Wednesday 7 May 2014

Handbag card tutorial without a template

Warning, picture heavy post!!

A while ago I made a handbag card and promised to do a little 'step by step' tutorial. I'm sure there are many ways to achieve the same end result, but this works for me - with very minimal use of a craft knife.

You'll need: Plain white card, two sheets of approximately 7" x 5.75" patterned paper, one A4 sheet of double sided adhesive film (or thick patterned card stock which means no layering) , glue, strong double sided adhesive tape, a couple of oval Nestabilities or similar dies, low-tack removable tape, corner chomper/punch or scissors, embellishments to finish the card.

1. Take two Nestabilities or similar, to sit inside one another and form the handle. I used ovals but circles, hexagons, squares and really most other shapes would work fine. Pick the largest two from whichever set you're going to use - unless they're Grand Nestabilities of course. An outside width when the two Nesties are inside one another of about 3.5, possibly 4 inches is good. Then tape them together with low-tack tape like this - and also mark a line across on each piece of the side tapes. That line is going to be important when you're doing the die cutting - if you look closely you'll see that I'm just about to cut this with the Cuttlebug and the top plate needs to be lined up right on that line so it will only cut across one half of the oval Nesties:
2. What you're aiming for is this (below), try the cut out on a piece of plain card first to check the placement of the lo-tack tape - ask me how I know this!
3. Feeling brave? OK, so now you cut using the same technique and the patterned card/paper. If you use paper you need to use the double sided adhesive sheet to fix it to card at this point. I was quite generous with the original measurements of the card/paper pieces as the most important thing you're aiming for is two 'handles' which line up with one another - the rest of the card can be trimmed later so that the front and back match. You'll notice some low-tack tape further down the patterned front of the card. In fact it's holding the back and the front of the card together in a bid to get those handles even. Do take care though, mine did go through the Cuttlebug but it was on the edge and I just had to hope bits didn't fly off the machine! A better way would be to cut the back and front pieces of the card separately  - cut the back from the inside out (ie. with the plain white card uppermost) for the best chance of a good match to the handles. You can just run a thumb nail round the edges afterwards to even out the cut edge.
4. OK, so we have two cut pieces to the card, front and back handles. I forgot to take a photo but if you look at this plain piece of card here's what to do next:
5. On the front piece of the handbag you cut straight across the inside of the 'handle' to remove the 'flap' I'm holding. You can use a small trimmer (being careful not to cut across those precious handles), scissors or a craft knife as I did. But LEAVE the back flap 'cos that's what helps to hold the card together at the top! Score across the back flap so it folds neatly, put the back and front together - patterned side out of course - and just push the back flap through the handles like so:
6. You'll see that there's some unevenness at the bottom of the card, just trim that away until the sides and bottom of the card are nicely lined up whilst making sure the handles still match of course. Then, shape the sides by drawing a line from the outside edge of the handles down to the bottom corners and trim. I used large scissors - not gonna chance my luck again with the craft knife!
7. This next step is optional - I used big corner rounder scissors to round each bottom corner of the card:
8. Glue the handles together and then add strong tap (or glue) underneath that 'pushed through' back flap and press down firmly onto the front of the card:
9. And now you have one handbag shaped card all ready to embellish to your heart's content:
Some more detail of the goodies I used:

- one A4 sheet of white card stock

- one A4 sheet of Woodware double sided adhesive film - of course life could be easier if you used good strong patterned card in the first place! Duh :(

- papers from the Kitsch Collection by Craftwork Cards

- embellishments from the same collection, dog (I added the googly eye), bow, mini card candi

- sentiment is also Craftwork Cards, popped onto a red oval snippet

- and finally a cute little 'Radley' style dog charm, tied on with a little piece of silver cord 'cos by that stage I truly couldn't face adding a silver chain

This card took longer than usual to make, due to taking photos and making notes along the way, so I do hope it's useful to someone. The actual process is pretty quick so I challenge one or more of you to have a go :)



  1. Oh my goodness! This is absolutely adorable, Di!

  2. Sensation handbag card and post, Di! That was a tremendous amount of work and bending over, honey, and it is very much appreciated! I hope your back is okay, however!! Hugs, Darnell

  3. Oh this is fabulous and I love the patchwork dog.

  4. Oh Wow!!!! Brilliant!!! xx

  5. wow Di that is really awesome am going to put this link on my sidebar so can find it when I want .. or that is the theory ;) Shaz in oz.x

  6. Wauuu
    gorgeous bag
    thanks for tutorial
    hugs Tamara

  7. Great idea. Thanks for sharing it Di x

  8. Hello Di, Your bag is brilliant, I love the design and papers especially the decoupaged little dog. Thank you for the tutorial.

  9. Totally brilliant handbag card and THANKS for doing the tutorial. I love shaped cards so could be tempted to take up your challenge! But not this week!

    Hugs, Sarn xxx

  10. "WOW" Di, What a fabulous bag and your turorial is amazing l like the dog on the side and bow your truly one talented lady Di and thanks for sharing this you make it look so easy xx

  11. Wonderful Tutorial, Di! Gorgeous papers and fab design. I know a few people who love their hand bags, so I may well be making this very soon

  12. Amazing! Thank you for the tutorial...step by step pictures like you used, really helps visualize the process.
    Great handbag bright and zingy! What fun that little dog is!

  13. That is one brilliant finished card Di .. .. and I love the little patchwork dog.

    Couldn't help noticing a little heart on your cutting plate LOL!!!!

    Love Jules xx

  14. That is seriously clever and wonderfully gorgeous! I will try to have a try at this card. Thank you for sharing how to do this with us Karen x

  15. The patchwork doggie is just precious!! I love this cute purse and especially the matching charm! TFS the great tutorial too!

  16. Brilliant Di! A great idea so thank you very much for taking the time to show us how.. Dee xx

  17. I am really impressed with your blog, such great & useful knowledge you mentioned here. Your post is very informative. Thanks for sharing and keep it up like this. You can know more please visit at Amber Fog Lights.


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