Small but Tricky

Small but Tricky

Since we’ve been traveling a lot this winter, I wanted a small project to work on. I’ve had a  frame for a small coin purse sitting around for a while. So, I decided to try that.

Unfortunately, the first one I made was too thick.  I had used three layers, the middle layer corriedale. I set it aside and when I returned I tried again.

I like the idea of using silk inside.  I had some yardage from a shop in Florida I purchased last year.  It was close enough to the turquoise batt I had on hand from another project.


The first one was also a bit larger than I wanted. I’m always looking to lighten my handbag.  So, I had adjusted the resist to be a little smaller and used two layers. I also cut the silk to overlap so there wouldn’t be any gaps with the silk.  Of course, there is no guarantee it won’t shift during felting.


I used mulberry silk to embellish it.

When I finished felting, I carefully cut the sides to match the curve of the frame.


Then came the challenge — getting the felt into the frame and staying long enough to sew it on.  I tried Gorilla glue, but that made a mess and didn’t work.  I ended up using a blanket stitch around the edges then a nail file to push it into the frame.

The frame had holes on one side and a longer solid piece on the backside.  In order to get the needle through to the back, I had to run it on an angle while making sure the felt stayed in place.  Very fiddly!

Doing the second side was more of a challenge because the felt kept slipping out. I did manage to finish it without throwing it to the ground or out.  It seems to be fairly sturdy despite using a single cotton thread.

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I’m pleased with it, but it was a lot more work than I had anticipated.  I have trouble with working small in tight spaces.  My hands were not happy. We’ll see how well it wears.  But I can guarantee there are no more coin purses in my future unless I design my own without a frame.


Have you made these?  Is there a trick I was missing?

38 thoughts on “Small but Tricky

  1. The finished purse looks great Marilyn, it’s great when something so difficult and fiddly turns out so beautifully. I have a couple of these frames in my collection, you have inspired me to give them a go!

    1. Thanks Teri! It’s a small coin purse so working small was challenging for me. Be sure to share your purse story and pics with us. Have fun!

  2. The purse turned out great, Marilyn. I believe fitting felt into the frame must be quite fiddly. I remember seeing a master class on the internet and just found it. It’s in Russian but with the translation option on your computer you’ll be able to understand how this lady approached this However, she was using a frame with holes for stitching. I found another video where she used a frame similar to yours. You can see it here (watch the end part). Maybe you find some useful tricks there. If I get a nice frame I might have a go but I will certainly look for a frame with holes for stitching.

    1. Thanks Nada for the compliment and the resources. I wish I had thought to look for a video before I did it. But it turned out fine. I only found the frame with holes on one side and a flat metal on the inside. It was one of those impulse buys at the craft store. If I do another, I’ll look for an alternative that might be easier for me to manage.

  3. I have been wanting to make a coin purse, just didn’t know how.You made it look so easy, Thank you so much for sharing. It’s beautiful.

  4. The purse turned out wonderful. I have no idea how you managed to sew it when you couldn’t put the needle right through. I thought they had holes on both sides wen they where the sew on kind. I want to make some too. There are a couple of our readers who use frames I hope they have some tricks to share.

    1. Thanks Ann! It definitely was fiddly because I had to sew at an angle and try to get into holes. I look forward to seeing what you make and be sure to let me know where you find two hole sided frames. 🙂

    2. so far I have only found them that have a shorter inside piece so it would be easier. I did see one that said it came with the paper twine to stuff in to hold the fabric. Felt is much thicker than fabric.

    3. I haven’t seen any with the twine, but I haven’t done a lot of research yet. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Frances! I’m sure there are the two sided hole frames, I just didn’t realize what I had bought.

  5. You little purse is adorable. Looks great! I have made several small purses but never used a frame like that. I make mine with a flap and use a magnetic closure which I cover with some sort of embellishment. I like doing small projects when on the road in our motor home and little purses and flowers fit the moment. When I return home I can then spread my wings and make larger things.

  6. Love the colour and mulberry silk topping – can’t go wrong with ‘sea/sky’ colours!
    It seems daft to only have the holes on one side of the frame and I’m impressed that you managed to stitch it.

    1. Thanks Lyn! I’m sure there is a reason for the way it is. However, it escapes me. And yes, I love the sea/sky colorway as you well know. I’d definitely do more if I could find them with holes on both sides.

  7. Great job on the coin purse, Marilyn! And having seen this adorable purse in person, I can attest to the fact that it looks very professionally done. Your ability to work with such a small size (and not throw in the towel!) amazed me.

    1. Thanks Cathy! I was tempted, but I don’t give up easily as you know.

  8. Beautiful!
    Good that you warned about the process because it looks very tempting to make!

    1. Thanks Alice! Give it a try, it wasn’t impossible. :-). And let us know how it turns out.

  9. Your coin purse turned out great. Perseverance is the key to many things. I have not made one of these before so thanks for the tip of what to look for if I decide to try it.

    1. Thanks Ruth! You’re welcome. I’m going to try to find a source for a double holed frame.

  10. I’ve often see nothing these frames for sale but it’s not something I’ve tried. Your purse looks beautiful so it was well worth the effort!

    1. Thanks Karen! Give it a go, but look for the frames with holes on both sides. 🙂

  11. The easiest way to make a coin purse is to use balloons or polystyrene balls with a little help from a tumble dryer. I have written several tutorials on how to make them.

  12. Hi .Thank you for your post. I enjoy very much reading them even if I’m not a very active felter! I also plane to felt a purse. I saw a wile ago a purse made using a tennis ball as a resist. The site was Japonese? may be .All the making was filmed . So no need to understand:) Unfortunately didn’t have the chance to try it on yet. May be this summer. Will let you know.

    1. Thanks Francoise! Good luck with your purse. I look forward to seeing your creations.

    1. Thanks Andrea! I did try glue and it didn’t work with the felt and metal.

    2. Hot glue works well with metal and dry felt but think that these purse frames are best sewn on through the little holes, unless of course you use the frames which are designed to be glued rather than sewn.

  13. Thanks Sally! I hadn’t thought of hot glue. The sewing worked in the end. It was just a bit fiddly.

  14. That turned out really nice, Marilyn 🙂 Well done for persevering! I thought zips were hard enough. I’ve seen these frames in the craft shops and thought I’d get some, but I just stood looking at them, thinking ‘huh?’. Maybe I’ll have another look next time!

  15. Thanks Zed! I’d make more if I could find the kind with the holes on both sides. Give it a go!

  16. Very cure purse, Marilyn. I can well imagine how fiddly the sewing was, but the end result was very worth it. Maybe you’ll make more after you’ve forgotten how much work this one was 🙂

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