Monday, May 19, 2008

How to Make Popsicle Stick Purses

Popsicle Stick PursesIn one of my Friday night roamings at the bookstore I came across a craft book, Nifty, Thrifty and Kitschy Krafts by Leah Kramer, that had a pattern for popsicle stick purses. The idea was so quirky and unusual (and with my love of handbags being legendary) I knew I had to give it a try.

I'm afraid I have to say (but with the utmost humility of course) that I like the design I came up with better than the octagonal fishing creel-looking contraptions from the book.

The project was easy enough that it would make a fun kid craft for summer. If you're capable of gluing one popsicle stick on top of another then you can probably handle this project. We're not talking mapping the human genome or designing an artificial heart people, it's just a purse made out of wooden sticks. The hardest part will be eating all those popsicles.

Popsicle Stick PurseHere's what you need:

  • Popsicle sticks, at least 150 of them
  • Wood glue such as Elmer's
  • Wood stain and a sponge or brush for application
  • A handkerchief for a liner
  • Leather straps for handles
1. Glue one popsicle stick on top of another in the above shape--overlapping one stick on top of another with a dot of glue to hold it in place. You could try another shape but this longer one makes the purse nice and thin. You'll need to place the middle sections one popsicle stick length apart because you'll need to make a bottom for the purse so keep the middle sections close enough to each other that a stick can span the bottom and still touch both sides.

Popsicle Stick Purses2. Continue laying one stick on top of another--like the picture to the left shows--until the purse is as high as you'd like it. I think I made about 25 rows for mine. Try to get them as even as you can, but if it's not perfectly even don't sweat it, it just gives it that quirky basket-weave look. Once the body is dry create a bottom for your purse by gluing a dozen or so sticks across the middle section of the bottom. If you look hard at the top photo you can see the ends of the sticks along the bottom of the purse to give you an idea of what I'm talking about (I forgot to take a picture of that step sorry).

3. Once dry (probably overnight) use a sponge or brush to stain the sticks whatever color you'd like. I can't remember what color I used, it was something not too dark and not too light--just in the middle. You'd be surprised how sturdy the whole thing is, you could break off sticks if you tried hard but overall it's pretty solid.

Popsicle Stick Purses4. Meanwhile, take a handkerchief of your choosing (I saw some hot pink paisley patterned ones for a dollar at Walmart the other day which would be completely cute) and fold it in half lengthwise. With right sides together, sew along the ends and turn it right side out to make the simple lining.

Popsicle Stick Purses5. With two straps of leather thread the leather in between the slats of the purse and sew or glue in place.

6. Insert the lining of the purse. I think it looks nice to let it stick up a little--especially with the lacy edge showing--but you can fold it over the edge of the purse or if you're feeling terribly energetic you could make a lining with a zipper or other closure. I wasn't feeling particularly energetic so I opted for something simple. You'll want to make a little stitch in the bottom of the lining to secure it to the bottom of the purse and to keep it from pulling out but that's not hard at all.

Easy huh? And I love the baskety look of the stained popsicle sticks. You can see another design at Made with Love by Hannah which follows the same shape as the purses in the book. See what you think and give it a try. And you guessed it, I'm sticking this one in my Etsy store.

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27 comments:

Lunch Buckets said...

Love the idea of having the kids make me purses out of popsicle sticks. Obviously I was meant to be a sweatshop owner.

Beth said...

What a cool idea!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

What a cute idea. We have lots of little girl birthday parties to attend...I think this would come in handy :)

Kristen M. said...

No offense but I think you may have too much time on your hands. :)

Amy said...

Holy cow- you are officially the craftiest person I know now :)

laura said...

I bet you could make a summertime bread basket with the same/similar pattern - just omit the straps. Definitely a great kid project!

Jennifer said...

That is truly amazing. I will never look at a popsicle stick the same:)I cannot imagine how I would have pictured it if someone told me about a popsicle stick purse but it is so cute.

Kathy G said...

I think I may have a box of craft sticks (aka unused popsicle sticks) downstairs somewhere. What a great use!

I like Laura's idea for a breadbasket. You could also make a square holder for a potted plant.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

Yay! This is a great reason for me to go buy a ton of fudge and dreamcicles. =)

I think this would also be cute with ribbons threaded through it. Thanks for the nifty idea.

mannequin said...

holey moley. a popsicle purse. i have been lamenting and lamenting about needing a new purse. Now i can make a unique one from my kitchen drawer!!!
that's so cool. thank you!

kawaii crafter said...

What a clever idea and it really looks nice. I'd go out shopping with it.

all over the map said...

What a clever idea. I'm with you. I like your version much better. It makes me want to go on a picnic.

Mr. & Mrs. R said...

That is very creative! It turned out quite cute! Thanks for sharing!

Melissa said...

That is so cute. What a great project for kids! That would be simple for almost any age.

therapydoc said...

Thanks. I bought two boxes of these at a toy store and had no idea what to do with them!

AlaneM said...

What a fun craft. Sometimes I wish I could actually think of things like this...but I must admit I'm much better at following directions than making them up.

hannah said...

you can also make really cool hanging lampshades (for low wattage bulbs) using the same technique

CountessLaurie said...

This is awesome! I can't wait to try it! Thanks for sharing.
Laurie

Olivia said...

So Cute!

craftymom said...

This purse is really cute, but am I the only one wondering how sturdy it is or how much it can hold - weightwise?
Is Elmer's glue really that strong?

i'm kelly said...

how cute is that? but, i'm definitely gonna check out that book. i bet there all kinds of crazy projects.

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

TOO cute! And I agree - your design is much classier. Can kitsch be classy? Or Klassy?

Anyway.

Another great project for this summer!

Damselfly said...

Hee hee, this looks like a fun project, but when I see those sticks all I can think of is the egg drop competition in 11th-grade science class -- the only chance we ever had to get on the roof of the school and NOT get in trouble for it.

ros said...

But, um, don't you end up with two big holes in the bottom at the pointy ends? How do you stop things falling out?

Scribbit said...

You'll need to stitch the corners of the lining to the slats at the corners--that will keep things in place. If you carried really heavy stuff in it that could poke through maybe it would dip down a bit but it's not made to carry bricks anyway. It's sturdy enough for a little tote but it's still popsicle sticks glued together so you can't whack it around right and left.

CandyWrapper Purses said...

Wow. That's cool! I thought makin' Candy Wrapper Purses was kinda "no brainer but takes a bit of time"...but these popsicle purses take the cake!

Very Crafty!

Woven
CandyWrapper Purses

Josephine black said...

Hey, nice idea for summer fun with kids. I think I can make a fruit basket with that.