Honestly, she had me at the button for the radar dish. Mikaela Holmes, a costume and fashion designer who also works at Instructables, has posted an incredibly well-document project to the site for a leather Millennium Falcon purse. The project was posted before Mikaela had seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens. She did this project in anticipation of seeing the film and as something of a meditation and tribute to her fond memories of the original trilogy. She wanted to capture some of the magic and excitement she felt towards these films in a piece of wearable art. I think she succeeded.
Most of the tools and materials that Mikaela used for the project. Not shown here are all of the hardware used in the purse and the components used to install the LED lighting for the hyperdrive engine lights. That amazing Star Wars blueprint pattern will become the purse’s lining.
The patterns for all the purses’ pieces are taped onto the leather and then burnished down into the dampened material. Dampening allows the leather to accept the trace a little easier.
With the patterns transferred and the lines of the ship all burnished down, the tooling can begin. A number of different shaped leather tools were used to create the various component shapes on the surface of the starship.
With the tooling done, and the sewing holes punched, the painting and finishing process begins. The red panels here and there add some color to the piece and reveal some of the character of the Falcon, which as we all know has had “modifications.” The “Smoke Black High Light” stain, applied with a sponge in circular motions, highlights all of the panel lines and other details and adds a shabby patina to the entire surface.
After the finishing, the hardware is added. I love the use of grommets to represent those iconic engine vent holes on the back on the ship. After the hardware, the purse is made ready for sewing.
I love the lining. Here you can see it after the electronics have already been installed. The lining piece that runs along the bottom conceals the LED strip that illuminates the purse’s hyperdrive engines.
There are dozens more photos on the Instructables page and complete build instructions (including the electronics). Mikaela says that, after her boyfriend saw the purse, he said that she should have built in a “smuggler’s compartment,” in case Imperial agents searched the vessel…er… purse. He has a point. Someone else is just going to have to tackle their own version of this magnificent project and add one. And if you do, for heaven’s sake, please share some photos with us!