Stepping Out in Style (Essentials)

In week 3 of my time as an Echo Park Fresh Face Designer, I wanted to share a unique project that was inspired by the Style Essentials Collection.  To see the post on the Echo Park blog, click here, or simply keep reading!

I have a confession to make. There are days when I would like nothing better than to stay in my comfortable (and only somewhat stylish) pajamas all day long.  But when I first saw the very fashionable Style Essentials Upscale collection from Echo Park, my mind was immediately filled with crafts project ideas highlighted by amazing textures and material – like patterns. Instead of slumming in my pajamas, I was wishing I could head out for night on the town decked out in, well, paper!  And while I didn’t manage to get a little black dress made for today’s post (an idea that only last a fraction of a second in my mind), I did manage to use this amazing paper to create an accessory that I think captures the stylish and fun nature of this collection.

Can you tell what the base shape of the purse might be?

Created by altering an old book cover, this little black purse was a simple way for me to make sure that even when I am not at home crafting, I still have some paper with me!

Who wouldn’t want to head out on the town with some Echo Park paper in hand?  Here’s how you can too:

-At least 4 sheets of Echo Park Style Essentials 12X12 collection – for this particular design, I substituted one sheet of Style Essentials with the fun Rose Blossom paper from Yours Truly.
– Liquid adhesive such as Modge Podge.
– Ribbon or other fibers for embellishment
– Embossing Ink
– Embossing powder
– Magnet or alternative for closure

To create the purse form, simple remove the pages from a hardcover book on the inside binding.  Carefully measure the dimensions of the outside cover and cut your patterned paper accordingly.  For this design, I chose to use Black Flourish for 2/3 or the cover and and the b side of Black Quatrefoil for the binding or bottom edge of the purse. Generously apply an even coat of your liquid adhesive to the bare cover and apply your paper.  Press down firmly and allow to dry.  Using the same adhesive, apply ribbon to cover the joint created by the two paper, making sure that the ribbon folds over the cover and into the inside edge of your purse (this will help t make sure it stays in place)

The inside is as pretty as the outside!

Once the outside cover is complete, the next step is simply to create the v-fold for the side of your purse.  The important point to consider at this stage is how far you would like your purse to open.  Keep in mind that the wider you would like the opening, the more paper will be needed, and the thicker your accordion fold will be.  Because the dimensions of each book will be different, consider creating a template out of scrap paper to experiment with the size and shape that will work best for you.  Finally, at this stage, add ribbon loops the inside of the purse to attach your handles, and then cover the entire inside with a piece of patterned paper, such as the b side of Grey Flourish

These flowers are interchangeable!

I had a lot of fun creating some beautiful paper flowers to embellish the purse a little further.  By using a snap to attach the flower to the ribbon one one side of the purse, I was able to use some of the other fun colors from this collection to create a flower that can be changed depending on the event or outfit.  The coordinating patterns in this collection make this a fun way to add a few coordinated options to the project!  Just think of all the fun colored flowers or shaped embellishments you could create if you added the Style Essentials Runway collection to your lineup as well!
Finally, I made some really simple paper beads to use for the handles of the purse. Here’s how:

Together with some ribbon tied together with the beads to  create a fringed look, you could use this same technique to create a matching necklace, bracelet or even earrings.  How much fun would it be to head to your next event decked out in paper! Talk about being serious about paper crafting – now if I could just figure out a way to glam up my pajamas with paper, I would be all set!  Thanks for stopping by today – I would love to hear what you think!
This post was featured at CraftGossip!

14 thoughts on “Stepping Out in Style (Essentials)

  1. Pingback: Tutorial | Paper Purse featuring Echo Park · Scrapbooking |

  2. what a fantastic job you did! This is so cute and creative. I love the EP papers you used too. Just a wonderful concept!

    • Thanks Kari – I’ve had this idea in my head for awhile, so it was great to finally get it out into reality! I love the EP paper too – it seemed perfect for the project! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  3. Terrific job – it looks lovely and I love the way you have decorated it. Very original using beads for the handles. Well done!

  4. Had to let you know that I made a handbag and really enjoyed the process too! I had a little trouble getting it to stand up and looking again at yours, I wondered if you had something on the bottom to help. Look like studs of some sort. I’m going to use mine as an “envelope” for a birthday card. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Kaz, I did add little, tight rolls to the bottom of the purse (about 1/8″ in height) in four places. I have noticed this helps with thinner novels, but with thicker novels (when the binding is much wider than the top where your purse closes), it doesn’t seem to be a problem. If you post a picture somewhere, I would love to have a look!! Thanks for posting!

      • Thank you for your help with your handbag design, I really appreciate it. I’m sorry, but I’m a bit technically challenged and have never posted so can’t let you see mine. Just to let you know, I live in South Australia and that’s the amazing part of the web – talking to people around the world! Thanks very much for the inspiration and I’m going to keep watching your blog with interest.

      • Kaz – don’t worry about not being able to post pictures! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that you took the time to post a comment and let me know about your project! I also love to hear where readers are from – the internet sure has changed communication on this planet! Stop by anytime, and I would love to hear how your crafting is going – even if it isn’t inspired by something here on my blog!

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