Tutorial: Altered purses
I had a request for a tutorial about my altered purses, when I posted one at Wardrobe Refashion. It’s pretty easy! Here’s the step-by-step:
1. Choose a boxy, flat-sided purse with minimal detailing. Be sure it’s in good structural condition, inside and out–no point in altering a bag that’s on the verge of breaking or tearing.
2. If the bag is cloth, skip to step 4.
3. If the bag has a shiny vinyl/leather surface, you’ll want to take the shine off — wipe it down with acetone (nail polish remover), or you can try a very light sanding.
4. Use tape to mask over any labels you want to protect from paint.
5. Cover the sides with a layer of gesso. Let it dry.
6. Paint your main color over the gesso. Let it dry.
7. Mask off the places you want to add a second color.
8. Paint on the second color (and a third, if you like). Let it dry.
9. Print or xerox copies of the image and/or text you want to use; in this case, I took a detail from a 1913 image of suffragettes, from Flickr Commons.
10. Use modpodge to affix the images and text. Modpodge under the image, modpodge over the image, and always use thin layers. Pay attention to your brush strokes because they will show at some angles. Watch for bubbles and do your best to press them out while the modpodge is still wet. Let the modpodge dry. (You might want to do two coats for extra protection.)
11. You can add stamping after the modpodge is dry–but be sure your ink is permanent! You can also add sharpie or nail polish accents after the modpodge is dry.
12. IF you want to spray a layer of glossy Krylon on the purse, just be sure to modpodge over any last-minute Sharpie work first, because Krylon can make dark permanent marker run a little.
13. Final result:
Want to see more? Here is my Flickr set of completed purses, backpacks, cases, and luggage. Want to buy one? Contact me and we’ll see what can be arranged.