DIY Suede Fringe Handbag

DIY Upcycled Suede Fringe Handbag Tutorial and Template via

I see so much suede at the thrift store….I have a few jackets, a skirt, a few pairs of pants….it’s all outdated and just waiting to be cut up and made into something amazing. Here’s my first suede remake project……an old pair of suede pants and a thrift store belt into a fringe handbag. It was actually a fairly easy project. The key is to not cut the fringe until the handbag is finished. If you can’t find suede at the store you can also check Etsy and Ebay for remnants. You can also use leather or microfiber. Here are the original pants:

Original Suede Pants via

And here is the finished bag:

DIY Suede Fringe Bag via

The first thing I did was sketch out a template:

DIY Suede Fringe Bag (template) via

Here’s a sketch of my template. You can enlarge it to be any size to make your own:

DIY Suede Fringe Bag (template used) via lilblueboo.comI used a seam ripper to take apart the pants at the crotch:

DIY Suede Fringe Bag (step 1) via

I used my cup of coffee as a pattern weight and cut the pattern on the fold……using the existing side seam as my fold:

DIY Suede Fringe Bag (step 2) via

The two main pieces cut out. You can see that I just cut straight through the pockets and seams and left them for character:

DIY Suede Fringe Bag (step 3) via

I cut out the bottom of the purse and cut the rest of the pants into long strips to use for the fringe:

DIY Suede Fringe Bag (step 4) via

I used a marker on the wrong side of the suede to mark out my fringe:

DIY Suede Fringe Bag (drawing the fringe) via

I sewed the first long strip onto the side of the handbag upside down to hide the seam. I used a regular sewing machine and regular thread…..I just stitched at a slow pace with a long stitch so that I wouldn’t break a needle.

DIY Suede Fringe Bag (sewing the fringe) via

Here’s my second strip of fringe:

DIY Suede Fringe Bag (sewing the 2nd layer of fringe) via

Then I folded the strips back the other way (I top stitched them to keep them in place but it isn’t shown here):

DIY Suede Fringe Bag (step 6) via

I attached the bottom of the bag. All of the seams you see are the original seams from the pants:

DIY Fringe Bag Tutorial (step 6) via

I sewed the sides shut and then sewed the ends of the bottom of the bag closed to create the “box” effect at the bottom. The blue piece is a heavy piece of canvas I attached with spray adhesive to add some weight to the inside of the bag:

DIY Fringe Bag Tutorial (step 7) via

When sewing the sides together I was very careful to match the tops of the fringe pieces. I was also very careful not to sew the fringe into the seam:

DIY Fringe Bag Tutorial (step 8) via


This was the most gratifying part….carefully cutting the fringe:

DIY Fringe Bag Tutorial (cutting the fringe!) via

I used my pattern to quickly make an identical basic shape using heavy upholstery fabric…..for the lining of the bag:

DIY Fringe Bag Tutorial (making the lining) via

I place the lining inside the handbag and attached magnetic hardware (you can pick these up at most craft stores). To attach the two pieces together and finish the bag I simply folded the top edge of the purse down over the fabric and stitched along the edge:

DIY Fringe Bag Tutorial (hardware and finish) via

The finished inside:


The strap was easy. I picked up this old belt from the thrift store for 99 cents:

DIY Fringe Bag Tutorial (thrift store belt) via

I cut it with scissors to shorten it and then used a hammer and nail to poke holes through so I could easily sew it onto the bag:

DIY Fringe Bag Tutorial (using a nail for holes) via

I used a heavy upholstery thread to attach my leather handle.  Fabric glue helped keep the belt in place for stitching and needle nosed pliers helped pull the needle through.

DIY Fringe Bag Tutorial (attaching leather handle) via

The finished bag!

Finished DIY jj winters inspired Fringe Handbag via

Under $20 in materials:

Finished DIY j.j. winters inspired Fringe Handbag via


I love the boho look of it…..and the fun chicken fabric inside:

DIY Tutorial j.j. winters inspired Suede Fringe Handbag via

So it’s not a j.j. winters bag……but I made it myself…..

DIY Easy j.j. winters inspired Suede Fringe Handbag via


  1. Dawn says

    I’ve wanted to make one of these for a realllllly long time…just never had the guts to try it. Now, with your super cinchy tute, I’m totally gonna try it!!!

  2. sharon says

    Thank you for such detailed, clear instructions…..even i could understand it and im not a very good sewer! Thank you!

  3. Sydney says

    I LOVE IT!! Very creative way to reuse. Thanks for sharing. I love the inside fabric paired with it too.

  4. says

    This is amazing. Now if I ever find suede pants at a thrift store, they are mine. What a great tutorial too! Thanks!

  5. Tammy O. says

    I have an old (80’s) suede coat I wanted to recycle. Now I know exactly what I’ll do with it! Thanks for the great tutorial and pattern!!

  6. Karen says

    Where were you 42 years ago, girl? I was a very young child and begged for a fringed buckskin handbag for Christmas and a pair of go-go boots. Mom and Dad said no to both. So, in my misery, at the dept. store one afternoon with my brother (16) and my mom, I snuck a little buckskin fringed coin purse in my coat pocket. My brother ratted me out, a public humiliation insued and my mom not only made me return the item to the lady in the jewelry dept., she also announced to the store at the entrance as we left that her daughter (named me) was a thief and for everyone to look if they wanted to see what a thief looked like. I also got my mouth soaped out and a spankin with my pants down. I definately learned my lesson the hard way to never steal ANYTHING. But I am now turning 50 next year and never got that buckskin purse. Maybe now I can make one. But there is an awful lot of painful memories attached to it, so maybe not. :(

  7. Leigh Anne says

    That bag really ROCKS! Thanks so much for sharing the tute…..just gotta hunt some fab suede pants….wouldn’t red be awesome! I’m inspired!

  8. Amanda says

    So now I know what to do with the suede skirt I have around here somewhere…and the fact I can’t find a purse I like (in leather)…love this. :)

  9. Patti says

    So cute!! I had one just like this in the 8th grade in 1969!!! Now I know what to do with that old suede jacket I have. Thanks for the inspiration!