Bead and Button Handbag

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Transform drab purses into unique and trendy accessories with this easy-to-follow bead and button tutorial, excerpted from "Beads and Buttons: 40 Projects for Handcrafted Jewelry & Accessories" by Juliette Pettit.
• a handbag with wooden handles
• white wool fabric (to replace handbag’sexisting fabric)
• scissors
• plum-colored cotton thread
• white cotton thread
• a needle
• mother-of-pearl and shell buttons
• seed beads
• tube beads
• glass beads
• sewing machine
• hemp twine
• an upholstery needle
• 34 inches of plum-colored velvet ribbon (1 inch wide)

Step 1

Remove the fabric from your bag and use the shape as a pattern to cut out a piece from the white wool fabric. Use the plum-colored cotton thread and the needle to sew the buttons onto the fabric in little flower patterns (see photo). Then take the seed beads, the tube beads, and the glass beads, and use the same needle and thread to sew star and flower motifs onto the fabric. Make a firm knot at the beginning
and end of each little group of beads — that way if a thread breaks you will lose only some of the beads, not all of them.

Step 2

Fold the wool fabric in two, right sides together, and sew the two short sides together with the sewing machine.

Step 3

Turn the bag inside out and attach the upper edges of the bag to the wooden handles using the hemp twine and the upholstery needle. Pass the ribbon through the notches in the handles and sew the ends together with the plum-colored thread, making a 1-inch fold.

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