Design Idea A8HJ Purse
by Anne Marie Hunter, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®

Is it a handbag? Is it jewelry? It's both!

Handbags are Jewelry, Too. Embellished handbags are having a season in the latest runway limelight. A sense of exuberance and playfulness, not present on the runways for many years, is a theme in many of the latest handbag collections. From subtle to electrifying, this trend has a style for every personality. Expressive touches, along with a fusion of materials, textures and components, come together in this trend where the only rule is that there are no rules.

Over-the-shoulder chains make a frequent appearance, and add a sophisticated accent to handbags that move effortlessly from office to opera. Chain can also be used as a statement-making design element on the front, sides or back of a purse. Explore chain options from refined to bold, in classic finishes or bright colors that add pop to designs.

Exceptionally popular, glue- or sew-on components offer diverse and exciting possibilities for handbag designs. Countless options include beautiful Crystal PassionsĀ® sew-on sparklers, cabochons, hot-fix flat back crystals, studs, coins, keys, alphabet letters and so much more. Scatter leaves, flowers, dragonflies or other nature-inspired components across a bag for a whimsical look.

Handbags are Jewelry, Too. Handbags are Jewelry, Too.

Victoria Beckham, Tom Ford and Michael Kors are three of the many designers who've embraced exotic leathers in their textured interpretations. If you have an affinity for the exotics, leathers such as tilapia, hair-on or other options may be your inspiration. And, multiple leathers can be combined together, or with other components, for designs with a luxe appeal.

Modern with a cool yet glamorous on-trend edge, studs are here to stay. A bold presence in this trend, explore products and tools to bring this popular look to your own designs.
Handbags are Jewelry, Too.

Metal sheet accents such as sterling silver, bronze or Lillypilly copper sheets-- with their beautiful patina, will give your handbag designs a stunning, unique look. With a stunning play of light and color, abalone sheets offer this kind of opportunity working in the hard/soft trend. Design a one-of-a-kind purse with flat metal sheets, apply using cold connections and then cover with abalone sheets glued to the metal surface. The outcome will be matchless.

Handbags are Jewelry, Too. Handbags are Jewelry, Too.

Embellished handbag designs offer a new direction for creativity and inspiration. Merge a unique work of art with a functional, beautiful everyday object. Handbags are a multi-faceted world that includes wallets, glamour bags, coin purses and more. Handbag design opens the door to new opportunities for using products or techniques you already love, or those you've dreamed of exploring.

Design with ... Handbags are Jewelry, Too.
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