It saves both the planet and your money. Recycling juice pouches into fashion accessories is a fun eco-stylish trend. All recycling projects require the same first step - cleaning. For each pouch, drain it completely, then slice the bag lengthwise and fold it open to expose the inside. Clean it with soapy water and press flat to dry. The great colors of the pouches make for endless design options.
To make a pouch purse, you'll need to collect 20 juice pouches. To make larger bags, simply collect more pouches. All sewing should be done with a zigzag stitch over two slightly overlapped edges of the pouches (like sewing two pieces of fabric together).
Step 1: Sew three bags together side by side. You'll want to create four strips of three. Then, stack them and sew the strips together forming a block of 2x3 pouches; this is the larger front side of the bag. Repeat for the back panel of the bag. For the bottom sew two pouches together at the short sides (top of one to the bottom of another).
Step 2: Align the long sides of the bottom panel to the bottom of the front and back panels and sew them together with the same overlapping stitch. You'll have one large block - the front panel, the bottom panel, and the back panel all sewn together.
Step 3: To create the sides, follow the same directions as you did to make the bottom panel. Create two panels of two pouches each. Sew the bottoms of the side panels to the short sides of the bottom panel. Your final shape should now look like a cross.
Step 4: Pull the sides of the cross together to sew the vertical corners of your purse. Voila! You have a box! Add handles or a shoulder strap by using a large width of gross grain ribbon. Sew two pieces of the 1 inch wide ribbon together to create a sturdy strap or handle of the desired length. Then, attach them to the purse with grommets or a sturdy stitch.
For the Capri Sun wallet you won't need to sew; instead, use duct tape to create your recycled craft. While cleaning the pouches for your wallet, cut them open along one of the long sides of the pouch as close to the top as possible.
Place the two cleaned pouches flat with the bottom ends together in a slight overlap and the open ends facing the top. Using duct tape, cover the wallet front and back, adhering the ends together and reinforcing the pouch. Make sure you don't cover the top of the pouch where the cleaning slit was cut; this will be the pocket of your wallet.
Once the entire wallet is secured with tape you can create dividers. Using two nearly equal pieces of duct tape, secure them together with the sticky sides facing each other. Allow the edges of one side of the tape to stick out past the other piece of tape; you'll use this to secure the divider into the wallet. Now, attach your clear divider inside the pouch by pressing the sticky edges to the inside.
For the credit card holders, measure your credit cards to size and create small pockets of packing tape like your previous divider. Then, adhere them in a stacked fashion onto one side of your bi-fold wallet.
Much like the pouch purse, create a lunch bag in the appropriate size and shape. For handles, use an X-acto knife to cut half circle sized holes out of the top of two opposing sides of the bag. Then, use duct tape to reinforce the handles. Because of the composition of the lunch bag, adding an ice pack to the pouch to preserve your lunch will work well.
If your kids like drinking the Capri Sun pouch contents, try building upon their love of the pouch by making pencil cases for school. Start off with the same pattern as the wallet - two pouches end to end. However, unlike the wallet, you'll create two panels and adhere them together with duct tape at the bottom and two sides, leaving the top open like a wallet.
This reinforced pencil case can then be sealed two ways. The easiest way is to add adhesive Velcro patches across the top of the pencil case or to use duct tape to secure a zipper onto the end of the pouch.
Editor's Note: Here are some craft project ideas that have been posted on ThriftyFun with step by step photos. Please share your own juice pouch recycling ideas.
About The Author: Kelly Ann Butterbaugh is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to a variety of magazines and has written a history book for middle readers. Visit her website for writing help, lesson plans, history fun, or work for hire at http://www.kellybutterbaugh.com
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