Alright, look, I was pretty excited when I began this stupid project. I got about half-way through and wished I'd never started in the first place. It doesn't look like I thought it would and nobody's going to want to replicate this piece of crap, but I figured I might as well put it up, given that I've already wasted a good part of my life on it.
Anyway -- spoiler alert -- it's a purse or a bag or something made out of a license plate. Whoop-de-doo! If I had my head on straight, I would have put the license plate on the side or something. As it is, you can't even see it. Stupid.
I don't remember what-all supplies and tools I used, so I guess I'll just mention stuff as I go along. I'm trying really hard not to use a metric $#!> ton of profanity right now, so let me apologize in advance if something slips through.
Step 1: Draw Some Lines on a License Plate
I don't know where this stupid idea came from in the first place, but I thought it'd be really cool for women to have a purse made out of a license plate. I didn't have a license plate, so I took one off the front of my neighbor's car. I know what you're thinking, but SHUT UP!
(A) It was on the front bumper, and Arizona doesn't require front license places, so no foul, and
(2) They parked in my space, so let's just call this a small toll
Anyway, I made some lines around the edge of the plate. They're parallel to the edge and a ruler-width away from it. Man, I'm sick of writing this already. Just look at the picture! Some are dashed and those are for folding. Some are solid and those are for cutting.
Now put some dots around the license plate, about every 1/4 inch and about 1/4 inch in from the edge. Forget the ones on the corners. That was a mistake. Or don't. See if I care.
Step 2: Drill a Bunch of Holes
Now drill holes where you drew the dots. If you weren't paying attention in the last step and went ahead and put dots in the corners, then go ahead and drill them too, stupid. Serves you right, and then your bag thing will look as dumb as mine.
In a rare moment of foresight, I realized I was about to ruin my counter top. So be smart like me and put something under the plate. I used this library book, which had already p----d me off because the title implied contents that were entirely missing!
After you've drilled all the holes out, you can use a pair of brass knuckles to knock off all the little burrs. Or I guess you can use a Dremel or something. It depends on how professional you want your stupid, ugly bag to look.
Step 3: Draw Some More Lines
Get yourself two rectangles of leather. I didn't measure them, really. Their lengths were the same as the license plate and their heights were about 8 inches I guess.
On each piece, make a line parallel to a long edge, about ruler-width from the edge.
Step 4: Stencil Some Dots
Mark one of the long edges on your plate "RIGHT" and the other one "LEFT". Or "1" and "2" or "STUPID" and "DUMB." I don't care.
Put the "RIGHT" edge of the plate over one of the leather rectangles so that it overlaps by one ruler-width. The edge of the plate should stop at the line you drew in the last step.
No go along and jam a marker into each hole along that edge of the plate, making a line of dots that correspond with the holes you drilled.
Write "RIGHT" on the leather. It should be obvious, but this is the inside of your eventual high-fashion statement.
Now repeat this step with the "LEFT" side.
Now I'm really wishing I hadn't started this stupid Instructable.
Step 5: Make Some More Rectangle Pieces of Leather
Cut out two more leather rectangles. Their longest dimension should be the same as the short dimension of the first two pieces, if that makes sense. If it doesn't, tough. Their short dimension should be ... just look at the pictures! Mark these "FRONT" and "BACK".
Then do the line, overlap, and dot thing. Are we done yet?
Step 6: Cutting and Bending, Bending and Cutting
Cut along the solid lines and bend along the dashed ones. At this point, I honestly thought about calling it quits and presenting this as a lame tray or something. Turns out, it would have been far better than my finished product.
Step 7: Making Lace
I used this stuff that's like paracord, but not nearly as thick. I don't know what it's called and I don't care. I don't know its diameter, but it's roughly half the size of the holes I drilled in the plate.
I cut a length of about 3 feet, I guess. Then I lit the ends on fire -- one at a time, moron! -- and put out the fire by dragging the end slowly across the library book. This drew out the melted plastic, which I let harden into a needle of sorts. If you learn nothing else from this stupid Instructable, this is a good hack for working with paracord.
Step 8: Punching Holes
I'm a little upset to find that my 'phone apparently decided to just delete all the pictures of me punching holes in the leather. I guess it's pretty self-explanatory. I used these pliers with a rotating hole punch, but I think you should use your canine teeth (or a canine's tooth).
Step 9: Lacing (bottom of Sides to Top of Bottom)
Lace the four sides to the license plate base. Make sure you match RIGHT to RIGHT, etc., so your holes will match up perfectly. I really don't want to waste too much time explaining how to do this, but basically I clamped one side in place. I pulled the lace half-way through the first set of matching holes (one in leather, corresponding one in metal) at the other end. Then I started putting the ends through the other holes, down the line. Each end went through each hole, passing each other like two trains in one tunnel.
ALWAYS start with the "train" on the outside of the purse. This will make the stitches look more uniform, and the overall product slightly less stupid, though barely noticeable, to be honest.
If you're some kind of pro leather-worker, I'm sure you have a way to get both ends of the lace on one side in order to tie them off. I'm not, and I don't, so I put the final inside "train" end through a nut and then fed it back out the last hole, where I tied it off with the other end of the lace. I used a square knot and then slightly melted it to keep it from coming undone.
Step 10: Lacing (sides of Sides)
Now punch corresponding holes up the sides of all the leather panels. Once again, my stupid 'phone deleted all the pictures. Why does it selectively discriminate against hole-punching? This would be an awesome place for a "your mom" joke, but I'll let it slide.
Anyway, if you did it the same crappy way I did it, this is what your stupid purse should look like now. At this point, I realized that it would be WAY cooler if I was making moccasins instead of a purse. I waited for three days, hoping my neighbor would park in my spot again, giving me the moral authority to take his other plate. THAT would have been an awesome Instructable instead of this lame crap that nobody is reading by now. Unfortunately, he apparently learned his lesson, so purse it is.
Step 11: Pinch the Corners
This step is optional, but then again, I guess this whole mess is optional. Anyway, I brought the upper corners at each each end together, pinching the folded top of the side panels together and then punched a hole clear through the whole thing. I tied each corner permanently in this way, using a cord scrap through each hole.
Step 12: Add a Stupid Handle As an Afterthought
I made the most expedient handle possible by tying this fashionable looking piece from a broken chandelier onto the bag. Voila!
Step 13: Be Thoroughly Disappointed in Your Work and Slip Into a Depression
Well, here it is. I like to call it "About Five Hours I'll Never Get Back."
As the project drew out, I found myself visualizing my way through several scenarios:
- This is going to win the Instructables bag contest!
- Honorable mention?
- Christmas gift?
- White elephant gift?
- Might help organize the junk drawer
- Will take up a lot of space in my trash can
Step 14: Clean Up
First, return the library book before there's a late charge.
Second, dispose of the finished product. I ended up feeling guilty about throwing it away, so I dug it out of the trash, waited for darkness, crept over to my neighbor's house, and duct-taped it back to his front bumper. I was going to take a picture of it, but worried that the flash would draw attention. I tried turning off the flash, but his dog barked, so I went home. I can't stop laughing every time I think about him finding his purse-i-fied license plate returned. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Stupid.