After looking at all of the historical purse frames that I could locate I decided to make mine from Brass. The majority of the purse frames that I found were some sort of copper alloy, so this seemed appropriate. I purchased the brass in the form of ¼ inch round rod. I determined the size purse frame that I wanted and sawed the rod into the proper lengths for the stretchers. These lengths were then roughly bent into “C” shapes (to make them smaller) and placed into my kiln to anneal. In period, the pieces would have been placed in a forge or furnace, but I don’t currently have access to either of these. The annealed brass was then hammered on an anvil to flatten and shape the rods. A metal hammer was used to forge the brass and a leather mallet was used to shape the brass. Whenever the metal became too hard I placed it back in the kiln to anneal it again. This process was repeated until the frame had assumed the desired shape, which is based on the Sutton Hoo purse. At that point I hammered the ends of the rod flat, perpendicular to the remainder of the flattened rod. They had been left in the round up to this point. I then rounded then with a file. Holes were drilled in the ends of the stretchers to accommodate the support rod.
I used deer hide for the leather. “Dress Accessories” documents the use of deer hide in purses.
The use of a decorative plaque on the purse lid is illustrated historically by the Sutton Hoo purse. In the case of the Sutton Hoo purse lid, the decorative pieces are set with solid inlay garnets and milifiori. The decorative pieces were riveted to the lid. I chose to make an enameled roundel and rivet it to the purse lid. The design for the roundel was copied from the St. Mathew page of the Book of Kells. Designs of this type were commonly incorporated into jewelry and other items, both enameled and plain. I chose an Irish design because a considerable quantity of loot from Ireland ended up as jewelry in Viking graves. The reuse and reworking of looted items was extremely common. 
In the case of the Sutton Hoo lid the stiffness was provided by a sheet of ivory – something that was not on my shopping list, so I settled for a thin sheet of birch, which I covered with leather. I chose birch because it was a commonly used hardwood in period and is dimensionally stable. I chose NOT to cover the inside of the lid because I felt that the interior of the pouch would not have been considered important enough to waste a lot of effort on. Things like rivets and peaned over nails often show on the back in period crafts.
My goal was to produce a decorative Viking-style leather purse, with a brass frame, that might have been purchased or stolen by a Viking. The general form of this purse is based on many sources. The use of a metal frame to support the fabric or leather of a purse is common from at least the Sutton Hoo burial (Anglo Saxon 600-900AD) through modern times. I have personally viewed several metal purse frames in the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Museum of London, mostly from the 14th and 15th centuries. The general form that I based my purse frame on is a bar with stretchers attached so that they are freely hinged. The purse frames usually have some sort of metal attachment which allows them to be suspended from a chain, strap or chord. I chose to make two metal loops, through which leather straps can be fastened as my method of suspension. The use of leather straps to support a purse is seen in the Sutton Hoo purse and several purses in the Museum of London book – “Dress Accessories”. This type of purse is fairly common in tapestries.