Monday, January 14, 2013

Fused Plastic Purse

I've gotten into this terrible habit of carrying too much stuff around with me in this giant purse.  It's almost as big as a diaper bag.  Enormous.  Bags that big are just begging to be filled to the zippers with all sorts of stuff.  Like the two different makeup bags (a pouch just for lipglosses and a pouch for everything else. It's a finely honed system, don't judge) that I haul around with me everywhere.  Or the notepads.  And the letters that need to be dropped off at the post office.

I guess I can rationalize that stuff, but do I really need 3 different packs of gum?  Or 4 pens?  Or all of those receipts for stuff we've already used/consumed/gifted away?  How about all of the random restaurant crayons rolling around in there because Mims doesn't want to leave them behind?  And don't even ask me why I stuffed the unused paper napkins in there after we finished lunch the other day, since I had a package of tissues in my purse already...  Um, back to my point, I carry around too much stuff.

I wanted a bag that would curb the too-much habit, but still be fun and cute.  It's smaller than the bags I usually make, and I loved that I was able to make it quickly because I was able to make the main body of the bag out of fused plastic!  Recycling doesn't come much more adorable than this!

Fused Plastic Purse
Approximately 8" high x 11" wide
1 sheet of fused plastic (click the link for the instructions!)
14" zipper
Wonder Clips (by Clover.  Pins will make holes in the plastic, so you need to use clips to keep the plastic from slipping while you sew it.)
1/8" hole punch (this is half the size of a normal hole punch, I bought my for $5 in the scrapbooking section of the craft store)
Small amount of worsted weight yarn (I used Red Heart Soft in Turquoise)
Size G crochet hook
Yarn needle
Sewing machine
Fancy button (I used a bottle cap that I recycled into a button by punching 2 holes in it, but you can use any button that makes you happy!)

Cut your sheet of fused plastic into two 9" x 12" rectangles (any leftover fused plastic scraps can be recycled).  Clip one of the sheets to the zipper along the 12" side.  Using a zig-zag stitch, sew the plastic to the zipper, leaving a 1/4 edge that will kind of cover over the teeth of the zipper.

Repeat with the other sheet of plastic on the other side, making sure that you line up the sheets before you sew it down.

Now that you've got the zipper in the middle of the two sheets of plastic, fold them with the right sides together and clip them together.

Make sure that you open the zipper up at least a fingers width so that you'll be able to get your bag open once you get it sewn.

Sew down one side, across the bottom, and up the other side.

Open the zipper up, and use your hand to fold the corner the other way to make it a triangle with the seam in the middle.  Clip the triangle together on each side to hold it in place.  Repeat on the other side.

Make a mark across the triangle at the place where the triangle is 1 1/2" across on both sides.

Using a straight stitch, sew along that line. Repeat oh the other side.

Cut off the excess triangle tips, leaving a 1/4" edge.

Turn the bag right side out.  Use your fingers to poke the corners out of the bottom to make them sharp.  Zip and unzip your cool new bag.  Take a picture of it to share on Facebook with the caption, Look at what I just did!!!

Okay, now that you've had a little break, use the hole punch to make 43 evenly spaced holes along the back edge of the little flap you left when you sewed in the zipper.

Bag Flap:
R1: Attach yarn to the first hole in the row and put one sc in each hole across the back of the flap (43 st)
R2-11: ch 1, sc in each st across (43 st)
Fasten off.  Weave in ends.

Bag Handles:
(make 2)
ch 51
R1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across (50 st)
R2-6: ch 1, sc in each st across (50 st)
R7: ch 1, sl st in the next 15 stitches, sl st the next 20 stitches to the center 20 stitches of the foundation chain, sl st in the last 15 stitches.
Fasten off.  Weave in ends.

To Sew the Bag Handles onto the bag:
Measure 2" down from the top edge of the bag, and 2" in from the side seams.  This is where the outside corner of your bag handle is going to go.

Clip it in place with a Wonder Clip.  Clip the other side in place.  Using your sewing machine, sew the bag handles onto the bag (I like to use a small rectangle pattern to sew on the handles).

Using worsted weight yarn, sew the button onto the front center of the bag, approximately 4" from the top edge of the bag.

Button Loop:
R1: Attach yarn 21 stitches in from the end of the Bag Flap.  Chain approximately 27 stitches (adjust number of chains to fit around your button), skip 1 stitch, and attach chain to the next stitch.  (27 st)
R2: sc in each ch around loop (27 st)
Fasten off, leaving a 10" tail.  Use your yarn needle to stitch top 5 stitches on the right side to the top 5 stitches on the left side of the button loop.  (Use picture as a guide)

That's it!  You're done.  Just add your wallet, keys, sunglasses and a single lipgloss (since your keys have a lipbalm holder too, right?!).  I will allow ONE package of gum, but that's it!  LOL!!!

You can check out more Fused Plastic projects at the bottom of THIS post!



  1. Cute AND eco-friendly! Win win!

    1. :D That was what I thought too!!
      xo ♥ETF♥

  2. Love! Love recycling and finally something useful from those fused plastic bags! Yay!

    1. I don't know that I've ever had so much fun recycling before! LOL!!
      xo Jaime

  3. Insightfully clever and lovely. Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring!


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