fortune cookie feature

Bias on a Budget: A Mini DIY of J-Hope’s Fortune Cookie Bag


At the end of this month, I will reach a parental milestone as my oldest is turning 21, and I want to make sure she has a special birthday.

She has loved K-pop and J-pop groups since middle school, but now as a college student, she is trying out her own styles based on her favorites. It is very cool to see her and her little sister developing their own style. It is also interesting to watch both my girls realize these “pop idol styles” are not cheap, and they have known for a long time I won’t spend a lot of money on clothes you could buy… or make for much, much less.’

Designer labels mean little to me, and my daughters know it. Now, with that special birthday coming up, I’m devoting May to teaching them how to enjoy the look of their K-Pop biases on a budget with some easy DIYs.

This week: J-Hope’s “fortune cookie purse” as noticed by my girls on the Disney+ J-Hope In the Box.

That purse, a Louis Vuitton, is well over $1,200 (a ton more on eBay), and both my daughters fell in love with it. I made my youngest a goofy replica—and it wasn’t an easy feat. However, I discovered it is easy to make a small-size replica perfect for hanging off backpacks or carrying in a jacket pocket with very little sewing needed.

So let’s make a little mini version of J-Hope’s purse.

The tricky part of this was this purse isn’t really built like a real fortune cookie. Those are made using plain circles folded and “squished” in a specific way. To get this purse to poof out a bit more you’ll need more of a double circle.

First, find two small pieces of scrap anywhere between 5″ x 7″ or 8” x 10”: one made from imitation leather upholstery scraps such as vinyl, and the other from plain thick felt. Shades of light brown will look most like the actual purse, but you can make it any color you want.

Draw overlapping circles on your two pieces of scrap vinyl, and trace the pattern onto the felt. Glue the two pieces together, and glue a rope or ribbon trim around the edge.

Place a small saucer (about 4″ in diameter) on the backside of the leathery scrap and trace around it. Now move the saucer so it overlaps the first circle a little less than halfway and trace again. The resulting cut-out will look like an overlapping Venn diagram (or a pair of Olympic rings). Cut it out and trace the shape on the felt.

Using a glue gun, glue the felt to the backside of the leather, making sure to get it secure, including all the way to the edges. This will give you a nice thick piece.

Now, find a nice piece of rope or satin cord ribbon and glue it securely around the entire edge of the pattern. There’s your basic purse body.

It’s time to shape it.

FC Velcro steps
Add some velcro around the inside to hold it together, and two pieces of velcro along the outside edge of the fold to help shape the cookie.

Making it look like a fortune cookie is just a matter of folding it with something to hold it together. Lightly sew Velcro along the inside (felt side) rim of the purse on both sides. Fold it in half to make sure it holds. You don’t want to just glue the Velcro, it will need something more secure to sustain the constant opening and closing.

On the leather side, sew two small pieces of Velcro along the middle fold line where the two circles meet. Squish the two sides together, and there’s a cookie! The big designer purse did this with snaps. Being able to unsnap the cookie shape will make it a little easier to get into when you need to.

FC Handle Steps
Punch a hole in the purse’s side and add some extra cord for an easy handle.

The final piece is a handle, which can be made by using a hold punch on one end of the fold line. Fold some extra cord or rope material in half and loop it through the hole. Bring the two ends through the loop and tie them. There’s a handle.

Now you have a little mini fortune cookie bag to show off at school, work, around friends… or if you’re strutting your stuff before headlining Lollapalooza!

fortune cookie 2
If you want to give it as a gift… insert a little “fortune” into it! All images: Lisa Tate
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