Seeing a professionally made one in the store for about a hundred dollars, I got to thinking about how awesome it would be to make one of these gorgeous purses, and have it totally one of a kind.
Ive made about five of them so far, and I can honestly say the originality of each purse makes them totally worth it. I get more compliments on my handmade purses than I do on my Louis Vuitton. Besides that, you can use only recyclable material.
The choice of materials is because you can get a wide versitility. A lot of people use candywrappers because they are so bright and colorful. I like to use magazines I love, though you have to then take extra precautions to keep them from getting wet. If you use chip bags, they are naturally water resistant.
First, cut out your papers that you will be using. You will want a rectangle, 1x by 2x. A good way of getting this is by making a square out of the desired material, and then folding in half. The size is totally up to you, keep in mind that smaller squares make a more intricate looking bag, but also take a LOT more squares to make.
Now to fold your rectangles.
Take your rectangle and fold it in half "hotdog style" - like in the upper part of the corresponding picture. Now unfold, and fold the two ends ("B") towards the middle. Once you have that, fold it in half again, so you have one long peice.
Once this is folded, do the same thing "hamburger style" like below in the picture. Fold down the middle, then fold the sides in towards the middle, then fold in half.
Make a ton of these.
Now, you want to insert one chain into another chain. Try to keep them "end to end" and not middles together. See picture.
if this part doesnt make too much sense, you can pop over here, where its explained a little differently:
This is probably the trickiest part:
once you have a length that seems appropiate for the width of the purse, when you hold it in a circle, you want to do this:
1. pull out the end peices of the last link in your chain. Once these are pulled out, hold your first link on top of the last one. Now move to the next step, because I had another picture for it.
insert the long peices of the last chain into the loops of the first chain, and then once they are all the way thru, run them back into the last chain. This should look and feel basically like the other links in the chain now.
Now, make loops until you have about what you want for the height of the purse. This is the tedious part.
Now, grab your string. Take two of the circles and hold them together. You are going to run the string under the top layer of one of the links, and into another layer of a link on the other loop. You are affectively keeping the two chains together by "sewing" them.
tip: you can cut off a long piece of an old giftcard, and punch a hole in it. Then you can use that as a needle.
tip: there seems to be a "right side" and a "wrong side" in terms of which way you hold the two loops. All this determines is how easy it is to sew them together. If you happen to have it "wrongwayed" you can still sew it, you just have to be a little roundabout about it.
Keep sewing your chains together, until you have a height youd like. I seriously sew them until I cannot sew anymore, because I want it to be as strong as possible. Ive also noticed that the more you sew it, the more it seems to work like fishscales and they do not bend out of place. I also like to sew the inside of it, just for added stability.
Now, pick a "bottom" to your purse. Then flip it upside down and sew the bottom together. This is time consuming, as it is going to be "wrong wayed". again, the more you sew, the more streamlined and professional your bottom will look. After you have the bottom figured out, you can just gently press down on it to make it less circular on the top!
Next is just finishing touches! You can add a zipper (ive used superglue for this part) or buttons. You can add a strap in a few different ways - either make another chain and then sew it onto each corner of your purse, or go to the craftstore and get premade purse straps and attach them. You can also add a liner if you would like to your purse, or add masking tape just to make it less likely for something to fall out.