It`s all about the Handbags


This workshop shows how to a handbag based on the design made by Izzy

This workshop will provide photos and links to instructions and measurements for a few different die fronts of the handbags.

Also here is my version of a handbag with lots of hints and tips on making your own bespoke handbag using the Sue Wilson Phoenix die.


Here is a close up of the Sue Wilson striplet die front panel of the bag.

Below is a photo of the wonderful snakeskin texture of the handbag made using the NEW Creative Expressions 8″ x 8″ texture embossing folder along with the dazzler setting & fancy pearl embellishment.



Here is a selection of Izzy`s handbags and

 Please click here for the written instructions on Sue Wilson`s blog


Here is a close up of the different measurements Izzy has produced for the different options of handbags above


Click on the link below for a Printable Version of the Workshop

It`s all about the Handbags


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Shopping List

 Grand Calibur™ Die Cutting Machine : WIZCAL

Spellbinders All in One Tool : WIZTOOL

Sue Wilson Diagonals Collection ~ Labyrinth : CED5602

Sue Wilson Gemini Dies ~ Phoenix : CED4401

Sue Wilson Striplet ~ Floral Meadow : CED1605

Creative Expressions Emboss Textures 8″x 8″ Embossing Folder ~ Snakeskin : EF-029

Coconut  Foundations A4 Card : 40980 

Tim Holtz Antique Linen Distress Ink Pad : DPANTLINEN

Low Tack Tape : 3MTAPEMAG

  Self Adhesive Sticky Sheet  : ADHA4

& Tim Holtz Distress Glitter ~ Clear Rock Candy : DGROCK

   Cosmic Shimmer Clear Glue : CSGLUE & Silicone Glue

Creative Expressions Finishing Touches Pearl Corners ~ White Design 2 : SASCW2

Creative Expressions Finishing Touches Dazzler Settings 4 : SETDAZZ4

& Creative Expressions Fancy Pearl Embellishments : PEARL

Cosmic Shimmer Persian Dawn Gilding Flakes : CSGFPERSIAN

or Any of the Cosmic Shimmer Gilding Flake Sheets 

Piercing Ruler : RULER


Step by Step Instructions

This workshop will show you how to make a special handbag modelled following the wonderful instructions given by Izzy along with her permission to show her handbags too. The STUNNING handbags featured in the sets above were seen on a Sue Wilson weekender show recently. I`ve put my spin on things and I’m hoping it will give you a few idea when you make your design up

Step 1. For this project you`ll need the Sue Wilson diagonals collection ~ Labyrinth die, the Sue Wilson Gemini dies ~ Phoenix die, the Sue Wilson striplet ~ floral meadow die & the Creative Expressions snakeskin emboss textures 8″x 8“ embossing folder. Also needed is the Creative Expressions finishing touches pearl corners white design 2 set, the Creative Expressions dazzler settings 4 set, the Creative Expressions fancy pearl embellishments & Cosmic Shimmer Persian dawn gilding flakes.


Step 2. Take the Sue Wilson Gemini dies ~ Phoenix die and place the main die along with the cut edge die next to it along the bottom corner of piece of coconut card. This card will need to be around 7 inches deep and the width of the die *. Secure the dies in place with some low tack tape so they don`t move whilst cutting as this could cause one of the dies to be cut into the other one.

* REMEMBER to leave a ½” gap of card each side of the border die if you are going to use the intricate border later on.

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Step 3. Pass the prepared piece through the Grand Calibur machine twice to ensure the detail has been cut. Then emboss the piece using the pink embossing plate and tan mat over the base plate as usually would.

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Step 4. If you haven`t already cut the A4 card down to the approximate 7” stated before then take a ruler & measure 6 inches from the bottom of border cut edge (or a bit longer if you wish the handbag lid to go further down the back of the bag )

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Step 5. If you struggle with cutting the die border using an A4 piece of card then use the approximate 7” deep piece of card and pass the die through the Grand Calibur with the die turned so it faces down the side of the cutting plate. Here the smaller Grand Calibur plates have been used as the size fits.


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Step 6. This is where the ½” gap of card is needed if you are using the intricate die from the Sue Wilson diagonals collection ~ Labyrinth die set. Secure the thin edge die with the cut edge facing on the outer edge of the card panel & cut both side edges of the card to leave a wonderful delicate edging to the piece. Also cut the same edging along the top of this card panel. As the die is wider the it will overlap the cut edge below but the next steps will help with this matter.

Alternatively & A BETTER STEP when cutting the side edges, cut the top edge first and then cut the side edges by placing the die below the top edge so it doesn`t overlap. (sorry just thought of this afterwards !!)

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Step 7. Here is a photo of the delicate side edges.

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Step 8. If the corners have a broken edge in the design the take a pair of scissors and trim the loops off to leave a nice curve finish to the design.

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Step 9. Repeat this on the other corner so it matches nicely.

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Step 10. It`s at this stage where you can leave the handbag design blank or even emboss it using one of the wonderful NEW Creative Expressions A4 folders or 8” x 8” folders but you will need to add some score lines across the width of the design to aid the curve needed on the handbag flap.

You can also use the Sue Wilson striplet dies as they fit perfectly with the width created by the phoenix die. Secure the Striplet floral meadow die down on the top of the prepared card panel & cut and emboss it through the Grand Calibur machine.

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Step 11. Now the first striplet die shape is cut there is space to cut the 2nd striplet die.



Step 12. Place the Striplet floral meadow die in the space above the border flap shape. Secure it with some low tack tape & cut a piece of card the same shape as the die and secure that on the opposite back side of the die.

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Step 13. Run the panel through the Grand Calibur & here you will see some of the die cut shapes through the waste card.

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Step 14. Remove the waste card to reveal a perfectly cut intricate die which was run through the die cutting machine in the central position and in only one pass. This would normally need 2, 3 or even 4 passes through to achieve this cut result but the card just gives that extra pressure. As with all die cutting please don`t force any plates that have any resistance through your die cutting machine as this could break the machine. But this was done with ease, hence the tip. Also whilst the die is still in the card pass it through again with the embossing plate etc.

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Step 15. Now you have the intricate cut panel add a piece of self adhesive sheet so it fits over the 2 striplet panels and the sticky is placed onto the card leaving the backing on the adhesive sheet. Make sure the sheet stays within the edges of the card.

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Step 16. Take one of the Cosmic Shimmer gilding flake sheets or use the Cosmic Shimmer Persian dawn gilding flakes. Other colours are available. Press the sheet firmly onto the sticky sheet surrounding the floral meadow pattern.

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Step 17 . Use a soft brush to make sure all of the sticky sheet is covered with the gold leaf.

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Step 18. Here the carrier sheet from the gilding sheet has been screwed up and used to burnish the gold leaf onto the sticky sheet as it is nice and soft. You may want to use a rub it scrub it pad to remove the excess foil, but this panel was done solely using the tissue.

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Step 19. Cut a piece of self adhesive paper so it has the same die shape bottom and then trim the sides and top so it fits within the white border near the intricate edging.

Again retain the border dies with the low tack tape holding them together.

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Step 20. Working over the front of the panel remove the backing and stick the sheet over the border edge first so you get the pattern correctly in place and then lay the rest of the sheet down over the foiled pattern.

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Step 21. Place the panel over a lid so you have something to capture the excess snow jewels in. Remove the top backing from the sticky sheet and add the Cosmic Shimmer iced snow glitter jewels over the panel. Press the jewels firmly down to ensure a full coverage of the piece. This technique is called the fire and ice technique Sue Wilson does on her wonderful samples.

Be sure to check out her blog as there is so much daily inspiration as well as giveaways too

please go to Sue`s blog @

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Step 22. Remove the sticky backing from the reverse of the worked panel and cut a rectangle panel of gold paper & attach it over the sticky. Now cut a strip of the border shape in the same gold paper and then stick that over the edge. This will help with the closing as one solid sheet might pull and buckle to much.

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Step 23. There will be a faint line but remember this is in the inside of the bag. You may wish to finish the line with a row of the Creative Expressions pearls to cover the line ???

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Step 24. Ease the shape of the panel over a rolling pin or I used the top of my Grand Calibur !!! I found it worked well to leave the front striplet panel fairly straight and just curved the top and back panel.

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Step 25. Take a piece of coconut card & add a die shape across the top to create a curved opening for the bag. There are lots of dies suitable for this shaping, here the Grand Labels 4 die has been used just on one edge of the top of the card to create the shape needed.

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Step 26. Once the shape has been cut & embossed them measure the width of the lid width and trim down each side of the just cut opening. The top of the card is cut at the first curve in the die shape.

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Step 27. Turn the card into a landscape position and score the card at 4” ~ 5.5” & 9.5” this will create the front , base and back of the handbag shape.

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Step 28. Now to cut the side panels of the bag. Cut a rectangle in coconut card to 4.5” x 2.5”, Score a half an inch in on all the sides except the top. ALSO BEFORE SCORING one of the sides move the card over a smidgen so you score leaving the centre space of just under 1.5” and this will make one side measurement of just over 0.5” as this will allow for the thickness of the card when gluing it into place. Find the centre of the card & score a line approximately halfway down the middle as this will allow you to concertina the sides slightly when the sides are attached to the body of the handbag. Make another side panel the same.

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Step 29. Now to add texture to the card the bag panel can be added to one of the new 8” x 8” texture embossing folders by Creative Expressions. Here the snakeskin folder is being used. This length of card will have to be embossed in 2 goes but the line caused actually adds detail to the back of the handbag.

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Step 30. For a lovely effect why not letterpress the card by adding some of the Tim Holtz antique linen distress ink pad over the non raised inside of the embossing folder before embossing it.

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Step 31. Run the folder through the Grand Calibur machine using the base plate & Spellbinders raspberry plate. You will achieve a lovely snakeskin pattern with the coloured effect deep in the embossing on the main body of the handbag. Repeat the process one the 2 sides panels.

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Step 32. Crease the side tabs over on the side panels & cut the overlapping bottom corners off. Add some Cosmic Shimmer glue to the side tabs on the card.

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Step 33. Glue the short tab to the inside of the handbag base. This is the 1.5” base section of the handbag panel.

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Step 34. Fold the side tab back & glue that down onto the inside of the back handbag panel ~ do this on both sides of the handbag before gluing the front tabs onto the inside front of the handbag where the grand labels 4 die cut shape has been cut out.

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Step 35. This completes the base of the handbag. You`ll find once you have done one you`ll be able to produce these handbags much quicker the next time. But then that part of the fun with crafting when learning a new fold or design.

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Step 36. Add 2 lines of wonder / red line tape to the top of the back of the bag. Cosmic Shimmer dries clear glue can be used but you will find it might react with the gold leaf. Add the curved lid panel over the tape. You might find you need a small line of glue in between the gold paper & main panel if it starts to come away from each other.

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Step 37. Select one of the Creative Expressions dazzler settings, here a set 4 one has been used.

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Step 38. Add some 3d glue around the daisy like shape on the front of the bag flap so when the dazzler setting is added the design pattern is clear of any glue on the reverse. You may which to add a Velcro circle pad so you can open & close the handbag if so this area will be covered. The setting will add weight to the front of the bag so you may need to counter balance the bag at the back.

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Step 39. Add a pearl corner either side of the front of the handbag from the Creative Expressions finishing touches pearl corners design 2 set. Here the white pearls have been used.

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Step 40. This photo shows the gold lining along with the snakeskin texture and the pearl corners. This handbag design is perfect for a celebration gift and the project has been made with a golden wedding anniversary in mind but equally with a change of colour it could be a silver, coral, sapphire or emerald theme as these are often difficult to find when looking for gift ideas or cards. Maybe a perfect idea if you sell your work at a fair or in shops ???? As it would something unique.

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Step 41. To make the handle the delicate die from the diagonals die has been placed on a long strip of A4 card. For a longer handle just cut the card from an A3 sheet of card. Cut and move the die down before repeating the pattern in a mirror image down the other side leaving a small width in between.

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Step 42. Add some Creative Expressions gold gilding wax to the edge of the handle or use some Ranger Adirondack gold dabber paint along the edge and leave to dry. Snip the 2 corner pearl sprays away from the centre flower of the Creative Expressions finishing touches pearl corners set and lay them along the handle leaving a small gap at the end for a punched hole.

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Step 43. Here is the completed look which brings some detail to the handle. If you are doing a different colour for the wedding anniversary theme then simply colour the pearls using some Adirondack alcohol ink over the pearls.

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Step 44. Punch a small hole in the top of the side handbag panel & attach the handle to the handbag using a small brad through the handle and handbag. Add a Creative Expressions fancy pearl embellishment to the dazzler setting to complete the project.

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Step 45. Here is a close up of the pearl handbag handle which compliments the corner detail on the main bag.

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Step 46. The snakeskin effect gives a wonderful finish to the handbag, alternatively use the linen texture plate in the same range.

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Step 47. The dazzle just sets off the front of the handbag and acts as a clasp of the handbag with or without some Velcro behind it.

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 I hope you have enjoyed the workshop and it has given you some ideas to create you own handbag.

Thank you Izzy for the amazing idea I’ve had so much fun making this design bag up. Please check out

Sue Wilson`s blog at

for the instructions for all the handbag designs

  Happy Crafting


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