do leave a comment.  The two sided carpet tape is very sticky.  I used it because I needed something that would stick to rubber. Maybe someone could recommend a good glue.  

It would be great if anyone makes one of these to post a picture to share their creations and ideas.  

I have entered a contest so if anyone would like to rate my instructable and vote I would appreciate it.  

Thanks for stopping by!
Thanks a lot for the idea. I made one for my sister with the following differences
-old phone chord for the stitching
-didn't stitch the handle
-lining was red paint
-clasp was USB
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mjursic4 years ago
Love it! Have you had any problems with the smell?
sunshiine (author)  mjursic4 years ago
It has a slight smell, Like maybe a rubber band but it is not real noticeable. Even plastic has a smell but no, in my opinion it is not offensive at all. Thanks for commenting.
mary candy4 years ago
very nice!
sunshiine (author)  mary candy4 years ago
Thanks Mary!
jennablur4 years ago
Very creative! Congrats!
sunshiine (author)  jennablur4 years ago
Thanks!
tbcross4 years ago
Love it, my only problem is getting the inner tubes :) not a lot of used ones floating around out where I live, I may make one out of something else though cause your design is really very cool.
sunshiine (author)  tbcross4 years ago
Thanks for your comment. Bike shops have used ones and the dump let me look also. I got 2 from there.
mikeasaurus4 years ago
gem-skull and skull liner?! whoa!
awesome!
sunshiine (author)  mikeasaurus4 years ago
Thanks! It took some thinking to get it right. I had to experiment to get the pattern and how to put it together. As I make more I am sure I will find the best way.
I am starting to have an appreciation for innertubes. Love these purses and your attention to detail.
sunshiine (author)  cdawisconsin4 years ago
Thanks! Yes, I am appreciating them also. I can't wait to have the time to make more because I have a lot of ideas. I loved your purses as well! Super cute!
pecospearl4 years ago
Great idea Sis! I'm not a biker fan but with different embellishments I can see a purse that I would carry.
sunshiine (author)  pecospearl4 years ago
I am not a fan either but it is popular I guess. I love girlie stuff much better! Pinks rock! Thanks for your comment sister.