Purse maker opens shop in Penobscot Building

Jocelynn Brown
The Detroit News

Angela Boone, owner of Angelique Collections, always knew she wanted to make purses, but never seemed to have time until she experienced an unfortunate turn of events.

"About five years ago, I got laid off from my job, and a month later, my dad became ill. He had a stroke, so he needed full-time care," recalls the Detroit resident. "I had a book of drawings of handbags that I'd done over the years. I pulled it out and decided to start designing handbags with what I had around me, which was newspapers and magazines. Actually, they were going to be mock-ups for fabric bags, but they were actually nice and eco-friendly. I started wearing them out and people started asking, 'Where did you get that?' so I started getting custom orders."

Boone uses pages from magazines and newspapers to make strips which she then weaves together and covers with clear packing tape to create a puffy "fabric" with a high-gloss. She then cuts the fabric into her desired shape, tapes it together and adds finishings to create accessories.

As the former owner of a construction company and with a background in interior design, Boone has been able to build a thriving purse-making business thanks to her experience in "quality control." It's allowed her to move beyond her beginning basic design to elaborate hand-sewn purses crafted of such fine materials as lace and crystals from Switzerland.

"I design and customize my own fabrics," Boone says. "I create handles with fabric leftover from making car seats. I make a handle and closure, and sometimes I put in zippers. I sew the ones made with newspaper now because I'm incorporating fabric in them."

Last month, the business-savvy purse designer opened her own boutique, Angelique Collections, in Detroit's quickly redeveloping downtown inside the Penobscot Building, where she sells her handmade crossbody bags, clutches, travel totes, wristlets, wallets and more. Prices start at $38.

Detroit News Staff Writer Jocelynn Brown is a longtime Metro Detroit crafter. You can reach her at (313) 222-2150 or jbrown@detroitnews.com. For more news and giveaways, visit her blog at detroitnews.com/crafts.

Clutch Made With Woven Magazine Pages



Estimated time:

30 minutes


Scissors, large flat surface, cutting mat, X-acto knife, craft glue


Magazine (or newspaper), roll of clear packing tape, solid color duct tape, strip of masking tape, magnetic snap, decorative button/accent


1. Tear pages from magazine (or cut full sheets of newspaper into fourths).

2. Determine desired width for strips. Fold a full or cut sheet in half vertically, then fold each outer edge over to meet center fold. Continue making strips until you have enough for desired size purse.

3. Lay half the strips next to each other, vertically. Starting at end closes to you, use other half of strips to weave (in/out and under/over) horizontally, up to top of vertical strips. Use masking tape to secure first woven row to mat so "fabric" stays in place as you work.

4. Then, make sure there are no gaps, the strips are lying straight, and all four sides are even.

5. Cover "fabric" top to bottom with strips of packing tape on both sides, trying not to get any wrinkles in tape for a smooth finish. Note: Make sure strips are completely covered.

6.Now, cover one side with duct tape for added water resistance. This will be the inside of purse.

7. Evenly trim all four sides, if necessary.

8. Fold taped fabric twice horizontally to create purse body and flap. Fold fabric so purse body is larger/deeper than flap.

9. Tape ends of purse body together. Use duct tape inside. Tape edges of flap.

10. Use X-acto knife to puncture center flap and body of purse for closure. Insert portion of magnet snap in each hole. Open and press prongs snug against fabric. Glue decorative accent over flap snap on outside.


Angelique Collections (645 Griswold, Suite 80, inside the Penobscot Building, Detroit) at (313) 262-6052 or