Introduction: Mag Fad Bag

Look sassy and be kind to the planet! Take your favorite magazine and turn a volume you are finished reading into your next everyday accessory!

It is time to upcycle a bit (a bit, meaning, only one thing is really upcycled and you may need to purchase some supplementary products).
- a magazine (or any thicker paper, like wrapping paper- I made a really nice one out of silver wrapping paper)
- a razor (if you are allowed) or scissors... if you are not allowed to have that either, grab a person who is and have them help you
-spray sealant (optional, but recommended)\
- upholstery thread or thick fishing line and a sewing needle with a large eye (or a piece of plastic such as an old shoppers/ savers card cut to fit and with a whole popped in it and smoothed)
- A purse liner with handles (if you are one of those people who abuse their bags, go with this option. Get or make a purse liner with handles that will fit inside the purse. There should be magnet or button closures sewed to both the liner and the mag bag at locations that would hold it close, my suggestion would be both sides at the top where the handles attach).


Step 1: find a magazine that you are finished with and destroy it! What do I mean? Separate each and every single page from the glue binding. A razor blade is super helpful with this task.

Step 2: Cut individual pieces of magazine paper to size for the individual strips. Each strip is 2 inches by 4 inches. Take a look at the magazine that you have and decide which direction would be best to maximize the amount of strips you can make. This will vary by magazine size and whether or not you have any torn or worn edges. Do this till done, or until you cannot take it anymore (save the papers just in case you decide you want your final product to be larger). Now you should have a bunch of strips.

Step 3: Fold the strips. I have broken this down for you by images, but I will break it down for you in words even a kid will understand (maybe, only if the kid is as crazy as me). Fold the paper hotdog style, unfold, then fold each edge to the middle. Fold the paper hotdog style. Fold the paper hambuger style, unfold, then fold each edge to the middle. Fold the paper hamburger style. Now you have a bunch of little paper sandwiches.

Step 4: Select one of your paper sandwiches and examine it. Notice how one side (on the side that opens) shows more layers than the other. Thread one sandwich (with the side with more layers facing up through another sandwich entering on the side that shows less layers on the side that would open. That means opening side threads through the opening side, pretty simple, one side for each wing.

Step 5: Rotate 180 degrees vertically (yes, flip it). Now examine a new paper sandwich. Repeat step 4. If you have done this correctly, each time you flip your chain vertically you will be entering on the side that shows less layers (If you get stuck grab a middle schooler, they often do this using Starburst wrappers).

Step 6: Reapeat this process until you have chains. For the bag I made, each chain was 64 wrappers long. If you are making the same purse, follow that. If you are looking for a different size, keep chaining until when you curve the chain in half it is the desired length, just end on an even number to ensure Step 7 works. if you are worried about waterproofing or sealing in the dyes, get a can of sealant that is safe for papers and fabrics and that you feel safe with since you will be handling the purse (I used a gloss sealant found in the spraypaint aisle of Hobby Lobby for less than $3), go somewhere they will be safe and no one will be upset by the sealant you will get on the ground if you don't use some newspapers like I didn't! :D Spray it down, let it dry (overnight should do it), then go and spray the other side. Let it sit until you can no longer smell the fumes. Fumes are gross, I left mine for a week, while I worked on more paper for this I'ble.

Step 7: Insert one end into the other by completing the weaving process to form a ring. This is really hard to explain... Um... look at how the strips of paper interlock, and undo one of the ends so that you can complete that locking of the strip.

Step 8: Sew the rings together vertically, one row at a time. Yes, I said sew. My suggestion is either thick fishing line or upholstery thread doubled, tripled or quadrupled up (whatever is thick enough that you feel it will be strong), don't go too thin, otherwise it will cut it! You will want to sew up and down, and in the back and front following the seams so that the thread or line is hidden. Do this as tightly as possible without cutting through the paper. The reason that you did not throw away the paper after you got sick of making strips is because if you decide that you want to go higher or wider, you will still have the paper- tada!

Step 9: Continue to sew the rings together until you reach your desired bag size. Then randomly sew through the bag following the same proceedure following no pattern for extra stability and less gaps.

Step 10: Attach the handles at even positions following the same way that you joined the rings, only you will be doubling up on some of the squares. Be sure to sew it together VERY securely and tightly.

Step 11: OPTIONAL Follow steps 4-6 to make strips, and then move to step 8. Make the strips, then sew them into a good solid sheet, skipping step 7 making them into rings. Sew this into the bag as a pocket! Skip this if you are opting to use the mag fad bag as a case for a purse liner, or you just don't need a pocket.

Step 12: Admire the bag, and smile. Use the bag and watch people eye it up! I wanted to remain private about the exact details of all the random stuff that was in my bag, but in there at that time was a cell phone, a clutch wallet stuffed with some cards falling out- hence the privacy, a play script, a bottle (full) of Mountain Dew, two mini bottles of lotion, three tubes of lip gloss, mascara, a compact mirror, contact lens case, a pen, a pencil, a highlighter, a notepad, hand sanitizing spray, and a plastic spork. The bulge is towards the bag, promoting the lean against my cubicle wall. How about that for stability?

I Made It Photo Contest

Participated in the
I Made It Photo Contest