Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Haven't you always wanted a special Christmas handbag?

This is my first ever handbag.  Not only is it a first, but it's made for hubby's and my annual trip to Germany for the Christmas markets.  This year it's Munich :-)

I found the bag making site U-Handbag ( and bought their "blank" Queen Bee kit.  It comes with everything you need to make a handbag except the external fabric, lining and glue.

The photo doesn't do her justice!  The felt snowflakes have Swarovski crystals and pearls on them.  The outside is a gorgeous tweed and she's lined with Liberty Tana lawn!  (OK, so the lining is a bit summery for the time of year, but who cares?)
I cut the snowflakes out using my Sizzix Bigshot and a Sizzlits die.  Because the cut outs are very delicate I used a double-sided iron-on interfacing (Bondaweb, I think) on the felt before I cut them out.  This meant that I could iron them on before adding the crystals and beads so it made life an awful lot easier :-)

I followed the kit instructions and it's not as scary as you might think!  After you cut everything out (decorate with felt and beads - my step) and start sewing together, it kind of falls into place and suddenly it's really obvious and you knew all your life how to make a handbag :-)

Materials used:
  • Queen Bee kit from
  • Harris Tweed from eBay Shop (Esplanade London)
  • Remnant of Liberty Tana Lawn for the lining
  • 100% wool felt from Michelle Good on Etsy
  • Snowflake die from Sizzix
  • Gutermann Textile Glue from U-Handbag
  • Swarovski crystals and pearls from Scatter Crystals

A note about the glue.  I've used it on everything - from felt to cotton.  It dries quickly by my standards and makes a really firm bond.  It could be a lot messier and smellier!  The gluey smell goes away after about 24 hours.  Some glues pong for ever!

Die Cutting Felt

I'm always on the lookout for new crafting ideas.  I recently saw some lovely felt pincushions and thought I'd have me some pincushion action.  The idea is to use felt flowers, embroidery, etc to decorate...

Now, the problem is, I am rubbish at cutting out!  I don't have the patience.  Worse still, I have no hope of cutting out anything in felt!  How does one cut out a felt circle with a pair of scissors?  So my little pea-brain had a think...  Can one die-cut felt?

Indeed one can!

So I thought it might be nice to share my experiences with die cutting felt.  Here are the dies I've tried and the results.  I will come back to this from time to time and update.

  • Sizzix Framelits - result!
  • Sizzix Sizzlits - Hmmm.....  Mixed results there.  I have a butterfly that came with my Bigshot and that failed miserably.  Other, less detailed, designs seem to work.  I had one that I used for a very specific project and I got a much better result after picking out the sponge.  I don't know if I've wrecked it for future use though.
  • DoCrafts - Yep!  Some of these are quite detailed, so to get a better result with felt I suggest putting some lightweight iron-on interfacing onto the felt.
  • Sizzix Bigz - Fantabulous result!  You can even do three or four layers of felt at the same time!
  • Sizzix Originals - As with Bigz - you can do several layers at once.
Just for reference, I only use 100% wool felt.  It's the nice stuff on sale here:
I will be showing my felt designs on here so you can see for yourself....

If you have any other results to add to this, please do!  Let's share our felt-cutting experiences :-)