Friday, April 29, 2011

Fun with Zippers

When I read on Linda's  Stray Stitches blog that today was National Zipper Day, I thought it was  a good day to blog about my own recent adventure with a zipper.

View of Zipper

This is a small candy wrapper style bag (coin purse sized), made from folded paper, complete with a sewn-in zipper.  I made it last week.  I seem to be cursed with a fascination by how things are made and after seeing some interesting bags, I wanted to learn how to make my own.

Debbie Jo's Candy Wrapper BagsA couple weekends ago, I went to Market Days in Gruene, Texas.  The trip was an excuse to check out the area--a company near there had contacted me about a possible job and I had no frame of reference for thinking about moving in that direction. (My contract gig ended last month and I am once again on the job hunt.)  One of the interesting vendors there was Debbie Jo who was selling these cool bags in various sizes, made from folded, laminated wrapping paper which are cut and folded like candy wrappers.

The photo shows a couple of Debbie Jo's bags that were hanging in her booth.

I loved the feel of these bags--the "fabric" was not only interesting, but seem to have so much structural integrity.  There were no gaps or holes and even though there was no fabric lining, the zipper was beautifully sewn in with what looked to be a pretty pick stitch visible from the inside.

In addition to her finished bags, Debbie Jo also sells kits and has an instructional DVD–the link will take you to her Etsy shop–so people fascinated with learning how things are made can make their own.

Although I wanted one of those large size bags, I also thought it would be fun to choose my own paper (or possibly print or my own) and so, to learn the technique, I bought the smallest kit along with the DVD and made this little bag.

Candy Wrapper-style Coin purse Zipper stitching detail

I was warned that sometimes smaller is more challenging ... but, even if my finished little back is imperfect, I think I got the basics and will try a larger one this summer.


Stray Stitches said...

Those bags remind me of when I was young and used to fold gum wrappers to make chains. I had a clutch bag back in the day made much the same way. What's old is new again :)
Glad I could help with the zipper lead-in today :D

sophie said...

I never managed to chew enough gum to have enough wrappers to make a very long chain ... but making the chains for this little bag did take me back to that place and time. Very nostalgic.

Debra Spincic said...

I remember writing to the Wrigley Company and they sent me an envelope full of brand new unfolded wrappers. I had a little book they published with a bunch of ideas in it. Fun stuff!

Have you seen the little bags on etsy made from candy wrappers? They are coated in vinyl and then treated like fabric. Pretty cute.

Pat from FL and MI said...

How clever is that???

I saw a thing on tv where someone is sewing potato chip bags, and juice drink bags, and making stuff that sells like hotcakes. They had a container out at a school to collect their supplies -- the kids throw aways.

Melinda said...

I have two of these bags - one a small zipper bag and a larger tote bag.

Barbara C said...

Great colors on your little bag--they remind me of the Sunday comics. Very cheerful! I'd be a little intimidated to put a zipper in paper. That sounds challenging.

Rian said...

Sweet lil bag! Reminds me of those gum chains.

June Dodge said...

Very cute project Sophie - so did you decide it would be a good move for you to make?

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