Purse Project: Organize a Roomy Bag with Snap Pouches

Reader Contribution by Jaci Kennison
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Jaclyn Kennison is a freelance writer living and playing in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She owns and manages an art gallery and event venue between fits of shopping and redecorating.

I have a great bag. It isn’t really a purse, per se, but a bag–by definition. A big, open, versatile bag. I love my bag. However, when I was standing in front of the cashier at my local foods co-op the other day, I was idly making conversation by complaining about the fact that whenever I need anything, it quickly becomes a game of feel-and-grab to find my wallet, keys, change purse, coupons, lip balm or anything else that has been lost in the chasm of space my wonderful bag offers. A woman commented that I could sew some pockets into my catch-everything satchel and while I liked the idea, I don’t want things falling out of the little pockets, and I’d rather not mess with trying to seal up each of the pockets with velcro or zippers.

Use snaps to attach pouches to the inside of a bag that is too roomy. Photo By Jaci Kennison.

Later that day I had a moment of inspiration. Snaps! I have a collection of small coin purse style pouches that I have gathered over the years in an effort to organize my disaster of a purse. These little bags come handily equipped with tiny zippers, solving the spill-all-over-the-inside-of-my-bag problem. With attached snaps, each of these little bags would come easily off the inside of my bag and I could smile at the cashier as I quickly produced exact change.

To do this project, start by gathering small change pouches. A stop by your local craft or hardware store will get you the snaps you need. You could even re-use snaps from old shirts if you happened to have a few of those around. Sew the receiving side of a snap to a corner of each of your pouches. Then sew the giving side of the snap to the inside of your bag. Turn the bag inside out to gauge where you’d like your pouches to lie. Fill your pouches with coupons, body care products, change, pens and the like and then simply snap them into place inside your bag. Use colorful patches, buttons or pins to cover the stitching on the outside of your bag if your bag is unlined and you are concerned about the visual appeal. 

Of course, you could also stitch pockets to the inside of the bag and use a button or snap closure to keep everything in place, if you are so inclined. This, however, would also produce a larger stitching footprint on the outside of your bag so if this is an issue for you, snaps may be the way to go. 

If you don’t have a great, giant, fill-it-with-anything bag, consider making one out of old T-shirts, or find them online. Mine is a hemp Dharma Bag.