About five (5) years ago I was walking through the 4-H building my parents local county fair and I spied the cutest little handbag. Entirely made out of empty Kool-Aid juice boxes I said to myself, "Self, you can make that!" and I went home and bought some Kool-Aid juice boxes, emptied them into a container, rinsed them out, let them dry overnight and then set to work to make my own version of the bag I saw.
About a year later I started to see a few of them around the internet, and within the next year they were the latest 'fad' in teenaged fashion. They got fancy, they got embellished, they got zippered and buttoned.
About 2 1/2 years ago I was heading to Florida for a long weekend with my husband so I whipped up this bag using empty packages of flavored coffee's. It was so cute and got lots of compliments.
This is my third summer with this bag. It's been to Florida and South Carolina, and made numerous trips to the pool. I never used, nor do I have actual 'directions' on how to make one. I'm going to explain to you exactly what to do and how to do it, but if you are the kind of person that needs to see exact measurements and step by step directions then you'll have to google it. For those of you who also like to "give it a go!" , gather your empty juice or coffee packages and happy sewing!
Approximately 15 empty containers for a medium sized bag like you see above.
A sewing machine
Make sure your packages are empty and flat. For juice, slice the bottom with a razor or sharp knife to get all of the juice out, and wash with soap and water and let dry. For the coffee packages I didn't rinse them because I personally loved the aroma of flavored coffee beans!
Lay out the front of your bag for design, color and size. I used 4 for the front for this size bag. You could have it larger by going 3 across, or deeper with 3 down. Overlapping the edges on the seams sew a straight line down to attach two together. Now do the same with a second pair.
Now you overlap the edges of the pairs and sew another straight line across to join the four together.
Now you should have 4 juice boxes sewed together for your front panel. Whether use a straight stitch or zig zag is up to you. I like the clean look of a straight stitch and although some people thought the zig zag to be stronger, I haven't found that to be true.
Repeat with another 4 juice boxes to make the back panel.
Sew the top of one and the bottom of another together to make a 'side' panel and repeat for the other side.
Line up the front panel with one of the side panels. Place them 'wrong' sides together with seams matching. Sew from top to bottom to attach them, still with wrong sides together. Repeat with the second side panel on the other side of the front.
Now take 2 juice boxes and overlap them to make the bottom. Line them up next to the back panel so the size matches. Pin them in place to hold them the exact length and sew the 2 pieces together. Once you finish the bottom panel attach it to the front panel by overlapping the seams like you did the sides, wrong sides together and sew.
Be sure you are reinforcing the edges by back stitching back and forth a couple times on each of the ends.
Now the tricky part. Using the same style of wrong sides together sew the back anel to the sides and bottom. Doing the very last edge of the bottom panel to the side or back is tricky as the material doesn't bend well, just maneuver it as best you can finish the stitch, remembering to reinforce.
For the handles I cut two juice boxes in half the long way and folded the halves into thirds. Bending the first third inward, and covering with the last third to make a thin handle. Sew the length of the handle so you end up with a long skinny thick handle about 1 1/2 centimeters wide. Do this to all four pieces. Sew 2 of the pieces together. Sew the second 2 pieces together. Now you have two sturdy handles.
Position them as you prefer on your bag and pin them into place. When you sew them on use a square stitch and then sew an X from corner to corner of the square to reinforce it.
I know these directions may not be clear when you read them on the page, but once you start working with the Kool-Aid containers you'll see they make perfect sense, and no directions are really needed as the whole things just kind of comes together quickly!