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What Are the Different Types of Recycled Purses?

By Bethany Keene
Updated May 17, 2024
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One of the many benefits of helping the environment by reducing, reusing, and recycling items is the ability to give old items new life with a little creativity. There are many different types of recycled purses, made of expected and unexpected materials, that are not just better for the environment but also unique and stylish. It is possible to make recycled purses at home with a little effort, or there are many crafters selling their products online, or at venues like farmer's markets. Old shirts and sweaters are some of the most common targets to be turned into purses, but old cloth grocery bags, sacks, or even items like juice boxes and cassette tapes can be turned into purses.

Old shirts are some of the best options for making recycled purses, and they only require a little bit of sewing. Individuals may choose to use an old shirt of their own, or shop at a thrift store for very low-priced options. Old suede or leather jackets can even be turned into recycled purses, but this might require a bit more sewing and effort. Many people use old sweaters, though; these can simply be turned inside out, the sleeves cut off to make handles, and the bottom opening of the sweater sewn shut to turn it into a functional -- and easily washable purse. Tank tops are even easier.

Many crafters sell recycled purses that are made of more unique items and require more work to put together. Juice boxes and old cassette tapes are some of the most unique options, though virtually anything can be used if it can be molded together into a functional bag. Old phone books are another interesting option that are sometimes used to create a bag. To create handles for these bags, people will frequently use an old belt, or just a simple cloth strap.

Existing bags can be repurposed and creatively given new life as well. Cloth shopping bags, for instance, can be modified and decorated to look more like a purse than a grocery bag. Other people will turn old mail bags, leather satchels, or even burlap sacks into purses by adding decorative details or doing a little bit of sewing to change the shape. Another obvious technique is to make repairs and modifications to an old worn-out purse; craft stores often have supplies that can help with this task. Making and using recycled purses is a great way to keep items out of landfills, as well as to communicate a unique, individual style to the world and save money at the same time!

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