Working with Selva Beat we turned a thrifted shirt and vintage bag handles into this custom bucket bag. See the process, and learn more about re-making items into new pieces.

We partnered with Magdalena Antuña from Selva Beat to create a custom bucket bag from a button-down shirt and vintage bag handles.

When she approached us with the project we jumped at the opportunity because it aligns with what try to do – and she’s an amazing creative.

Upcycling, re-purposing, and recycling  as ways to maximize material usage and minimize waste is at our core. We strive to create items that will last, and if we can reuse material to create something entirely new, that’s even better.

Re-purposing clothing and other items presents limitless opportunities to have one-of-a-kind pieces that not only look different, but also have unique features made just for you.

Thrift and second-hand stores are full of garments and accessories that are made from fabrics and other elements that likely can’t be found anywhere else. You may also have clothes in your closet that you like but don’t wear anymore.

All of these have the potential to be turned into something completely new, and personalized to your style. Plus, you won’t be contributing to the mounting problems associated with current fashion and clothing trends.

Want to do this yourself but not sure where to start? We can teach you the necessary skills to tackle projects like this on your own, or help you visualize the possibilities and create a custom piece for you.

Learn more about Magdalena’s inspiration for this project, and follow Selva Beat (@selvabeat) for insight and a unique perspective on beauty, fashion, culture, food, sex, love, and more.

Making the Bag

The process for making this bag kicked off with selecting the materials. Followers of Selva Beat (@selvabeat), and Selva Scouts, were asked to select the shirt and handles that would be used to construct the bag.

With the final materials in hand, we got down to designing and constructing the bag. This was a collaborative effort with Magdalena that started with a few test pieces to confirm the size and other features. Always a good idea before cutting into your final fabric!

After the design was finalized, the bag took shape using the final materials. Overall, going from “raw” materials to custom bag took just a few hours.

Working from upcycled and re-purposed materials can present challenges, but these can also contribute to unique characteristics of the finished piece.

Unlike working from an untouched, brand new cut of fabric, you may have to consider rough edges, irregular shapes, flaws, and leftover scraps. These don’t always have to be looked at as negative attributes to be discarded, but instead as possible design elements that open up unlimited options for a unique look.

This is one of the fun parts about working with upcycled materials – exploring and trying different options until you land on something you like. You may not always know exactly how the project will turn out, or how different elements will be used. This approach allows the design to be fluid and evolve as the piece takes shape. Even with this bag, if we had the same shirt and handles again, the final piece would likely be different.

The Finished Bag

We’re very happy with the way the bag turned out, and it’s always fun collaborating on projects like this. Everyone has something different they bring to the process that is reflected in the final piece and makes it truly one of a kind.

Featuring Sarah Brown. Photography and makeup by Magdalena Antuña. Styled by Meggie Copeland. Creative assistance by Victoria Jameson. Styling Assistance by Kasi Martin.

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