How-to Make a Purse from a Magazine Page

I am always looking for different and exciting ways to reuse all the stuff I have.

This how-to is great at Henrietta's Handbags and Purse Patterns is great.

The site gives instructions for making a purse from magazine pages.

While you're there, go to the Site Map and scroll down to the Free Handbag Patterns and Purse Patterns link. There are several other eco-friendly ideas there. The site also sells purses and handbags made from a variety of materials.

Note to crafters: Please read the FAQ section on the Henrietta's site. The patterns are copyrighted, and crafters must sign an agreement to share the revenue you make.

The Card Tree shop is one of my favorites!

When I first saw Giulia's TheCardTree shop on Etsy, I fell in love with it! The shop is full of beautifully elegant notecards, cards and writing sets....all made from recycled paper! And, then there are the eco-friendly Fair Trade Organic Cotton tote bags, painted with some of Giulia's images.

Then, I saw some of Giulia's other art work. My favorite is The Card Tree, a watercolor. Her other works are beautiful, too, but maybe it is my own love for letter writing that draws me to her The Card Tree, see it to the right.

I sent Giulia a few questions about herself and her art, so that you, too, can get to know her better. Here are her answers:

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself….where are you from? What kind of art do you create? Etc.
My name is Giulia Mauri, I'm 23 years old and I come from Castelfranco Veneto, Italy. I studied Art at High School at Nove (Vicenza, Italy) and then graduated in Visual Arts from the Univerisity of Art & Design of Venice. At University I followed many different courses like history of dance, history of cinema, history of music, modern history and philosophy. I am pleased to have a solid background in which I can relate to my Art.

Q: What kind of art do you create?

Through watercolors I mainly tell stories of people - real and imaginative. I like to describe my feelings about those stories using colors and shapes. I do lots of monochrome paintings, and I'm very attentive to define characters' posture and their manners. I love working as a CD Cover Designer. I have done one project of this kind so far and it was a lot of fun! When designing for things such as CD Cover, Art is applied to everyday life objects and items. That's also why I like to create things to sell at The Card Tree shop, like writing sets, cards and reusable cotton bags.

Q: Many of the items in your Etsy shop are made from recycled materials…why did you choose to use recycled paper in your projects?
Actually all the paper goods in my shop are made of recycled paper.
I have chosen to make my arts and crafts totally Eco-friendly because it is an effective way to save the planet; plus it makes me feel good!
When buying or selling recycled paper items, you can effectively save the remains of the forest that we have left in the world. Trees are a limited resource, and we have to teach our children to appreciate and protect them.

Q: What inspires your artwork?
I get inspiration from stories and tales that draw my attention and certain colors - like red, turquoise, blue and green. I am also very lucky to live in a very beautiful area: surrounded by the nature and the animals. Nature is a great resource of inspiration, it is constantly changing with the weather and the seasons...

Q: What types of things do you think people can do in their everyday lives to be more "Eco-friendly"?
I was going to talk about Reduce-Reuse-Recycle, but I figured why not visit!

Q: I see that you have several writing sets in your shop, do you write letters regularly? What kind of a response do you get?
I love writing letters but I also understand that this might seem like an old fashion way of communicating. To me though, it's very personal and I just love it. In a letter you can fit so much more about yourself, than the ordinary card or postcard.
My friends love receiving mail from me, they say that my letters always hold a secret inside. I love receiving mail too, after about 10 years of correspondence with friends around the world I have boxes full of memories...

Q: What can Giulia Mauri art fans expect to see in the near future?
As my little Eco-friendly craft business grows, I would like to get my cards professionally printed on Eco-friendly cards and inks. I'd like to get involved in other Music-Art projects and get my personal web site up and running. This will have a gallery to view all my art works.

Q: I appreciate your taking the time for this interview! Do you have anything else you'd like to add?
Thank you very much Carla for giving me the opportunity to talk about my work!

Nothing is trash!

I just love the concept of not throwing things away!

I found this great blog on how to make a purse from potato chip bags or candy wrappers. Take a look at her detailed directions!

On the purse-making blog, she references this Web site that explains how to make the chains she uses for the purses — It's not hard...I've done it! While you're looking at Gary Duschl's Web site on how to make the gum wrapper chains, click to his Main Page (link is at the bottom of his page) and see what he's done!

With tricks like these, we can save almost anything and make something useful out of it!

New Etsy mini on page

Today, you'll find an Etsy mini for MyCozyCreations on this page. My Etsy mini is on her blog, too. Visit it at

The lunchbox napkins and cloth tote bags are definitely earth-friendly! And, they're cute, too!

While you're at Etsy, visit my shop and see the new Halloween items I listed yesterday and today, as well as the new repurposed envelopes! Keep checking back for new items as often as I can get them posted!

Great blog and how-to site

Here's a wonderful blog and how-to site in one:

She has photos of her projects, bags made from recycled plastic bags, plus a how-to and patterns section, showing you how to do it yourself. One page shows how to make "yarn" from plastic bags.

Plans for this blog

My plans for this blog include having a weekly Artist Spotlight, featuring information about a recycling artist and/or crafter who creates their work from recycled, reused, repurposed, etc. materials. If you'd like to suggest someone for the spotlight, please leave me a comment. I have a lot of favorites, but I'm always interested in someone new.

I'll also have a weekly Focus on How-To post, featuring some of the best how-to sites on the Internet, specifically how-to recycle, reuse, repurpose things into useful or decorative items. Again, if you have a favorite How-To segment out there, let me know, and I'll check it out.

At least once a week, I'll write a longer post, like yesterday's, about some of the things we do around our house to recycle, reuse and repurpose as much as we can. Additionally, I'll try to add shorter posts daily, mentioning some of my current projects.

This weekend, I'll be working on making handmade paper infused with Texas wildflowers.

I hope you'll be checking back regularly to see what I've posted on this blog.

The good and the bad

The positive, eco-friendly, 21st century spin on it is that instead of automatically throwing things away, I look at them from every angle to see if they can be re-used in some way. You know, the second of the three Rs — Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Can this bag from the produce section be re-used? Why buy a fancy incense burner when the lid to this can of corn will work just as well?

The "you're just like your granny," 20th century, not-so-positive view is that I'm a pack rat, saving trash because it might be useful someday. The store sells new, clean plastic bags, if I need one, and that jagged piece of metal that was cut off of that can of corn is just garbage.

The pack-rat syndrome wasn't such a big deal when we lived in a big house in the city. We had a basement, a two-car garage, an attic and three walk-in closets in my master bedroom (the previous owner had a penchant for "adding on"). So, I had places to store all my stuff.

However, we left that house and all its space when we moved to the country. We have quite a bit more land to roam around on, but closet space is very limited. In fact, in the entire house, we have only two closets, and neither are big enough to be considered "walk-in."

Indeed, we do have a barn, but storing things out there requires Fort Knox-type security to prevent the wildlife — raccoons, opossums, rats, skunks, etc. — from digging in and making a fine nest out of a scrap of gold lamé.

So, we've trained ourselves to think "re-use" whenever possible. Some re-using practices are simple things that generations of my family have done, such as writing the grocery list on the back of a used envelope and then storing necessary coupons, notes, etc. in the envelope during your shopping trip. We use both sides of every piece of paper; we let our daughter use empty paper towel rolls and toilet paper rolls for art projects. Some things we do are straight out of decades-old Heloise the mesh produce bags (that contain grapes, lettuce and other fruit and vegetables) as dish scrubbers.

Other re-use ideas are a little more out-there — saving cardboard product boxes (cereal boxes, tea boxes, etc.), turning them inside-out and re-gluing them to make a perfectly usable, plain box; cutting up other product boxes into rectangles and re-using them as postcards; cutting and gluing magazine pages into envelopes; blending up scraps of paper in the blender and making new sheets of handmade paper.

When I found Etsy, I was ecstatic! So many of the artists on the site for buying and selling homemade things are into recycling, reusing and repurposing things that might otherwise be trash. I'm still working on getting my Etsy site full of products, but it's getting there.

Halloween stickers!

These stickers are the latest items on my Etsy site!

They are stickers made by me using handmade paper (made by me). I just stamped the Halloween image onto the handmade paper then tore out the images. Then, I ran the stamped pieces through my sticker maker, which was loaded with permanent, acid-free adhesive.

They're great for decorating letters, envelopes, scrapbook pages, and more!

This set is listed on my Etsy site: and includes three yellow stickers as well.

Recycling by reusing

This blog will focus on all the wonderful ways there are to recycle trash by creating something new from it rather than throwing it away.

Most of my projects involve paper, but I'll feature blogs, Web sites, etc. by others that make new things from all sorts of old things.

I have an Etsy shop at Please visit it and see what all is there!

Feel free to comment with your favorite recycling/reusing ideas or to let me know about an interesting shop or blog.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...