Sunday, July 12, 2009

Recipe Box Purse

Here is a fun little project you can do with your kids or as a cute party favor. The cost is less than $5.00 and it is quite simple to assemble:

Recipe Box Purse
  • 1 recipe box (Michael’s has them on sale for 30% off of $1.00)
  • White Krylon Fusion spray paint
  • Color coordinating papers
  • Modge Podge or white glue
  • 9 pieces of yarn about 1 yard long
  • 3 pieces of yarn 6” long
  • 1 large brad
  • 1 metal charm
  • 2 large mouth beads
  • Spray the recipe container with White Krylon Fusion spray paint covering up all the designed cover paper including on the inside lip.
  • Cut assorted paper into the following measurements and glue to box panels. (1 of each):
6” x 4” – glue to front body
¾“ x 6.25” – glue to front lid rim
3” x 6.25” – glue to top of lid
4” x 6.25” – glue to back
  • Punch centered holes into both side panels just below the lid line for the purse strap
  • Punch a hole in the center of the lid rim for the purse closure
  • Punch a hole just below the purse closure hole on the main body of the purse for the closure string.
  • Divide the 9 pieces of yarn into 3 groups and braid the groups together loosely.
  • Insert ends into right side of the purse and tie 1 – 2 knots to secure. Repeat on the left side.
  • Insert large brad into hole on lid lip, close backing with some wiggle room so yarn can be wrapped around the front to keep the lid closed.
  • Insert 3 pieces of 6” yarn into large mouth bead and tie a knot securely.
  • Thread yarn through hole below lid from the inside out. Bead should secure ends on the inside.
  • Slip yarn ends through the other wide mouth bead(s) then tie off through charm.
To keep purse secured closed, wrap yard behind the brad head.

This project was a more whimsical design because I will be teaching it to 8 year old girls. For different effects try these ideas:
  • cover or collage the purse with pages from old books, sheet music, the funny papers, crossword puzzles, pictures from magazines or old love letters.
  • Use a belt buckle as the purse clasp and the belt as your strap
  • Add artificial flowers, bling (faux gemstones), buttons, lace, fabric, trim or ribbon to embellish the outside.
  • Buy a vintage handbag from the thrift shop and up-cycle the handles to use on the purse
  • For a party favor, embellish with theme appropriate paper or ephemera- fill with party hats, horns and noise makers- make it a centerpiece for your tables
In other news, I am thrilled to be buying a new sewing machine the old fashion way... I saved up $ for a deposit (some raised from my "I want a new sewing machine" sale on my Etsy shop last week) and I now have a spectacular entry level Janome 2010 on lay away. We essentially stopped using credit cards last fall in an attempt to change our relationship with money. It has been such a freeing experience and has put the fun back in special purchases. I love how lay away builds anticipation and draws out the "wow" factor. I am proud to be teaching our children these kinds of spending habits rather than the ones I learned growing up from characters like Popeye's Wimpy...

"I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today"

The new machine is brilliant. It is just the right amount of machine for my skill set. The owner of the shop I bought it from spent over an hour with me finding out my needs, experience and wish list, then matching me with an appropriate machine. He didn't even try to sell me a high end set up and I REALLY appreciated that because it can be hard to feel good about a Saturn after you have just test driven a Mercedes. He took me through all the features, a lot of the various feet (which he through in) and gave me the grand tour of his store (Ray's Sewing Machine Center) which has been in business since 1947. They offer a 5 year service plan, free classes for all sorts of projects each week AND the best part is that you can trade your machine in for the full payment price towards a newer model for 5 years! Most places only give you a year!

My new machine features an automatic needle threader (yay!), a thread cutter, 50 stitches, free motion stitching (for Quilting), Auto tension, a speed control switch, plus a whole bunch more!

I'll probably have another sale this Wednesday so I can drop off another payment on Thursday. I'm hoping I'll have this baby paid off in no time!


  1. Cute project, Jilliene! Congrats on your purchase of the new machine, it will make SUCH a difference for you! It looks amazing!

  2. First of all, cute project.

    Secondly, WOW!!!! Looks like a fabulous machine! Can't wait till you take it home and I can see what you start making with it. :)