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1  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 39 ENTRIES / The "Purse"onal is Political Birkin Inspired Bag - Update! on: June 05, 2009 12:46:57 PM
Thank you for all of the wonderful comments!!  This is the first thing I've ever posted.  I'm working on another "Birkin," this one is all black and white tiles I cut out of the same catalog.  I'm making a "Hermes" "Kelly" wallet to go with it.  I will take pictures of the progress and post them.  Thanks to everyone who voted for me!  If you have any questions or comments you want to give me directly, please feel free to contact me - I'd love to hear from you and I promise to answer! (P.S. my Etsy will be up and running August 1)

I was watching a tv show on the world's most expensive things the same day that I read about this challenge.  The world's most expensive handbag is a Hermes Birkin that costs $200,000.00.  After I finished choking on my drink and wiggling my finger in my ear to make sure I heard right, I got to thinking.  Hmmm...wouldn't it show them if I could make a decent copy made out of garbage?!  Talk about the ultimate upcycling!  Well, after looking at real Birkins on the internet to get the pattern right (BTW they always seem to be attached to a celebrity's arm) and almost a month of hard work here is the end result.  A Birkin inspired bag that is made out of 99.99% recycled materials.

I cut an old Ethan Allen catalog into 1"x1" squares and glued them to a piece of newspaper I painted black.  I ironed adhesive vinyl on the front and glued heavy interfacing to the back.  I covered the interfacing with some scrap satin wrong-side out (the wrong side of satin feels almost like kidskin).  When it was all dry I cut out my pattern and sealed the edges with a clear acrylic used for beading.  The end result really looks, feels and sews like leather!!  I was all out of crocodile, so I used duct tape painted black to make the handles and straps.  Painted duct tape looks and feels remarkably like crocodile.  (Since I made this purse, I found out duct tape comes in black!!!  I'll be using that from now on!)  I sewed everything together with some old leftover black embroidery floss.  Here's a view of the back.  Look at that expert stitching!

All of the hardware (including the ring that holds the lock) is made out of used paper clips.  The lock came from a diary that was thrown in the garbage.  I even added the "feet" that are on a Birkin by using some repurposed upholstery tacks.  This is a really sturdy and usable purse!!  It also wipes clean when you spill stuff on it!!
Here's a close-up of the front.

Knowing how much Victoria Beckham loves her Hermes Birkins (she owns over 100), I sent her one of mine.  She sent me a photo of herself posing with it.  I don't mean to criticize, but I thought she'd be taller.  Maybe she's taking this diet thing too far!

Unfortunately, Paris Hilton saw the bag and loved it, so she stole it from Victoria.  Here she is sneaking out of the women's bathroom of LAX with the stolen bag.  I don't know what she did to Victoria to get it, but she looks like there was a real scuffle!  Either that or she's really letting herself go!!

Ladies, please don't fight!  Everything you need to make your own purse can be found in the trash!  
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