Make a Denim Purse With Cardboard




About: Retired, doing art work now. Great. Have the time and the money to spend doing what I want to do.

I came up with the idea of making a "denim" covered purse out of cardboard and acrylic paint.

Step 1: Cut Pieces Out of Cardboard

For this purse, the length is 7 and 1/2 inches. One piece is cut to to a width of 3 and 1/2 inch, while the large, triangle shaped piece is 7 inches overall.

Step 2: Using Paper As the Hem

Cut several pieces of kraft paper to 3/4 of an inch. This will be folded in half, fitted to the cardboard pieces of the purse, and glued into place.

Step 3: Glue the Two Pieces Together

I used regular white glue for this, but a tacky glue is good too.

Step 4: Prime the Pieces With White Paint

Just like painting the barn, you need to start with a primer coat.

Step 5: Paint Purse With "Denim" Colored Paint

Paint with the grain of the cardboard, and try to leave bits of the white primer showing through. Using a "dry" brush works best.

Step 6: Paint White Highlights

Again, using a dry brush, add white highlights to the blue denim "material".

Step 7: Paint on Stitching

I used an orange paint diluted with some white so the thread appears faded. It is used denim, after all. Each stitch is highlighted with an off white, and a shadow is placed next to each stitch with a very fine marker. Dots are painted at the end of each stitch.

Step 8: Add Rivets and Clasp Button

Here, I painted the rivets with orange and burnt sienna. A shadow is drawn with the black marker to give the appearance of a shadow. For the clasp button, I used a template to draw a black circle, then filled it in with a gold paint. Lettering is added: Levi Strauss....appropriate enough.

Step 9: Velcro Is Used As a Closure

Velcro is added to keep the top closed and protect the money!



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    18 Discussions


    9 years ago on Step 9

    why not use actual denim? it would be more practical and harder wearing


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Sure did look like denim. I read that it was cardboard and had to look at it again just to make sure you weren't pulling our legs. Still not sure! 

    Great instructable. Good photos. Good step by step process.

    1 reply

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Beautiful execution of a clever idea. This would be a great way to 'wrap' a gift of cash or a gift card for a teenager. It could be reused to keep ticket stubs and other bits and pieces. Something like that just might inspire me to keep track of my receipts. *g*

    1 reply

    9 years ago on Introduction

    You have been busy lately C'man. Thanks for all the great ideas. You present them very nicely and clearly too. Great work!

    1 reply

    Whoa! That's super creative. I'll have to try this. I'll be linking as well.