Handbag set: coin purse, tissue pouch, pen sleeve, eyeglasses case, business card pocket

Set of handmade purse pouches, photo

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! This year I made myself my own Valentine’s gift. I loved the feel of this reversible fabric scrap that I got from FabMo. It’s woven but soft and thick like knit. The beauty of this craft project is it takes very little fabric. I started with a 15-inch x 17-inch piece, and I still have leftovers.

This purse set solves three common handbag problems: 1) I hate stuff rattling around loosely in my purse, 2) Digging things out of myriad purse pockets makes switching purses a chore, and 3) I own handbags that are perfect but utterly lack pockets.

At first I set out to make just a soft eyeglass case because my hard case is too bulky and heavy, but then the project grew as I thought of more and more cases I could make. By the way, I don’t actually use the change purse for coins (my wallet has one of those). I fill it instead with travel essentials: lip gloss, hair elastics, nail clippers, etc.

How to make a purse set (coin purse, tissue pouch, pen sleeve, eyeglass case, business card pocket)

Supplies to make the handbag set. photo
SUPPLIES
  • small piece (about 15 inches square) thick, reversible fabric
  • ⅝-inch-wide (I now recommend wider) polyester ribbon

  • ⅜-inch-wide polyester ribbon

  • thread

  • 4-inch zipper

TOOLS
  • sewing machine

  • rotary cutter and cutting mat

  • scissors

  • lighter

  • iron & ironing board

TIPS
Cutting the fabric, photo

Tip 1. Fabric sizes

  • eyeglass case: (adjust size as necessary) 6¼  x  4¾ inches
  • coin purse: (2 pieces) 4¾  x  3½ inches
  • business card holder: 4¼  x  5 inches
  • tissue pouch: 5¾  x  7 inches
  • pen sleeve: 1¼  x  9¾ inches
Ironing the ribbon, photo

Tip 2. Folding & ironing the ribbon

Fold several feet of the wide ribbon in half lengthwise and iron on a low-heat setting (synthetics setting). You’ll use this folded ribbon to bind the edges of each pouch.

Burning the ribbon ends, photo

Tip 3. Melting the ribbon

Using your lighter, lightly melt the tip of your folded-and-ironed ribbon. Melt just enough to prevent fraying. You should not be able to tell with the naked eye that the end has been melted. Don’t get too close because you’ll burn the ribbon — the heat alone will melt the edge.

Sewing the pieces, photo

Tip 4. Sewing the ribbon

Wrap the folded/ironed/melted ribbon along one edge of the fabric. Line up the edge of the ribbon with the right edge of your presser foot. Change your needle position (stitch width) to the 1 or 2 position and stitch length to 3. Sew along the ribbon, back-stitching at each end. Cut off the excess ribbon after sewing. Melt the end (see Tip 3).

EYEGLASS CASE INSTRUCTIONS
Step 1, eyeglass case, photo

1. Cut your fabric (see Tip 1). Melt the tip of your ribbon (see Tip 3). Sew ribbon along one side of the fabric (see Tip 4).

Step 2, eyeglasses case, photo

2. Repeat step 1 to bind all four sides, overlapping the ribbon at the corners.

Step 3, eyeglasses case, photo

3. Fold the shorter side in half and sew along the bottom and side of the case, stopping about one inch from the end. Back-stitch a few times for added strength. Final dimensions: about 2½ x 6½ inches.

BUSINESS CARD POCKET INSTRUCTIONS
Step 1, business card pocket, photo

1. Cut your fabric (see Tip 1). Melt the tip of your ribbon (see Tip 3). Sew ribbon along the two short sides of the fabric (see Tip 4).

Step 2, business card pocket, photo

2. Fold so that the short side of the pocket is 2¼ inches tall. Press in place. Bind the two outside edges with ribbon (see Tip 4). Final dimensions: about 2⅞ x 4⅜ inches. Holds about 12 business cards.

COIN PURSE INSTRUCTIONS
Step 1, coin purse, photo

1. Cut two pieces of fabric (see Tip 1). Melt the tip of your ribbon (see Tip 3). Sew ribbon along one long side of each piece of fabric (see Tip 4).

Step 2, coin purse, photo

2. Sew both ribboned edges onto the zipper. Trim and melt the ends of the zipper so they are the same length as the pouch.

Step 3, coin purse, photo

3. Match up the edges and bind the remaining three sides with ribbon (see Tip 4), overlapping the ribbon at the corners. Final dimensions: about 3¾ x 5 inches.

Step 4, coin purse, photo

4. Cut a 5-inch piece of ⅜-inch ribbon. Cut the ends at a 45-degree angle. Melt the ends (see Tip 3). Push both ends through the hole in the zipper pull tab, leaving a loop of ribbon. Pull the ends through the loop of ribbon, and pull tight to create a knot.

TISSUE POUCH INSTRUCTIONS
Step 1, tissue pouch, photo

1. Cut your fabric (see Tip 1). Melt the tip of your ribbon (see Tip 3). Sew ribbon along the two short sides of the fabric (see Tip 4).

Step 2, tissue pouch, photo

2. Fold so that the ribboned edges overlap in the middle. The ribbons should lie directly on top of each other. Press in place.

Step 3, tissue pouch, photo

3. Bind the two outside edges with ribbon (see Tip 4). Final dimensions: about 3¼ x 6 inches.

Step 4, tissue pouch, photo

4. Stuff with tissues. Holds an entire pack of mini Kleenex facial tissues.

PEN SLEEVE INSTRUCTIONS
Step 1, pen sleeve, photo

1. Cut your fabric (see Tip 1). Melt the tip of your ribbon (see Tip 3). Sew ribbon along the two short sides of the fabric (see Tip 4).

Step 2, pen sleeve, photo

2. Fold so that the short side of the pocket is 4⅜ inches tall. Press in place. Bind the two outside edges with ribbon (see Tip 4). Final dimensions: about 1⅜ x 5⅜ inches.

Finished handbag pouch set, photo

Your handbag set is done!

Crafty Nest set of handmade purse pouches Pinterest image

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Made this project? Email your photo(s) to monica (at) craftynest (dot) com, and I'll share your version here!