HandleOnKubaLove to make Haute Handbags with African flair?  Or want to learn to make them better? You’re in the right place…Cultured Expressions’ DIY Handbag Highlights gives you the products & inspiration you need to get creative – patterns, kits, book, fabrics, handles and supplies!

“On The Go” Handbag Challenge –  October  2016

Thanks to all who participated in our first Handbag Challenge!

View the Entries Now!


Now in the CE Shop:  When I first tried these Magnetic Snaps by Dritz, I was hooked! So I had to share them with you, as described on the blog.




SewJourn Handbag patternSewJournHandbagOur Newest Bag Pattern…  

The newest Cultured Expressions handbag was not only inspired by our popular SewJourns, but the strip-pieced fabric was cut from an existing quilt.  Simply called the SewJourn handbag, it features our 22″ Leather Handbag Handles, which fit securely under the arm; travel docs are tucked away safely but easy to reach.

Try it as a strip-pieced work of art (strip piecing instructions are included), or choose a favorite piece of bogolan for a different look. Kuba?  The choice is yours…


On The Go! DIY handbag book #culturedexpressions.comArtwork you can carry! Nothing expresses one’s individual style quite like a take-along accessory, and our active lifestyles easily justify the need for a variety of carry-alls to suit a fashionable, multi-faceted existence. Lisa’s third book, African Accents ON THE GO! Designing Accessories with Cultural Style provides you with creative stimulation for making handbags, totes and more, with exciting African flair. By taking advantage of the unique properties of the fabrics — the textures, weaves, colors, patterns and symbols, you’ll be guided in sewing a wardrobe full of specialty pieces, to reinvigorate the wardrobe as well as the spirit.

You’ll find inspiration in the pages of African Accents ON THE GO! whether you’re making a cultural statement, or simply showing your love for terrific textiles. Twenty-two original designs are further enhanced with culturally inspired embellishments and trims, plus extra creative options, variations and resources included in the appendix. The result – a collection of unique art-to-carry pieces that are as beautiful as they are practical! Published by Cultured Expressions, Inc.


QUICK TIP:  When attaching these handles (or even those with my own sewn tabs), I usually apply a dab of hot glue at the center of the tab to keep it securely in place while stitching around the edges of the tab.  It also gives added support where the bag meets the handle, reducing stress on your stitches!   — lisa


coin purse kit #culturedexpressions      DIY handbag highlights #culturedexpressions color block tote pattern

Create a Vintage Coin Purse (KIT) or Color Block Tote (PATTERN)


diy handbag highlights bogolan mudcloth drawstring duffel kit #culturedexpressions    DIY handbag highlights free project #culturedexpressions

Try this beginner-friendly Bogolan Drawstring Duffel (KIT)
…or stitch up this Bogolan Tote (FREE PROJECT)  –  Shop for Bogolan/Mudcloth


DIY Handbags – Remember the Finishing Touches…

Browse our Embellishments for brassAdinkra brass and bead accents to complete your designs! Use them as decorative accents, zipper pulls or creative closures.

embellishment brass accents Ghana #culturedexpressions.


Check out Lisa’s Creative Leather Vest-to-Handbag project on the CE Blog!

#culturedexpressions leather vest upcycle, handbag DIY recycle


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