|A front and back shot of a purse I made.|
Did you know that in the movie classic "The Man With The Golden Arm," (1955) star Frank Sinatra, on being released from prison, presents his wife with a belt made of woven cigarette packs. Really these purses can be woven out of anything. You can find out more about the history of American paper crafts at the Tramp Art website.
One neat trick: you can also turn the candy wrappers inside out and use the silver lining on the outside for a sleek and sophisticated look. I bet no one will even know what your purse is made from!
Now, I've made several purses and let me tell you it's taking so much time my husband is rather annoyed at my constant snipping and folding. If you would rather buy one you can also help charity at the same time. These are a few sites I found:
- http://basurabags.org/ - These bags are made in Honduras, are entirely made of bags picked up off the streets, and all the profits go back to the workers and funding youth education programs.
- http://www.ecoist.com/ - A tree is planted for every handbag sold. This company supports fair trade for its workers and runs its company in a sustainable way. In addition to handbags they also sell belts, bracelets, placemats and an assortment of other items.
- http://www.bazurashop.com/ - This company works with a women's co-op in the Philippines. Every day, children from the local schools collect used drink containers then sell them to the co-op. The women sew them together into attractive, durable bags. Unlike most third world factory workers toiling away in sweatshops, these women are entrepreneurs and shareholders.