Sunday, April 22, 2012

Candy Wrapper Purse

For a while I'd been looking at the candy wrapper purses made by Nahui Ollin, and a few weeks ago I finally decided to purchase one. I choose the Rosy Cheeks Hershey Kisses one, though I really like the Splash as well. Anyway, it got me thinking, surely I can make one of these. So I did some googling and came across this wonderful blog by Mylinda at Candy Wrapper Purse. Since she has all the instructions wonderfully written out, I'm not going to repeat them all here, but I will show you some pictures of the steps I took along the way.

First, find yourself a magazine or candy wrappers. I choose Phoenix Home and Garden magazine because my husbands mom has been sending them to me for the last few months and I had 4 stored up. I also found that these magazine pages are thicker than some other magazines and that makes the pieces a bit stronger. Some people recommend if you are using thin pages or chip bags that you should double up those pieces with a piece of magazine. But after cutting 252 pieces for my little 7 1/2" x 4 1/2" purse, I don't think I'll be making any out of chip wrappers anytime soon. That'd be 504 pieces for one small purse.

Cut each piece to 4 1/2" x 2" or some ratio there of. I wouldn't go smaller, but you can go a little larger if you want. The Nahui Ollin ones are a bit bigger, but I like the smaller size. Here is a site that lists some of the other sizes that you could try.

After cutting them, I took the advice of someone who recommended coating them with Scotch Moving and Storage Tape. The tape is just about 2" wide, so it will cover mostly the whole piece very nicely. This makes the paper even stronger, waterproof, and the pictures more brilliant. I was really happy that I took this extra step. 1 roll of the tape should cover enough for a small purse.

After all the cutting and all the taping, you are finally ready to get started. I would highly recommend that you have all your pieces ready before you start the next step because you aren't going to want to stop to have to make more pieces. Plus it lets you see what you have to work with so you can decide how you want to arrange your pieces. Start by making all your chains. See the link above to Mylinda's page to see how to fold and chain them. I made 6 chains of 42 pieces each. Next purse I'd probably make 6 chains of 40 pieces just to make the final purse a hair less long. Leave the chains flat on the table so you can lay them all out and see how each row will look next to each other. Once they are all done you can move onto linking them into ovals.

Linking is difficult. Just look at what you are doing and understand how each piece must fold and tuck into the other and you'll get the hang of it. Having some flat nosed tweezers will be helpful. You'll know when you get it linked or it will just fall apart. Make sure when you fold over the link to hook the chain together that it must get tucked back into itself properly. Again, you'll get it as soon as you try a little.

After having all the chains done, you'll start sewing. I found this 10g Coton Perle thread at Michaels and it worked great. I also used a round end tapestry needle to do the threading, but for the zipper you'll need a regular needle. The other website also has some thread suggestions that you could use, you just need something strong. You'll be sewing both the outside and the inside of the purse until you get to the bottom.

The bottom is a pain. I thought about doing a flat bottom purse, but for this one I decided not to adventure into that yet. Here I just sewed it like the website says. Its tricky and you have to pull fairly tight. I tucked the corners in before I sewed them, so I didn't have to use a screwdriver to push them in. Since you can't sew the inside bottom I would just recommend going back and forth over the bottom. Be creative on the way you sew it and don't worry about over stitching because you shouldn't see the thread at all.

Ta Da! The hardest part is done. Now you can sew on a zipper if you'd like or a handle. I'm going to add a zipper to mine, I just haven't gotten to the fabric store to pick one up yet.