The Making of an Illuminated Purse #WearableWednesday


Just a few years ago, you had to rustle around your purse blindly grabbing objects to determine their whereabouts. Now, companies like Glass Handbag make life easy with built-in light panels in their purses. Third Wave Fashion spoke to their designer Tamara Leuty, who proves to be a true maker.

When I was as young as a teenager, it occurred to me that a light inside a handbag would be beyond ideal. As the years went on, my frustration with rummaging through the black hole to find what I needed when I needed it became way too great. I got tired of waiting for someone else to make this type of bag, and went ahead and decided to do it myself. So I began the journey of research and development. I quickly fell in love with this process which would go on for multiple years until the technology and designs were truly perfect.


One look at Glass Handbag’s site, and you quickly see that they do not rely on illumination as the selling point of their bags. Their styles have one thing in common–they are all rich in texture. You’ll find laser-cut leather with diamond shapes, bumpy faux Ostrich leather and metallic pieces that look like bent shiny air conditioner vents. So, whether it is a classic business meeting or an edgy party, you are bound to find something that is right for the outfit. Behind the fashionable exterior, there is also some smart choices in the interior, like reflective material that helps spread the light, as well as pockets for storage. It is all part of Tamara’s plan.

I work really hard to make the bags unique. I don’t want to follow the trends, I want to make the trends, or just challenge myself. For me there is no point in making a common looking bag. I love it when people say to me something like, “I have never seen a bag like that.” The light function is really just the icing on top.

For those that are serious about start-ups, there is a lot to gain from this story. You can start by solving a problem, but that one solution doesn’t guarantee a successful product. You have to be ready to expand on your idea and you have to be sure that you are creating something that has appeal across a few markets. It seems that Glass Bag is continuing its success by staying imaginative with their designs and creating purses for many types of women.

You are probably cringing right now as you look over at your large dark purse. Don’t let your keys get away with any more hiding. You can stitch your own light panel with our Interior Purse Light tutorial. You can use a GEMMA and some sequins as suggested, or you can get a little bolder with some NeoPixels. Either way your life is about to be a few shades brighter.

Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.