Shabby French handbag organiser

Week 4 of Simply Christmas… can you believe it?


With just 33 days left in the Christmas countdown we need to be ticking some more handmade gifts off our list.


This is one I completed over the weekend.


If you are anything like me, then you know the frustration of having a plethora of ‘needful things’ floating around in the bottom of your handbag.


I sooooooo need one of these and I know many other women who need one too.


It might be a practical project, but I’ve jazzed it up with some shabby French flair.




This is definitely a project that you can personalise and adjust to your own requirements.


The measurements given are for the organiser I made. I added a strap with a press stud at one end so things like hair ties and safety pins can be stored for emergencies.


I also added an extra pocket in coordinating fabric for storing business cards.


Fabric requirements:
    • Outer fabric – 16 cm x 45 cm
    • Lining fabric – 16 cm x 45 cm
    • Medium wadding – 16 cm x 45 cm
    • Pocket fabric – 20 cm x 38 cm
    • Non slip drawer liner – 9.5 cm x 37 cm
    • Strap – 14 cm x 3 cm



Outside of organiser


I wanted to keep the overall look very neutral and chic so used a combination of osenberg, calico, muslin and various neutrals in dots and stripes.


The outside of the organiser is cut from osenberg. I decorated the front panel with one of my favourite French graphics from the Graphic Fairy using the printing on fabric technique.


Start by ironing a piece of Reynold’s freezer paper to the back of your fabric and trim fabric to required size. . . I made my sheet of fabric A5 size. I then made a word document in A5 format and inserted the graphic I saved for the front panel. I had enough room left on the page to print out some other graphics too. Simply load the fabric paper into your printer and print as you normally would. The freezer paper makes your fabric less flimsy, so allows it to feed though your printer. When it has printed out and dried, peel off the backing paper.


Note: Reynold’s Freezer Paper is available from Patchwork stores.


1  3


Cut your graphic to size and fray the edges.


I added another layer of frayed white muslin under my calico layer before attaching them to my front panel with a zig-zag stitch.


I also added some vintage buttons and a strip of cotton lace.


Also, I basted the edges of the lace to the fabric 1 cm in from edge – the lace will be stitched in place later.




Lining and pockets:
Fold the pocket fabric in half, right side to right side, so you now have a strip of fabric measuring 10 cm x 38 cm. Sew the seam on the left side of the pocket panel. Turn right side out and make sure you have a neat point at the outer corner. Press.


Handy tip: Using a strip of non slip drawer liner as a lining on the pockets keeps everything from slipping out of the pockets. Place your drawer liner fabric on the back of your pocket and stitch to the top edge of pocket only.




Position your pocket panel on your fabric as shown. This is where you can adapt the organiser to sit your needs.


I added the extra pocket on the front of the pocket panel and added another printed French graphic to it.


Pin the pocket panel to your lining and mark vertical lines where you want to divide the pockets. Sew the vertical seams.


The base of the pocket will be sewn when the organiser is assembled. To make the strap, fold fabric in half along the long edge and press. Turn edges in again so you have a long thin trip. Turn under one end to neaten edges and sew along folded edge. Stitch strap to edge of lining panel. Attach press stud to the other end – I also sewed a button to the other side of strap. . . purely for aesthetics.




Attach bag closer. . . I used a magnetic bag closer as I had some already, but you could use a large press stud. I positioned mine centrally, a couple of centimetres in from the outer edge. The other half of your bag closer will need to be attached to your outer fabric. I found that the best position for it was about a third of the way in from the left hand edge – your graphic is on the right hand edge.




Now lay your inside panel on your works surface facing up. Lay the outer panel on top of the inside panel with right sides facing each other.


Place the wadding layer on top and pin all three layers together. Sew around the outer perimeter, leaving the end with the lace cotton open.


Clip corners and turn inside out. Fold under the seam allowance at the open end and sew seam closed – take care to avoid the closure on the lining panel.


Sew another 1/8” seam all around the perimeter.




And there you have it… a Shabby French handbag organiser.




I’m joining in with Brag Monday at The Graphics Fairy.




Now that you have a gorgeous handbag organiser, what about a cute little something extra to go inside?


The lovely Sherry from ‘Sherry’s Simple Blog’ in the UK has designed these gorgeous emery board holders.


Sherry's project


This is such a sweet project and Sherry gives a full tutorial here




Thanks for contributing to Simply Christmas Sherry.

Don’t forget, you can link up your Christmas projects all week on my Friday Inspiration posts.

Don’t be shy. . . everyone loves to visit and be inspired by what others are creating for Christmas. I’ve already picked up some amazing ideas to add to my incredibly looooooong ‘To Do’ list [giggle]. I’ll be choosing a couple of favourite projects to showcase next Friday, before we start another Inspiration Party.

I’ll also be joining in with the link party girls this week.

Hugs ~ Kerryanne


  1. Hi Kerryanne,
    Oh what a fabulous idea, especially with the oversized bags the younger generation are using now.
    Looks like Lots of work however gorgeous.
    Creative hugs,

  2. What a great idea. I’ll be putting the organiser on my to do list!

  3. Love it! Love it! Love it! Great work! For sure on my ‘to do’ list as well. Would definitely make a great gift for some of my friends. Have never tried the freezer paper printing but will surely try that! Thank you very much, and I am going to go and look at Sherry’s emery keeper!! 🙂

  4. Tried Sherry’s link and it didn’t work. Will just look for the blog! 🙂

  5. This is a great idea Kerryanne, thanks for sharing with us. I bought a commercially made one of these last year, but yours is so much nicer. I’m going to give it a try, hopefully before christmas!!

  6. What an excellent gift! I can think of FIVE people to give one to! And then ONE extra for me! Beautiful….I’ll get started now! Thank you!

  7. Oh well this is one of the nicest hand bag organisers i’ve ever seen, gorgeous work KerryAnne. Love the French flavour, love Posie

  8. These are so cool! I’m your newest follower!!!!

    Aimee @

  9. Kerryanne thanks for stopping over at ReMAdeSimple. What a cute project you have here. I’m all linked up. Happy Blogging.

  10. Really gorgeous project!!

  11. hi blogger i am thank full to you great idea sharing i really like and appreciate your hard work and mange design , color and quality so good

  12. Oj så jätte fina saker!

  13. Your handbag organiser is beautiful Kerry! All is needs is one of my emery board holders in one of the pckets – lol. Thanks for linking my tutorial here x

  14. This is brilliant and I desperately need one! Thanks so much,

  15. Kerryanne this is beautiful and soooooooooooooo useful too.

    I’m so pleased you decided to do ‘Simply Christmas’ again this year as it is a wonderful source of ideas and inspiration – Thank you.

    Big hugs
    Toni xx

  16. As one attempts to draw the keys out from the basal of the bag aggregate abroad that was on top ends up aerial out forth with them.


  17. This is so pretty! I blogged about it….hope that is OK :))

  18. Very sweet! What a cute way to organize 🙂

    Visiting from BRAG MONDAY at GraphicsFairy,
    ~Suzanne in NW Illinois @ Whycuzican

  19. This is a great idea Kerryanne. I was only complaining the other day that I need diving equipment to find something in my bag at the moment, it was very frustrating, but this would solve the problem perfectly.
    Thank you

  20. Oooh Thank you sooo much for this tutorial it’s gonna make the perfect gift for my friend for Christmas…she will love it! Me too if I ever get five seconds to make something for myself LOL!


  21. How cute, cute cute! And, why not…these things are just so handy and you made it look elegant!
    Wonderful Job!
    Thank you for sharing!

  22. this is FANTASTIC, will have to pin it and have a go at one myself! i absolutely love the vintage feel you have given it 🙂

  23. Tres gorgeous Kerryanne, I think I need to make a couple of those…all for me..I do carry around an awful lot of stuff!!!
    Coming out of my creative mess to visit for a bit…and am almost ready to add my bit..hehehe.
    Speak to you soon,
    Kiss Noises Linda

  24. Gorgeous !!! Thank you very much for sharing
    Mirevan from Chambéry

  25. Simply lovely thanks for the tutorial Kerryanne.
    best wishes Julie.C

  26. Hey Kerryanne! I SOOOOO need one of these!! You’ve seen my handbag, so you know what I mean! Tee! Hee! Hee! My brother refers to my bag as “The Tardis” cos he says that, like Dr Who’s mode of transport, it has to be bigger on the inside than the outside to contain everything it does, plus you never know what I’m going to pull out of it next! :0) Since that’s the way I feel when I’m searching for stuff, perhaps an organiser would at least cut down on SOME of my search time! :0) Thanks for sharing! Bear Hugs! KRIS

  27. Thank you for another wonderful project and tutorial Kerryanne, this is such a ‘must have’ for EVERY woman!!! I love the emmery-board wallets too, very cute indeed!
    Hugs! Vikki xo 🙂

  28. Nagyon ötletes, ízléses!Gratulálok!

  29. Brilliant! Women the world over will want one! Going to share on Facebook and Twitter. (via Graphics Fairy)

  30. Thanks so much for the pattern, didn’t know about the freezer paper, this is a great gift!

  31. I love it.

  32. This is sooo cute…AND practical! I’m forever losing things in my purse. This is a great way to keep things corralled. I love your design and appreciate the tutorial, Kerryanne.

    Thanks for linking to Time Travel Thursday this week.

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Liz @ The Brambleberry Cottage

  33. Love this idea!! Cute!

  34. Thanks for the tip about the non-slip liner!

  35. I love this idea! What a wonderful gift this would make! Thanks so much for linking up to The Creative Spark. I’ll be featuring this tomorrow. Enjoy your Sunday!
    Jenn :0

  36. i fell in love with the whole look. it is so beautiful. thank you so much for sharing.

  37. This is so close to what I’ve been looking for. I have a large bucket back with no interior pockets, save one small one for slender cell… Love the bag but need organized storage. Thanks for sharing your detailed tutorial. And thanks for the how-to on printing graphics onto fabric.

  38. Très beau. Thank’s for the tutorial, it’s wonderfull i Like à lot

  39. This tutorial for making a handbag organizer is great for those who wish to keep their things neat and clean inside their bags.

  40. bonjour Kerryanne!!
    c’est tout simplement magnifique, j’aime beaucoup!!
    plein de bisous de France!! ♥

  41. Hi.. I loved the idea!!! nothing to lost, it is all in our hand.. thanks a lot for the great tutorial…. greeting from

  42. Thanks for this beautifully written tutorial! I carry a commercially produced bag organizer, but it has none of the charm of yours, which is gorgeous! I’ll bookmark this and sew one for sure!

  43. happy shopping on here. Get special price and discount!!

  44. This is so beautiful, thank you for sharing how you made this.

  45. Joyce de la Rosa says:

    What a treasure you are. My sister asked me about a month ago to make her a purse organizer and yours is just beautiful. Thank you for sharing your idea with those of us who don’t think outside the box that much. This is just perfect and I know my sister will love it. When I get it made I will send you a picture. I will most assuredly start following your blogs.
    Once again, Thank you!
    Joyce de la Rosa
    Post Falls, Idaho, USA

  46. I like your idea and embossing as well!

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