Seat Belt Purse

Backstory:

My wife came to me one day and said something to the effect of: “I want a purse made outta seatbelts. Make me one.”Now, I had never heard of something like this much less seen one. Keeping this in mind I said I would get right on it. That first product was a few years ago and since I occasionally get requests for them from her friends I took the latest request as an opportunity to document the process.

Materials:

I originally crafted this with very mundane tools and materials. I will list what the current project uses and mention parenthetically what I used on the prototype, as it were

  • 10 yds automotive restraint belt
  • 6″ piece of grosgrain ribbon, suitably colored
  • ~14″ zipper
  • Nylon/Polyester thread, suitably colored
  • ~1/4 yd fabric for liner (I just chose cheap, black and silky feeling)
  • Strap hardware (plastic type is fine)
  • Riveting kit
  • Sturdy scissors
  • Upholstery pins
  • Hand stapler (a desk-type one is okay)
  • Commercial grade sewing machine (retail may work)
  • Piece of 2″ thick foam
Project Supplies
Pictured above are the supplies for project. The liner is shown already complete. It is composed of two (roughly) 8.5″x11″ panels joined on three sides by a long 3″ wide strip.

The foam should be cut in such a way that it is as wide as five sections of your seatbelt material (about 10 inches).

I purchased my initial riveting kit from a local leather-craft supply store.

The seatbelt could be from an old car, purchased from a local auto upholstery supply store, or various internet sources. Ten yards of it will give a bag about 8″x10″ with a 60″ strap. Besides the carry strap, no piece will be longer than about 24 inches.

Continue reading How to Make a Seat Belt Purse – Part 1

15 thoughts on “Seat Belt Purse

  1. How could I make this bigger like 15 inches wide by 10 inches tall? How would I need to change the pattern to make this?

  2. Hiya Kristy,
    Just a bigger chunk of foam would work. There is one hitch though. You need to have the width be an odd number times about 2 inches. Two inches is roughly the width of a seat belt and there must be an odd number of them or the weaving will not work properly. There will be a lonely loop flapping in the corner if you do an even number.

    In your case, a 14 inch wide or even an 18 would be preferable. Have fun gettin’ crafty!

  3. Sorry it is me again. I’m still a little unsure what you meant before. I have decided to make the purse 6 inches thick, 10 inches high by 14 inches long. So would I use three strips of seatbelt material along the side of the bag to get the thickness I want? Also to achieve the 14 inches in length how would I go about that? What has confused me it you used only 4 straps to start out with and you made a 8×10 handbag. Thank you for your assistance.

  4. Hi Kristy,
    You would need to make five loops initially and then have seven individual pieces for the weaving on each side, and then three longer pieces for the ends. If it were me, I would definitely skipp the zipper and just cap the top with a loop of seat belt and then make a couple of handle so you could have it as a tote.

    I suppose the zip top could work as well, either way make sure you send pics when you are done!

  5. Hey, I use a house grade retail kind of sewing machine , it seems work ok, what about the needle size should I use ?
    I’ve tried #9, #14 both of them have different good and bad result!!
    Thank you !!
    Sisi

  6. Hi Sisi,
    I would go with at least the #14 on a slow feed with a largish stitch size. I have found that there is so much material under the presser foot that I needed the extra slow movement and stitch length to keep everything lined up and moving together. I am by no means an expert, however. Good luck!

  7. Hi Kevin. What a neat idea! I would like to try to make one of these but when I tried to print out the instructions, all of the steps didn’t print. I would prefer not to have to go back and forth to the computer and have the instructions printed out so I can refer to them often. Can you suggest a way for me to print out the instructions? Or can you e-mail them as an attachment?? Thanks. P.S. the right side of the web page cuts of some of the wording of the instructions also.

  8. Sharon, Firstly, thanks a bunch for reading and leaving a comment. Secondly, I see the issues you are having. I will look into making the formatting changes necessary for smaller window sizes. I should have noticed that and I apologize.

    To address your concerns with printing and having directions in hand, I will see if I still have the original version of the page available that I can send you. Your request puts me in mind of some other formatting issues I need to address as well. Please allow me a day or two to collect what you need and I’ll send it right along.

  9. Hey Kevin! Have you ever considered selling these bags? I would love to have one, but I’m not willing to pay what Harvey’s wants. I would be interested in purchasing from you or trading services…what do you think?

  10. Hi Christa! I have done a few friend-of-friend type deals before but nothing recently. I am in the process of unearthing my sewing equipment after doing some moving and looking forward to doing more work soon. If I find any close to completion or just start working again, I’ll be sure and let you know.

  11. try taking a scarf and weaving in and out of the top row around your purse and tie it in a bow. Super cute!

  12. Do you know of anyone who I could pay to make a purse if I supplied the straps? I’d like to have one made for my mom from my late father’s extra belts he had leftover after a project. Any help would be appreciated!!!

  13. Unfortunately, I don’t know of anyone, and I personally don’t have any sewing time planned in the near future. I’ll leave this here in case anyone sees it and wishes to help.

  14. To Jill H, are you asking for someone to create a handbag from your late father’s leather belts or car seat belts? If interested, please let me know. Thank you for your time.

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