Do-It-Yourself Handbags

PHOTO D-I-Y expert, Michele Beschen, stretched the Hermes pattern, swapped the paper for leather, and used stitches instead of glue in an attempt to make her own Kelly bag.

They're every woman's weakness, and the finest can cost a fortune. Handbags fit every woman, but not every woman's budget, so in this tight economy, some women are skipping the stores and making their own.

What goes into making some of the worlds most expensive purses in the world? And can anyone really create pricey looking purses for less?

If you've ever wondered what it'd be like to carry a really expensive purse, making your own may be for you. Instead of forking over big bucks, try sewing it yourself.

Hermes, a leader in luxury bags, recently decided to let even its most frugal fans pretend. On its Web site, Hermes.com, the company published what many consider to be the pinnacle of its work -- blueprints of its signature Kelly bag.

Anyone can download, cut out and create a paper origami version.

Do-it-yourself expert Michele Beschen enlarged the Hermes pattern, swapped the paper for leather and used stitches instead of glue in an attempt to make her own Kelly bag.

While most people on the street could tell the difference between homemade and Hermes, Michele's creation did impress Hermes' craftsman and staffers.

"This is wonderful. The proportions are good and it's hand stitched. I'm very surprised," 45-year-veteran Hermes craftsman Claude Gandrille said.

Follow Hermes' pattern for the Kelly bag by clicking here

Elle magazine predicted these three styles will be "must haves" for this summer. Follow Michele's version of those handbags here:

TREND: DIP-DYE

ALEXANDER WANG: $825

HOMEMADE: $12

TREND: WOVEN

JIMMY CHOO: $2,695

HOMEMADE: $9

TREND: GROMMET

MICHAEL KORS: $248

HOMEMADE: $12

INSIDE TIP: To skip the years-long waitlist and the expense, check out Avelle.com. The Web site offers the option of renting luxury items instead of purchasing them.

Check out more ideas from Michele Bescen.

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