Thursday, April 12, 2007

Purses made from candy wrappers, etc

I was going to wait to post this until the challenge involved unusual materials, but I've had a couple requests to post the information now.

One of the ultimate recycling projects, is utilizing things like potato chip bags, magazine pages, or candy wrappers to construct a purse.
There are several techniques to do this, even as simple as basic decoupage.

Or the next step would be a simple weaving technique.
Most of you have probably seen simple ribbon weaving in projects, so just take this idea but use paper.
This technique may have originated from Mexican paper weaving, or from Polynesian weaving of palm fronds, etc.

Some fun examples:

A purse made from woven magazine strips, for sale at Wonders of the World.

Awesome tote woven from newspaper by Uncommon Goods (this site so totally rocks).

Newspaper and Duct tape bag on craftster.

Small wallets woven from junk mail, available for purchase at Junk Mail Gems.

Same technique here, but Carol Duvall made placemats and napkin rings, using wrapping paper.

But take this all one step further, with folding and more intricate weaving, and you've moved into the realm of folk art.

Silver Utra bag by Ecoist, made from woven candy wrappers.
Hard to believe, huh?
Ecoist constructs these by hand, using recycled materials used to make candy wrappers, food packages, and soft drink labels--stuff that would normally wind up in a landfill.
With each bag sold, they plant a tree.

Checkered baguette from Sweetie Purse.

This technique of weaving cigarette packs or candy wrappers into objects is referred to as Tramp Art, or sometimes Prison Art.

Purse woven from Kools cigarette packs, by Leland Dodd.
More info here.

Gum wrapping Tutorial
(click photo to enlarge. Note the tramp art link above carries this same image, along with another from a different booklet)
This how-to is from a vintage booklet called Gum Wrapper Sculpture.

Or the same info is here.

Or, if you prefer an online tutorial, here's one from Cut out and Keep, for making a candy wrapper bracelet.

It's interesting to note that the word 'trash' in Spanish is basura. Basura Bags makes bags woven from chip bags off the streets of Honduras.

More info here.

The organization Grupedsac is helping poor Mexican families become self sufficient through selling purses woven from candy wrappers, potato chip bags, and cookie packages.

More info here.

Similar product by Georger Vargas.

Candy wrapper purses also available at It's our Earth, Global Folks, Nahui Ollin, and a multitude of other places, including any of stores within the Museums of Modern Art.



Blogger FinnyKnits said...

Ok, so I should have read this post before commenting on the post on your other blog. Either way, I seriously need to figure out the junk mail weaving process to make some more grocery totes or something. It INFURIATES me everyday that I receive another unsolicited catalogue or piece of junk mail. MUST DO.

Great post -- thanks for this.

April 13, 2007 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

I can't believe those are candy wrappers! Amazing.

April 13, 2007 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger Nan said...

I have wanted to learn how to join the rows of the gum/candy/chip wrappers together to make my own purse, just for myself, but after searching off and on for almost 2 years, the process still alludes me, I know how to make the stips, and I assume from the information I have read it's done by fish line, but HOW?!!
Check out my recycled purse project, there are many pictures in the older post segment of my blog.

June 21, 2007 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger lu said...

Oi ...
Procuro por um passo-a-passo desta técnica há muito tempo, muito obrigada por compartilhar essas idéias com todos...amei teu blog...beijos

July 11, 2007 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger TheCandyWrapperKing said...

That silver one is stunning!

These Candy Wrapper purses are awesome! I actually ended up making a blog about how to learn to make one. Cool!

Hey Nan...when I made mine... I just used upolstery thread and a homemade plastic "flat" needle. It's actually fairly simple once you know how

March 26, 2008 at 12:51 AM  
Blogger Rachel Biel Taibi said...

I made a purse using wallpaper and just started a blog on fiber art. I mentioned your blog and included the diagram you have posted:
I hope that is OK! Many thanks for the excellent great info!

March 29, 2008 at 7:57 AM  
Blogger Pam Heavrin said...

I am the proud owner of one of Rachel's wallpaper purses and everywhere I go I get asked where I got it, what is it made of, and where can I get one? Not a purse for a shy person to carry for sure.

April 9, 2008 at 6:25 PM  
Blogger lu-n-am said...

these bags are so creative, what i wonderful way of reusing material that would've been thrown away.
nice blog!

August 3, 2008 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Deborah deMoulpied said...

Very cool and good luck on your senior project. The world needs young people like you!

September 3, 2008 at 10:15 AM  
Anonymous How to Make a Gum Wrapper Purse said...

Ooo! That "Gum Wrapper Sculpture" picture. I found that whole booklet online somewhere several months back. There's some cool projects in there. And the retro gum wrappers are wild looking! haha

August 12, 2009 at 8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any ideas that AREN'T woven?!?!

April 6, 2010 at 6:06 PM  

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