If you are anything like me you have a closet filled with bags that you were given, you purchased at the high end, and others you found at the local thrift store. An old bag is a difficult thing to let go of because it becomes the holder of our lives. It knows our deepest secrets from how much money we have to what meds we’re taking.

Here are some fun ways to take those old bags and make them into something new to you without spending a fortune. Of course, you will need a sewing machine for the majority of these projects. The ideal machine can be used for heavy fabrics.

Check out the Ways

Add Some Fringe

Fringe was a popular thing in the roaring twenties, but it’s history goes back much further than that. Native American Tribes like the Sioux and Apache attached fringe to their clothing because it deterred rain from soaking the rest of the garment.

In the twenties the flapper introduced the world to short skirts and fringe again. If you are into bobbed hair and dancing the Charleston or if you live are a fan of the wilderness look then fringe would be a great asset to any old bag.


These little gems look a little bit like diamonds but they are far less expensive. They give off a great glow and some believe they have healing powers. The fact is, these are not gems after all, crystals are formations of rocks. They can transmit radio waves,

Celebrities and regular folks like us have found crystals to have healing powers, which is why sewing a few of them on to an old purse might add the life that the old bag needed. Depending on the fabric of your pocketbook you might be able to use a glue gun to get them on.


Studs were a big thing in the 1980s. People put them in everything. Their shirts, pants, boots, purses, you name it, if a stud could be shot through it then it was. There are studs that come with spikes on the ends, which are cool if you are looking for a metal or rock and roll look. Studs are easy to put in and there is a special tool for the craft.

Pom Poms

Cheerleaders use larger versions of these to express their excitement and having a few lines of these circling your bag will have the same effect not only on you but everyone who sees you walk by with it over your arm. But these little balls have an interesting history.

The pom-pom that sits on top of a hat can be traced all the way back to the Vikings. Birettas in Rome had a pom-pom that signified the order of the clergyman and the fun little adorations have been a part of traditional attire in Scotland for generations.

There is no denying pom-poms have been around the globe on the clothing of people from many cultures. Plus kids really like them so this could be a fun family project.


While sewing is a solid way to get accessories onto an old handbag fabric paints are always a ton of fun. Plus, you can let your creative juices flow. If you have a ton of used or old bags this could be another project to do with your kids. While things like educational apps are important so is creativity, and this will give them a fun outlet.


This is where you can take the paint idea and take it to a whole new level. Some people can use a paintbrush and create images that are more realistic looking than photographs. But there are some of us who aren’t as artistically inclined. That’s where stencils come in.

You can take one image and repeat it over and over again or give it a tile look. The nice thing about stencils is that they are reusable. So you can keep them for other projects besides your discarded handbags.


No matter the material, adding stripes to anything is always fun. You can do this with strips of material or fabric paint. Those details are completely up to you. What’s fun about stripes is that you can make them go in any direction you want. We just suggest that you make them all go in the same direction to get the effect stripes are supposed to give.

Polka Dots

This idea is along the same lines as the stripes, although it has nothing to do with lines and more to do with circles. Dots to be exact. You can sew circular fabric onto your old bags or yours, use studs to create your polka dots, or you can paint them on yourself. It’s a project like this where a stencil will come in handy since dots are difficult to get right by hand.


There are so many things you can do to give that old bag of your new life these are just a drop in the bucket. You can take all these ideas and incorporate them into one. That’s the best part of it all. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Just let your imagination go wild and start to upcycle those old bags.

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