Forget the Prada and the Kate Spade handbags; it's now in fashion to show off a favorite snapshot in the form of a custom photo purse. This type of purse is a modified version of a "make it yourself" handbag - the purse owner has the ability to choose the picture that will boldly appear on the front.
Buying Custom Photo Purses
Many stores offer a variety of photo purses. These vary in both styles and pricing. There are a range of online options, making it quick and convenient to purchase one. Samples of custom photo purse options include:
BellaBolsa offers handcrafted, personalized bags with four inner pockets, a detachable strap, and a snap closure. Available in clutch or crossbody, these bags are about $65, and photos can also be added to the lining of the bag for an additional $15.
With more than two dozen bag styles, Snaptotes offers you the chance to choose your bag style and then completely customize it. Depending on the bag style, you get to choose the material, color, strap, liner, and design template. The design template allows you to choose from a full picture or designs that include collage, contemporary, scrapbook, and funky. Snaptotes offers a free video tutorial that shows you how to design and a free professional design service. These bags range in price from around $35 to $140.
Gina Alexander offers a range of sizes and styles to choose from. Once you choose the photo, pick out the style and size bag you want from the gorgeous bag collections offered. Some designs can even feature photos on both sides and the lid. These beautiful bags include classic style handbags, totes, koko bags and Gina Alexander's line of Candies, featuring fashion-forward shapes. Depending on the size and type of bag, prices range from about $75 to just over $300.
ArtsCow uses a polyester fabric overlay on genuine leather to create an accurate portrayal of your photos. Styles vary, with some designs allowing for photos on both sides of the bag. A variety of purses and bags are available with prices from around $10 to $30, making this retailer an affordable choice.
Bagettes offers a wide selection of custom photo cosmetic bags, purses, wristlets and accessory bags in different sizes. Depending on the selection, bags are made of canvas duc or leather. On most leather bags the photo is on beautiful black satin. Prices for bags and wristlets range from $25 - $90.
Collage.com has extremely customizable options for photo totes. Machine washable polyester bags range from about $12 to $24 and can feature up to 40 photos. Photos can be directly uploaded straight from your computer or from social media, and text, font, text placement and colors are all completely custom, creating a truly one-of-a-kind bag.
Personal Creations offers a cosmetic bag and three choices of cotton totes with photos featured on the front. These options range from approximately $15 to $20.
Most of these companies offer several other custom items besides purses, including wallets, diaper bags and checkbook covers.
Questions to Consider
Before making the decision to order a custom photo bag, there are several things to find out about the company. If the answers to your questions are not clearly spelled out on the website, do not hesitate to ask them before placing your order.
- Do they fix red eye?
- Does the customer need to crop the photo or will the company crop at their discretion?
- Do they accept scanned or hard copy photos, or only digital?
- Do they offer to make color changes to the picture, such as changing it to black and white or sepia, or only print the photo as is?
- Do they offer repairs or touch ups on older photos or copies?
- How long is the time frame from ordering the purse to receiving the finished product?
- Do they offer a satisfaction guarantee?
How Photo Purses Are Made
The most important aspect of a photo purse is the picture chosen for it. The photo will be seen by everyone, so it should be an evocative one. The image must be submitted to the purse-making company in either a digital, scanned, or hard copy format.
Some companies will only take very specific types of photos, so make sure to ask before placing an order. In most cases, photos can be re-touched or cropped if necessary.
The purse company will then use the photo to create a piece of fabric with the exact image. This process ensures that the purse will never fade, and the picture will never peel. Copies of the photos are not ironed-on. Instead, after the fabric is ready, the purse is pieced and sewn together just like any other type of purse.
Choose the Right Picture
Many custom photo purses are not cheap - in fact, their prices often rival designer handbags. They do vary in price, but the highest quality bags can cost hundreds of dollars. Knowing that a good chunk of change will be spent on the purse, and the fact that a purse is a fairly obvious and visible accessory, it's essential that a good, high-quality photo is selected.
A good photo for a purse should include the following:
- A picture of a loved person, pet, object, or location
- Bright colors (although the photos can usually be printed in black and white or sepia tone if desired)
- Something that will make people ask, "Where did you get that bag?"
Cleaning and Caring for Your Bag
For the most part, cleaning and caring for a photo purse is no different from maintaining any other sort of bag. It shouldn't be thrown in the clothes washer, but it can be spot cleaned with a cloth and very mild soapy water.
Most purses can also be dry cleaned. A photo purse owner does not need to worry about the photo coming off because the photo is actually part of the fabric. However, the purse can lose its shape if it is washed improperly.
The Perfect Gift
There is nothing more important to a mom or grandma than her children and grandchildren. With a photo purse, women no longer have to dig through their purses looking for the pictures in their wallets. A photo purse is the perfect solution to lovingly and proudly display pictures of loved ones to anyone who happens to glance her way while she's in the grocery store, in the mall, or anywhere else in public.