Easy step-by-step sewing tutorial: How to make a snap purse.
It’s been ages since I posted a sewing project on my blog. In my last tutorial, I showed you how to make a keepsake cushion using men’s neckties (HERE). This time, I’ve opted for a quick and easy snap purse sewing tutorial, which is the perfect project for kids, too. The great thing about making snap purses is as well as being simple to make, they’re inexpensive too. You only need a cheap metal tape measure, some electrician’s tape (or masking tape) and a little bit of material, (you can even use old clothes or bed linen). Snap purses make lovely gifts for loved ones, or you could make them for children’s birthday presents. Furthermore, the snap purse design can be adapted to make glasses or sunglasses cases.
Items required to make a snap purse.
- 2 x 10cm lengths cut from a standard width metal tape measure (approx. 1.9 cm or 3/4 inch wide).
- 22cm (L) x 12cm (W) material for the purse.
- 22cm (L) x 12cm (W) interfacing material e.g. Vilene S13 Sew-in interfacing (if you are using a thicker cotton canvas, you may not need interfacing).
- 33cm (L) x 12cm (W) material for lining and cuff at the top of the purse which contains the metal tape measure pieces.
- Electrician’s tape, masking tape or similar.
- Tape measure/ruler for measuring material.
- Iron and ironing board.
- Needles, pins and cotton thread.
- Sewing Machine.
- Crochet needle/ chopstick or similar blunt-ended stick (to push out the corners of the cushion once you’ve turned it right side out).
Step-by-step snap purse sewing tutorial.
1. Snip the sharp points off all corners of the 10cm pieces of metal tape and cover the sharp edges with electrician’s tape or similar, to prevent them puncturing the purse fabric during use.
2. Lay your 33cm length of lining material on a flat surface and make a small mark with a pencil/dressmaker’s chalk halfway along its length (16.5cm). Make a mark halfway along the length of the lining fabric (22cm x 12cm) and lay it on top of the interfacing material (if you are using it) so the marks line up. Lay your outer purse material (22cm x 12cm) on top of the interfacing material right side up.
3. Fold the outer edges of the lining material over to meet the outer fabric and press them flat with an iron. Fold them over again so the fold is at the point where the lining material meets the outer material. Press the folds flat with an iron. Note: These folded cuffs/pockets should be wide enough to contain the lengths of metal tape, allowing for a 2mm seam allowance.
4. Stitch along the inside edge of each cuff, 0.2cm in from the fold.
5. Fold it in half, so the two cuffs rest on top of each other and the purse is effectively inside out. Sew along one side of the purse, approximately 0.6cm (1/4 inch) in from the raw edge. Fully insert a piece of metal tape into each cuff/pocket so that the printed side faces towards the lining side, (as the tape is curved, inserting it this way around ensures the finished purse ‘snaps’ open and closed properly).
6. Sew up the other side of the purse, approximately 0.6cm (1/4 inch) from the raw edge.
7. Cut away the excess material on either side of the purse (2-3mm from the seam) and zig-zag stitch along these raw edges to neaten them and prevent fraying. Tidy any loose threads.
8. Finally, turn the purse right side out and use the blunt end of a crochet hook, pencil or similar to push out the corners.
9. Ta da! You have a lovely little snap purse!
More snappy ideas.
Choose the right material and you can make snap purses or wallets that will appeal to boys, girls, grandmas and granddads alike. I bought some Star Wars material on eBay for a few pounds and made the perfect snap purse for our Star Wars mad daughter. You could make your purses even more personal by making them out of an old school uniform, a favourite old item of clothing or duvet cover. As well as making lovely gifts for people, I think they’d make a lovely alternative to goody bags for kid’s birthday parties, especially if you fill them with a few sweets. If you don’t fancy a purse, why not make a snap case for your glasses or sunglasses instead?
What are you waiting for?
These lovely little purses are so easy to make and don’t cost much in terms of time or money, either. Why not have a go at making some and let me know how you get on!