Book Purse

March 2013 Up-Cycle

1. Remove the book's pages and binding with a utility knife. Open the cover and lay it flat; measure its length and width. Add an inch to both, then cut fabric to these measurements to create your purse's lining. Pin under 1/2" of fabric on each side and iron flat.
2. Stand the book, cover open at a 45 degree angle, on a sheet of paper. Draw a triangle by tracing around the cover and sketching a straight line across the open front. Add 1/2" to each side and cut out to create a template for the purse's side insets.
3. Fold a second piece of fabric in half. Pin the inset template to the fabric, lining up the triangle's base with the fabric's folded edge. Cut around template to create a double-faced triangle. Seal edges with fabric glue; iron flat. Repeat for second inset.
4. Loop two 4" lengths of ribbon through a bamboo handle's hardware ($4.99 per pair; and hot-glue the ribbon to the book's interior, so the handle sits centered on the long side of the front cover. Repeat to attach the other handle to the back cover.
5. Cut two 8" pieces of ribbon; form a loop with one piece and hot-glue so the loop is centered between the handle hardware on the front cover (this will be part of the button closure).
6. Thread the second ribbon through a two-hole button and make a knot underneath it. Center the ribbon on the long side of the back cover's interior; hot-glue so the button can slip through the loop when the purse is shut.
7. Pin under 1/2" of fabric on all sides of the triangles you made earlier; iron flat. Leaving the book open, hot-glue just the tips of these insets to either end of the spine.
8.Cut two strips of cardboard or card stock the same size as the book's spine. Hot-glue one piece to the spine for reinforcement, covering the blunt tips of the triangles.
9. Now attach the insets to the short sides of the cover: Remove any pins, then apply hot glue to the 1/2" of fabric you folded under in Step 7. Press the fabric along the covers' interior edges; let dry.
10. To attach the lining made in Step 1, remove any pins and apply hot glue to all four of the fabric's folded-under edges. Press the lining to the covers' interior, starting at the top edges and working down toward the spine.
Wrap the second strip of cardboard you cut in Step 8 with fabric and hot-glue. 11. Press this piece into the interior of the spine, smoothing down the lining; attach with hot glue. Let dry, then grab your purse by the handles and go!
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