Sunday, 22 July 2012

Licence Plate Purse

I won’t say this bag is illegal, but if you happen to meet a policeman while wearing it, sidle away slowly then run like the cops are chasing you. Which they might be.

I refused to hand the plates in when my darling was sent to the wreckers. Originally they were part of the memorial wall, but gluing them to the new Wayne letters didn’t seem particularly practical. There are dozens of different projects out there, but I had my heart set on a handbag. This way he could still go everywhere with me, and it was about time I carried him instead of the other way around.

I got the initial inspiration from NynaeveAS’s tutorial. Her bag is fancier than mine: I didn’t want any trimmings to distract from the glory of Wayne. We had to make do with two licence plates rather than three, since as unique as Wayne was, the standard number was all we had to work with.

1.      The plates are 38 cm long. The first needs to be cut at 24 cm (for the front and bottom), leaving a second piece 14 cm long (for the top). Mark a pencil line and cut it with sidecutters.
  1. The second plate forms the sides and the back, and doesn’t need to be cut, but needs to be marked 12 centimetres from each end. Put the plate in a vice and bend it along the marks. The paint will flake a little along the bend, especially if your car was forty years old. Also bend 2 centimetres from each end, making the sides 10 centimetres – this creates an overlap with the front to attach pop rivets.
  2. Take the 24 cm (bottom and sides) piece of plate and bend it 2 centimetres from the edge, and another 10 centimetres from that bend. Bend the 14 cm (top) piece at 11 centimetres – the extra three centimetres will hang down the front of the purse.
  3. The three pieces fit together like this:
  1. Don’t drill the holes for pop rivets before you bend - unless you happened to drink felix felicis lucky potion this morning, your holes probably won’t line up. We put four pop rivets on the front, one each side top and bottom, and two at the back, one each side.
  2. Attach the hinges to the back plate with pop rivets. Rest the top piece on and mark where the hinges are, then file the plate between the marks to create a hinge-sized space for them to fit snugly into – otherwise the whole top will be pushed forward and you’ll have a gap the width of the hinges. Drill hole and pop rivet the hinges onto the top plate.
  3. Cut the vinyl strap to the desired length and melt or punch a hole in each end. Attach in the middle of each side with a pop rivet, using a washer inside and outside to prevent it pulling through.
  4. Line the bag with vinyl: you could just cut and glue each section, but if you have a handy slave to hand-sew it while you sit and work on your Corporations essay, by all means take advantage of him.
  5. Practice your modest smile: you’ll get endless compliments every time you take it out, so make it convincing.
I’m well aware that the fluoro purple dog leash doesn’t precisely match the rest of the purse, but I kind of like that. I feel as though Wayne would approve.

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