Love 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!

HandleOnKubaEnter the “On The Go” Handbag Challenge – Now through October 21, 2016!

We’re getting some  gorgeous entries  — and there’s room for more — don’t miss the fun!   Just send us a pic of your best African Fabric bag (handbag, tote, mini purse, etc).  In the email, include the name of the maker and a description of 1 to 2 sentences, including whether the design is original or from a pattern.   You can  enter more than once, just send a  separate email for each bag.  All entries will be posted on the CE blog, and we’ll choose TWO entries to win a CE “On  The Go” Gift Pack with essentials to design your next carryall project, including a copy of On The Go, handbag patterns, notions, and a fabric or two!

Email your entries through October 21, 2016!


New 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.


Our Newest Bag Pattern…

SewJournHandbagSewJourn Handbag patternThe 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        DIY handbag handles leather

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