Western Swinging (paper purses)

Well if you ain’t never been there then I guess you ain’t been told
That you just can’t live in Texas unless you got a lot of soul.
It’s the home of Willie Nelson, the home of western swing.
He’ll be the first to tell you, Bob Wills is still the king.
~ Waylon Jennings

Inking Idaho Western Bag

I’ve got a different kind of Western Swing than you find in your Texas honky-tonk dance floor. Instead of a Texas Two Step, it’s a Western purse to swing on your shoulder. I took one of Becky Robert’s Tres Chic handbag tutorials and turned it into a tooled leather saddlebag. To give you an idea of how cute this is, here it is next to a CD case (one of my fav Emmy Lou Harris CDs).


The purse is designed to be just big enough to hold a gift card, so I made a little gift card holder to go in it. (Here’s the outside and then the inside.)


That was so much fun and Becky’s instructions were so easy to follow, I made another purse.


Catered Crop Follow the Recipe

When I showed my saddlebag purse to Mr. Catered Crop, he said he couldn’t believe it was paper. Ah, and then he added, “You amaze me.” Dang I love that man, but I digress. I obviously used a Western themed paper, but then I also ran that through a Cuttlebug embossing folder and whipped stitched the edges with embossing thread. I found these mini overall hooks/buttons with the buttons in the fabric isle ages ago. I love how it turned out.

You almost can’t see it, but I machine stitched the edges of the second handbag (kind of extra credit since it wasn’t included in the instructions). Becky recommends using a Velcro closing inside, which, of course, I didn’t have. But, I did have some magnetic snaps, which worked great, too. (Yes, the pearl clasps are just for show, but aren’t they darling?)

Becky Robert’s tres-chic purse patterns are so versatile. To give you an idea of all the fun things you can do with her pattern, just click HERE, where I searched for “handbag” on her blog, Inking Idaho. The girl is a genius.

Well butter my buns and call me a biscuit! Have you saddled up to our Catered Crop Follow-the-Recipe #12 party, yet? You can find all the details and link up with us here: FTR12. It’s crazy easy to play. Just use any of the ingredients from Grace’s inspiration card. I used Grace’s brown colors, a charm and a creative fold, and my theme would be masculine, if my project wasn’t a purse, that is. If you like these purses and you play along with us, you may just win one of Becky’s tutorials. You’ll be happier than a tick on a fat dog.

Here are the rest of the ingredients for my Western swingin’ purses. Everything is Stampin’ Up! unless otherwise noted.

  • Paper – Cosmo Cricket Wanted
  • Color Mediums – a little sponging with Close to Coco classic ink
  • Fibers – DMC embroidery floss (#898), stitched grosgrain ribbon and some retired Ribbons Original Alpine felt stitched ribbon
  • Tools – Stampin’ Up! Tool kit. I used the paper piercing template to post the holes before I hand embroidered the whip-stitch edging. Cuttlebug embossing folder. Sandpaper to distress the edges.
  • Embellishments – antique and silver brads, JHB International Mini Overall kit, Karen Foster brads, Oriental Trader “Keys to My Heart” charms, Tim Holtz Baubles, flat-back pearls, BasicGrey magnetic snaps


Hope you enjoyed a little bit of Texas Western Swing – Yee Haw! Ya’ll come back now.

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Sweet Comments

  1. Stephanie says:

    These are absolutely adorable. What a clever idea, your work is always an inspiration.
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. Whoa – I didn't think they were paper!!  You ARE amazing!! These are so adorable. Wow wow wow!!

  3. Oh my gosh LInda…these do not even look like paper!  FABULOUS and over the top fantastic work, my friend!  WOW!!!  Love the stitching, love the handles, love the pocket, love the pearls..love you!  Becky

  4. Linda, it is way too early for me to see something this stunning, coffee spewed!
    Amazing, they do not look like paper and I agree over the top Fabulous!!

  5. And the 2011 Paper Craft – Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, Tony goes to…drum roll please drdrdrdrdrrdrdrdr.  Linda Artsy Fartsy McClain!    Very impressive, I hope you get the recognition you deserve.   

  6. Carolyn V says:

    what a fantastic creation, done with so much detail, beautiful

  7. Beth Norman says:

    Smashing purses.  The DP really works.  I;d like to make some of them too.  Found you by way of being a "favourite of the week" at SCS.

  8. Oh wow! Linda these tiny purses are gorgeous. My faveorite is the tooled leather purse.

    Happy New Year!



  1. […] This clutch will join the ensemble of purses I made last May (details here). […]

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