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Alice in Wonderland Altered Handbag — Plucking Daisies Find us on Google+

Alice in Wonderland Altered Handbag

by Amy Bowerman


Hey there!  I’ve got another fun and easy up-cycling project for you today.  I’m going to show you how to update an old Handbag from the thrift store or the dark depths of your closet with Rit Dye and Transfermations iron-on transfer paper.  This project is easy to do and will have you shopping in style before you can say “shop till you drop!”

Alice in Wonderland Altered Handbag | @PluckingDaisy #ironon #tutorial #upcycle #rit #dye


How to Dye a Handbag with Rit Dye


I have never used Rit Dye before…although I remember my mother using it back in the day to restore color to my faded school uniform after many washes.

The handbag I used was a vintage find from my Grandmother’s closet.  It had clearly seen better days.  The once black handbag was now a splotchy faded brownish color…not at all stylish.

This handbag went through two rounds of dye once with powdered Rit and then again with an entire bottle of liquid Rit the next day.


Alice in Wonderland Altered Handbag | @PluckingDaisy #ironon #tutorial #upcycle #rit #dye


As you can see it looks a bit like a deep purple and not black but hey it’s certainly better than it was.  I dyed my handbag in my Mop Bucket inside my kitchen sink.  Follow the package instructions to a T and have all of your supplies laid out BEFORE you start mixing the dye…also make sure you wear gloves!  One of my gloves had a hole in the thumb and I had to go around with a  “Black Thumb” for a day.

Here is a very helpful link for dyeing with Rit from Rookiemag.com


How to create Iron on transfers


As soon as I received these beautiful stamps from Nature’s Blessings (our sponsor at The Altered Alice this month) I knew I wanted to use them on fabric.  I tried stamping on an old bed sheet which came out great but since my sewing skills are almost non existent I was left wondering how to attach the stamped fabric.

 This conundrum was solved after I discovered Transfermations iron on transfer paper (used previously to make party favor bags).   I’ve been quite anxious to try them out on other surfaces and this was the perfect opportunity.
To create my transfers I stamped the images on white cardstock with Ranger Black Archival Ink.  Then scanned them and printed onto Transfermations.  Now all you have to do is cut them out, remove the backing, cover your image with parchment paper and iron for a few seconds.

Alice in Wonderland Altered Handbag | @PluckingDaisy #ironon #tutorial #upcycle #rit #dye

Now I want to collect all the Nature’s Blessings Wonderland stamps.  It was a tough choice to begin with but now I NEED them all to complete my Alice in Wonderland handbag!

Alice in Wonderland Altered Handbag | @PluckingDaisy #ironon #tutorial #upcycle #rit #dye

Learning from my mistakes on the Favor bags  this creation was a lot easier.  The handbag had a plastic lining on the inside so I covered the inside with parchment paper to avoid anymore “melt downs”.

Alice in Wonderland Altered Handbag | @PluckingDaisy #ironon #tutorial #upcycle #rit #dye

As a finishing touch I added Blue moon beads and charms from my stash to the zipper and handle.

Alice in Wonderland Altered Handbag | @PluckingDaisy #ironon #tutorial #upcycle #rit #dye


Our theme this month at the Altered Alice is “Gratitude“.  I am extremely grateful that power was the only thing I lost in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.  My friend, fellow DIY Blogger, and East Coast resident Laura Kuhlman (from The Shed) has spearheaded a campaign called “Socks for Sandy”.   Laura is a NJ resident and after volunteering at one of the shelters realized a desperate need for socks.  You can visit Laura’s blog to read all about this valiant endeavor and see how you can help.

*UPDATE (From Laura Kuhlman)

Update on Socks for Sandy:

Due to everyone’s overwhelming kindness and generosity, I’m no longer seeking donations of socks! Isn’t that awesome? We have received — and are still receiving and will be receiving — so many socks (and hats, gloves, scarves) that there’s definitely enough to help those in this area.

If you are still collecting items and are planning to send them in, we will GLADLY accept them! Please try and have them postmarked by November 14th (tomorrow) if possible. I appreciate everyone’s support so much! I am in total awe of your generosity! Thank you!! 

 I’m still looking for donations of new packages of underwear – but if today’s shipment of 3+ carloads is an example of what’s to come – we just might be all set. :))”


My newly upcycled handbag had a very important first order of business…a trip to the post office to deliver a package of warm socks and underwear to those hit hard by the storm.  I hope those socks have warmed some toes!

Thanks for stopping by today…have a warm and cozy day!


Here’s a bit about our sponsor and challenge at The Altered Alice this month!

Our theme this month is GRATITUDE, and you can interpret that any way you like as long as you explain it in your post. Enter by Friday, Nov. 23; all entries are welcome but those that feature Wonderland will have two chances instead of one. Multiple entries are encouraged, but each must be on a separate post to have more chances at the prize, which is quite wonderful!

The theme ties in nicely with this month’s sponsor, Nature’s Blessings, who have offered a $30 shopping spree to the randomly chosen winner! Nature’s Blessings stamps were the beginning of my love affair with Alice in Wonderland stamping, as they have beautiful rubber versions of the original Tenniel illustrations of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland AND Through the Looking Glass. Without Nature’s Blessings, The Altered Alice might not exist! In their words:

As avid readers and bibliophiles, we fell in love with the beautiful line drawings in the books in our family library. Our antiquarian stamps are a collection of our favorite images. If your tastes range from the classically elegant to the quirky and fun, then we make stamps for you! We also offer a variety of original art: be sure to visit John Wagner’s page of Calligraphy and Art Lettering, and Laura Ann’s pages of stamps for holidays and special occasions.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lynne Phelps November 19, 2012 at 2:13 am

Great project, and I am so glad to know about the transfer product! I always love your tutorials and all the detail you put into these posts!
Lynne Phelps recently posted..Alternative Wonderland in Smeared InkMy Profile


2 Donna Mundinger November 13, 2012 at 9:36 am

Fabulous bag, Amy! the stamps look great and I love the charms. Thanks for all the tips about using the die and transfer paper. I just may try something like this.
Donna Mundinger recently posted..Dilly Beans For the Boys ChallengeMy Profile


3 Shahrul Niza November 13, 2012 at 9:28 am

This bag rocks!. Does it make you wanna go out with this beauty for a picnic?. It could be a funky book-bag too … you know to help you carry books from the library or book shops :). Inspiring, I’ve got lots of totes (that had seen better days) too. Oh, the charms are gorgeous!. Hugs.
Shahrul Niza recently posted..‘Funky Ladies’ mixed-media dress formMy Profile


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