A Custom Photo Purse: A Great Gift for New Moms


 A Custom Photo Purse: A Great Gift for New Moms

The idea of a custom photo purse is more than just a cute way to help your new mom remember her baby - there are many practical purposes. A custom photo purse can be used as a makeshift breastfeeding cover, diaper bag or the perfect accessory to make sure the new mom gets every opportunity at that elusive outfit coordination.

And it is so much more than just practicality - this one-of-a-kind gift will display all of the emotions new parents have while they wait for their bundle of joy to arrive. But don’t worry; with these ten tips, you'll be able to create an adorable and memorable gift for any new parent in your life.

1. Decide on the fabric first
This is one of the most important steps when making a custom photo purse. The fabric should be sturdy and of an appropriate size for the photo you'll be using. The best way to choose the correct fabric is by making sure that you measure carefully, as it can be deceiving, in our case anyway! It takes a little longer to alter a pleated skirt than it does to sew a fairly simple circle skirt, but in the end, you'll have one-of-a-kind personalized photos in your hands.

2. Consider pockets
I usually make mine with two pockets, making use of the extra fabric at both ends of the belly band. The larger pocket is for easily-accessible receipts, car keys and other items that need to be kept handy. The other smaller pocket folds in half and hides behind the snaps on the front panel, or you can just leave it open all the way around. It's up to you!

3. Lay out your fabric
Your fabric choices will influence the overall design of your personal photo purse. A pleated skirt pattern, for example, will provide a nice feminine look when paired with a solid or dotted background color.

Sewing patterns that include belly band and snap closures can be used in conjuction with various backgrounds and colors. Be sure to consider size when choosing colors for the background of your purse – I've found that white works best...

For more ideas on how to dress up your custom photo, check out my previous blog post: Fitting Photos into Custom Photo Purse Hacks here . You can also find my other ideas at this link: 20 Custom Photo Purse Ideas .

4. Begin to remove the seams
For my custom photo purses, I usually start by removing the top stitching at both ends on one side of the belly band. If it's a little difficult to get all of the stitching off, you can always use a seam ripper or your hands by pinching or pulling at the seam.

5. Cut at an angle
To cut a rectangular piece from your fabric, start by cutting along one side and then make your cut across both sides, right angles to each other. You'll need to hold down each of these lines with pins; I usually sew them in place using white thread as a guide for straight stitching. Be sure to leave some inches between the ends of each line so that you'll have enough fabric to fold the other vertical seam in half, along the top of your waistband. Then, sew that seam on your new cut lines using a straight stitch – again, you'll need white thread because it will be easier to see where you are sewing.

6. Cut out both sides at once
Before moving on to step 7, I usually cut my shape by tracing around an ironing board cover or cardboard box; it's much easier than trying to draw it freehand! When cutting out both sides of your custom photo purse, you'll want to remove most of the excess fabric and trim about 1/2 inch off each side. This will leave enough fabric to wrap over the top of your waistband, which you'll be sewing in a moment. If you find that you don't have enough room, don't worry – just trim off another 2 inches! It's much better to trim too much than not enough.

7. Trim and fold the top edge of the waistband
When folding the extra fabric over the top of your waistband, use pins to hold it in place while sewing it down with straight stitches using white thread. The stitching is very important, so make sure that you get it right! After sewing the top edge of your waistband, you'll want to fold the extra fabric down and pin it in place. Then trim off any excess fabric with scissors.

8. Center the straps
Sewing the straps on once your custom photo purse is complete is easy! Just sew them in place with straight stitches (3/8 inch) using white thread and then again using a zig-zag stitch (1/2 inch). If you'd like to add embroidery, do so now; I usually sew some spirals around this area, since I don't plan to remove them later.

9. Sew on the snaps
At this point, you might want to consider adding snaps on the top edge of your waistband, so that there will be no gaps between the fabric and your snap closures. I like to sew two snaps at each end; one directly in the center that matches the size of my snap tape and then one on each side.

The snap tape is found in your local craft store, or online. The hole sizes are usually 2 inches or more, so you'll need to cut a small piece off before you start to get it right.

Center the hole over the snap and use a hammer and nail to secure it. Once you've used your nail, you should place a tiny piece of fabric over the corresponding holes on each side to keep them from coming apart.

10. Add snaps and embroidery
To add the snap tape, just insert your piece of snap tape through both pieces of fabric that will be closing together – kind of like you would with velcro. Then bend it back on itself, making sure that it's centered, while making sure that there are no gaps between your two pieces of fabric.

To add embroidery, it's pretty simple. Simply attach the snap to one side of your fabric and use the included snap to secure it in place. Secure it with some thread or small sewing pins. Be careful not to sew over any snaps; you'll need to leave room around them for closure purposes!

11. Sew the lining together
Before moving on, be sure that you've already ironed your seams straight and placed all of your pieces of fabric inside out before beginning! The lining can be sewn in place by hand, or with a zigzag stitch (1/2 inch) using white thread. Use through stitching to attach the lining and then trim off any excess fabric.


If you follow these steps, you should end up with a purse that will look and feel like the real thing! Using a zigzag stitch on the top edge of the lining will accomplish this, as well as using two straight stitches at the bottom of each strap.

I hope that this has been helpful to you. Happy sewing!

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