DIY British Postage Stamps Handbag: A Guest Post by Abby

8/12/2012 03:56:00 AM

I am very lucky to have some wonderful and generous blog friends to help me out with guest posts while I move around the globe.   Today's guest post is so fun AND right in time for the London Olympics!  I hand over the blog to Abby, from Things for Boys.  Abby inspires me with every post and I'm having SO MUCH FUN devouring her blog and catching up with everything I missed before I found her.  You must check out her blog, projects and tutorials,  BUT first..... a lesson from Abby about how you can put postage stamps on a bag!  So cool, I really can't wait to do it!

British Stamps Bag

Hi everyone, I'm Abby from Things for Boys. My blog is all about the things I cook and craft for my two boys, hubby and a toddler. Don't let the name of the blog fool you though, there is plenty of projects on there for girls too! I've even got a series, Build a Bag, which is all about me making a bag (using one of Janelle's amazing patterns) from the very beginning, right to the very end. I've designed the fabric and had it printed with Spoonflower and I'm waiting for it to arrive so I can get sewing!

Seeing as Janelle's blog is all about bags, I thought I'd stick with the theme and tell you about a bag I've made. Now, I was going to pretend I got inspired by British fever from the Olympics, but I have to be honest... I made this bag many years ago! I think I still lived at home with my Mum!

I've always loved the British postage stamps. They're all the same, but so very different. I love the variations in colour! I still look at the bag and try and pick my favourite stamp.

A Very British Stamps Handbag

The amount of materials you need will depend on the size of bag you want to make, so I'll just explain to you how to go about it.

To make a 'Stamps Bag' first you need to buy a bag of stamps. I went to a stamp and coin shop and got a big bag for a few dollars. They were all still attached to envelopes, so I soaked them off in cold water and laid them out on tea towels to dry. Don't soak them in hot water because they'll curl up.

The bag itself is made from black velvet, with the velvety side facing in to make the lining of the bag. I used less than a half metre (half yard). The stamps are glued onto the back of the velvet with mod podge. I just kept gluing until I was happy with the size.

Then I cut out the velvet panels leaving a seam allowance of about 1cm (3/8") around the sides. The bag is a simple box shape with an open top. So I have 2 panels the same size for the front and back, then 2 the same size for the sides and then the bottom. I also cut out pieces of thin tablecloth plastic to go over the top of each piece.

I finished off the edges of the velvet on the sewing machine so they don't fray. Then, I sewed the tablecloth plastic on top of each piece. Then the bag was put together by sewing all the pieces together, with the bottom going on last.

I wanted the stamps to be the whole feature of the bag, so the straps are also made of tablecloth plastic to keep them invisible. I cut 2 long strips and sewed them onto the front and back panels of the bag.

British Stamps Bag
British Stamps Bag

Do you feel like adding some postage stamps to your next project? Take a look at my pinterest board full of stamping inspiration. Not into stamps? Then take a look at my reusable cotton tea bags, sugar scrub for hands or shopping tote made from a t-shirt.

If you like these tutorials then take a moment to like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter to keep up to date with thingsforboys!

Thanks for having me on your blog Janelle!
Thank you so much for joining me Abby and helping out with this blog post, I really do feel so lucky and honored to have you here.  Confession:  I am a total stamp geek, among my other my many "geek genres".  I'm sure I have a huge box of stamps back in storage in Canada that will be found on bags very soon.  Love it!!

Thank you all for reading, 


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  1. Abby that is awesome! Such a great idea - and I had no idea you could buy bags of stamps like that! x

    1. Hi Roslyn, she did a great job didn't she! She actually used real stamps for his project! Janelle

  2. Such a fantastic idea Abby. It's so neat too - I thought it must be fabric with a stamp pattern on.

  3. GREAT tote!! I love stamps too!!! I even have my grand-mother's stamp collection :)

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this. That bag is so lovely. I collected stamps for a year or so as a idea what happened to them.....

  5. Turned out so pretty. Love your postage handbag making tutorial. Thanks for sharing !


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The contents of this blog, including text, original photos and ideas are the sole property of the author. If you intend to use my text or images, please link back to this blog and give credit to Emmaline Bags & Patterns. A notification email would be greatly appreciated too! Please do not ever republish an entire post, any tutorials, or post photos of my family. Thank you, Janelle