Introduction: Pocketbook and Pocket Book From Water Bottles.

About: I am a domestic engineer, aka. a stay at home Mom. A former science geek, scenic carpenter, and quilter.

Recycle those plastic water bottles and make a cool purse with matching notebook.
The best part about the purse besides it being practically free, and recycled and unique, is that you can see what's hiding on the bottom.
This instructable is just to give you an idea of how to sew with plastic bottles. You can make anything, messenger bag, tote, wallet, ipod case, you name it. Take the idea and run with it.

You will need:

Plastic water bottles
Plain Paper
Fabric (thick, sturdy fabric)
needle and thread
sewing machine (sturdy ones for sewing leather/denim)
extra machine needles
safety glasses
fishing line/ wire
bottle caps
small drill bit
embroidery floss

Step 1: Prep the Bottles

Take the empty bottles and cut off the top and bottom. Peel off the label, and cut down the middle. Flatten so that you have one flat rectangle. Put between two pieces of copy paper, and iron flat. Set the iron to medium, with NO steam. Run the iron over the top for a few seconds, you will hear and feel the plastic flatten and shrink. Flip it over and repeat. When done, you will have a flat bubbled piece of plastic.

I'm guessing the ironing plastic isn't healthy. Open a window, or turn on a fume hood or something. It doesn't make much of an odor, but just in case.

Don't let the plastic directly tuch the iron. It makes a MESS!

I find any remaining part of the label tends to melt off when ironing. If you have any sticky residue, you can just cut it off, or try wiping it off with some vegetable oil.

Step 2: Cut and Trim Your Pieces

Note on water bottle selection:
You want to get the thinnest water bottles you can. I used Costco brand water.(cause that's what my mom drinks, despite how many times I tell her to drink tap water).
I tried using soda bottles, (coke, pepsi) and they are too thick. They melt fine, but they are hard to sew. You can sew by hand if you push the needle through with some plyers, but it's a pain in the bum. You can sew with your machine if the plastic is thin enough.

Trim you pieces of plastic, so the edges are smooth and straight.
Cut you pieces of fabric.
You can make the bag any size and style you want.
I made two square panels, plus a botton panel of plastic.
Just sew as you normally would with any fabric. Right sides together, back stitch at the beginning and end.
I sewed both panels first, then sewed them together, then sewed on the bottom. Just go slow and steady!

When sewing the plastic, you might want to wear safety glasses. If the plastic is not thin enough, or you hit a bump, there's a good chance the needle will break, and there's a good chance the little bit of needle will hit you in the face. (trust me, i know)

Step 3: Make the Bottlecap Handle

Bottle cap Handle

You will need a bunch of bottle caps for this. You can get different looks by using different caps.
Here I used caps from the water bottles, and some old clip on earings that i had in my junk drawer.
Take a needle, and poke holes through the bottle caps. I made 4 holes, and ran two strings through,
to keep them from twisting. wire would probably be much better than fishing line. You could also try gluing the caps together, or gluing them onto an existing handle.
You could try a lot of things. I unfortunatly ran out of bottle caps.
Once you make your handles, sew or glue it into place.

Step 4: Make the Notebook.

This is just an added idea to an existing instructable.
You do all the same steps, but use this plastic for the front and back cover. Since it is clear, it looks good if you put a decorative piece of paper for the first page.
This would also be a cute way to make a
"brag book" full of pictures. You could paste your pictures to each page, print the onto the paper, or just bind the pictures directly.

That's all. Hope you enjoy. You could also try making duct tape bags with this plastic. Then no sewing would be involved.
It's hard to photograph clear plastic, so these picture don't really do the project justic. Try it, you'll see that it's really something.

Keep the Bottle Contest

Participated in the
Keep the Bottle Contest