Thursday, 23 April 2009

Tetra pak purse

Tetra Pak purse - the one I made!I was given one of these rather super recycled tetra pack purses recently and need to know how it was made, so I took it apart.

I'd volunteered to make a load for the local food initative. They are running a stall at a country show and are looking for some interesting things to draw the crowds in. I think they'll need a few more ideas, but hey, it's a start!

It turns out that they are really easy to make. I reckon they would make great party bag gifts for eco-conscious mums, or as an unusual crafty present for any green friend.

The rest of this post consists of instructions for making the purse. If you can't get your head round the stages or don't have enough time to make one and you've decided that now you know they exist you simply can not live without one, please just send me an email and I'm sure I can sort something out for you; transition dot housewife at google mail dot com (removing all spaces and were "dot" = "." and "at" = "@").

Instructions for making a tetra pak purse

Step one, save some tetra paks1) You'll need some tetra pak cartons. For this purse I used the tall 1 litre type.

2) If you're going to save up the packs and create a lot of purses in one go, rinse out the cartons as soon as they are empty (reduces the likelyhood of that final drop of juice going mouldy and smelly while you store them).

Step two, cut off top and bottom and clean and fold3) Cut off the top and bottom.

4) Clean thoroughly, then dry.

5) Neatly fold (concertina) the sides of the cartons inwards, so that the carton lies flat.

6) Decide which what side of the carton you'd like to me most visible and put that side on the table.

Steps seven (left) and after step 11 (right)7) Fold the bottom of the carton towards the top, and the top towards the bottom, so that it has three (aproximately equal - but the top can be shorter) parts.

8) Cut down each of the four orginal corners from the top of the carton to the nearest (top) fold.

9) Cut away the top sides between the cuts you made in step 8.

10) Round the top of the flap on the external side of the carton.

Step 12, fold the purse11) Cut the internal flap to about 1.5cm (half an inch) above the crease and diagonally cut from about 1cm along that edge to the nearest corner (on each side).

12) Fold the bottom of the carton to the middle

Step thirteen, secure13) Put the shorter flap over and inside of the bottom compartment. You will need to secure this some how. I've used a paper clip in the photo because I couldn't find a darning needle to make some holes and sew the sections togther - that would be my preferred method, but you could glue the flap in place.

14) Make a hole in the middle of the top flap about 1cm from the edge. I used a hole-punch.

15) Put an elastic band through the hole, then through the elastic band and tighten.

Tetra Pak purse16) Loop the elastic band around the purse to secure the contents.

17) Hold the complete purse up and feel jolly proud of yourself.

18) Recycle any of the bits you cut off at the nearest tetra pak recycling bank if you have one.

If you can't be bothered with all of that, but really really want one of these fabulous purses, please send me an email at; transition dot housewife at google mail dot com (removing all spaces and were "dot" = "." and "at" = "@").


  1. You can use them as plant pots too.

  2. Yes, that's what I'd originally saved them for. When I said " oh, I've got a load of those" I essentially volunteered myself!

  3. What a great idea. That'll come in extremely handy for when I visit my sister in Switzerland and end up with three different currencies because we travel through France :-D

  4. Excellent. Let me know how you get on. I think the purses would look super-cool if made out of a carton from another country! When you next go to Switzerland can you bring me back some tetra pak rubbish please!!


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