Make a Handbag Out of Recycled Magazines with these Free Instructions!
This particular pattern uses National Geographic
magazine but any recycled magazine will work to make your own
- Therm-o-web - matte or glossy finish
- neutral color thread
- cording or ribbon for purse handle
- grommets or large eyelets
- National Geographic magazine
- craft knife
- sewing machine
Instructions: Cut out pages from National Geographic very
carefully. You will need 2 large pieces for the front and back,
2 for the sides, and 1 for the bottom. Your pieces will be:
9-1/2" by 6" - 2 pieces for front and back of bag 9-1/2" by 3"
- 2 pieces for sides of bag 6" by 3" - 1 piece for bottom of bag
Attach the Therm-O-Web to your pattern pieces by following the
manufacturers directions. Have about 1" extra of Therm-O-Web on
each side of your piece. This makes it easier to line all your
pattern pieces up for sewing. Have your front panel face up. Carefully
line up both of the sides, one at a time and sew. Attach the back
panel the same way by lining up the edges and sewing.
Now comes the hard part. Line up your bottom even with the 4 panels
of the purse that you have already sewed. If one side is a little
long or wide, trim it to fit.
I know that it is awkward but do the best you can by sewing up
the bottom, one side at a time. You may need to bend the bag a
little but sew as straight as possible.
Measure out where the grommets (or eyelets) will go on the sides
of your bag. Install according to manufacturers directions. Use
either a ribbon or cording as a handle and tie this off inside
To make the bag stronger, simply reinforce all 4 panels with additional
National Geographic pages. Use Therm-o-Web on each of these. Place
the matching sides together and they will stick to each other.
For the handle, you could use webbing. Place the webbing between
the sheets of magazine paper on each side of your bag. If you
want fabric lining, just measure out the material about 1/2" longer
and wider on each side. Fold these sides down and glue the fabric
on the paper on all 4 sides.