Paper chip purses are colorful, fun to make, and a great way of recycling snack bags that would otherwise simply be thrown away.
What you need
Potato chip bags, cleaned, dried and cut so that they lay flat (approximately 20 large bags should be enough to make a purse)
Rotary fabric cutter
Mat to protect the table when the rotary fabric cutter is being used.
Strong carpet thread or nylon thread
Piece of ribbon
If you have ever made a gum wrapper chain when you were small, the same technique can be used to create a stylish and durable new purse. There are more complicated methods that can be used to construct the purse, but to make a simple purse you only need to make a single shape, plus a long chain to use for the shoulder strap or carrying handle.
Step 1: Cut the potato chip bags into pieces that are 2 inches by 4-1/2 inches, using a rotary cutter.
Step 2: If you’ve ever made a gum wrapper chain, the technique for making the individual pieces is exactly the same.
Lay one cut piece of chip bag on the table wrong side up. Fold it in half lengthwise, creasing the fold. Then, unfold and fold each long edge in towards the center crease. After both sides have been folded to the center, fold the entire piece in half lengthwise, which will enclose the cut edges on the inside.
Then, fold the piece in half the other direction, making a crease. Fold the both short edges so that they meet at the center fold and crease.
Then, fold the entire piece in half so that the cut short edges are enclosed on the inside of the piece. You will make many of these pieces.
To join the pieces, slide the edges of one piece into the slots of another, continuing the process until you have a long chain. If you’ve never made a gum wrapper chain before, you can check out www.gumwrapper.com/build.htm for pictures.
Once you have a long chain made, you can start the purse by creating a circle shape that, when flattened, is as wide as you want your purse to be. Using strong carpet thread or nylon thread and a craft needle, sew the rows together by spiralling one layer above the other, fitting the notches of the chain together as you go.
Sew the rows together by running the thread through the gaps of the individual links. Continue this process until the cylinder is as tall as you want your purse to be.
Using the thread, sew the bottom edge of the purse closed. You will now have a purse shape with a closed bottom and an open top.
Create a chain from potato chip bag pieces that is long enough to serve as the handle or shoulder strap. Attach one side of this chain to either both sides of the open end of the purse.
Sew a large button onto the front of the purse. Then, using ribbon or a decorative piece of cord, sew a loop onto the opposite side of the open end of the purse, so that you can close the purse by looping the cord loop over the button.