Friday, October 19, 2007

Today I decided to create a blog so that you can see some of the things I have created using candy wrappers or storage tape and paper. I am also including some of the purses from my collection that I have bought. This is a great hobby. I have found it to be very relaxing and very portable. The cost for supplies can be nothing or you can buy materials to create your items. The First purse above was a very beautiful purse I purchased while in Mexico. The flat bottom on the purse makes it very easy to display. The purse is made out of candy wrappers.The next purse is a beautiful black and gold purse which I purchased in Mexico last month.
The purses shown below are purses which I made. The first purse (shown below) is made out of the kind of material used to make food and drink pouches. The material is a little thicker than the candy wrappers. The second purse (shown below) was made of storage tape and wrapping paper. The third purse is made out of magazine pages covered with storage tape. The fourth purse is also made of magazine pages covered with storage tape.

The purse shown below is a red purse I made for a friend. I had to fold the wrappers so only the red would show on the outside.

Candy Wrapper Craft Tips

Tip#1 The Simple Side

first tip has to do with the basic link that makes up the candy wrapper chain. If you turn the the link on it's side you will see that one side is more complex than the other. It is more difficult to figure out which fold to push your next link thru when there is more than one. The best idea is to turn your link to the the simple side with one fold before pushing the next link thru it. The first picture below is of the simple side of the link the next photo is of the complex side.

Tip#2 Portable Links
I have found the candy wrapper craft to be very portable. The most time consuming part of the process is folding up the links. I try to use free time that is normally wasted to fold up my links. I store the cut up paper and wrappers in a zip loc snack sized baggie and keep it in my pocket. If your are on a plane or a bus you might be on there for quite some time. If you want to you could work on your links but maybe you do not want to make a long chain at that time. If you make a link and let go of it will unfold and it will be a hassle to re fold it. One of the things you can do is stick the link between two surfaces that keep it folded. The link could be placed in the pocket of a wallet or a back pocket. I think a better solution is shown below, it creates a link that can be stored anywhere without pressure on it. It is very simple but it works great. First you turn the link on it's side. This should be the simple side up. you will see that you have a center fold (#1) with the 2 ends of the link folded into the center. Take the end of left side of the link from the center and slip it behind the end of the right side of the link. Push the end of the left side until it goes just a little bit past the side of the end of the right side of the link. Try maintaining the three basic fold of the link as you do this and presto! you have an independent link that will not unfold until you unfold it. The links folded this way are very easy to unfold, just pull slightly of the end of the left side of the link and line up your folds again! Below you will see a picture of some of the links that I stored in a yogurt cup.

Completed link

Multiple links!

Tip#3 How To Cover links With Scotch Tape

When I started to make candy wrapper purses I found it hard to gather up enough candy wrappers for my projects. I bought a couple of candy wrapper purses to see how they were made. One of the things I discovered was that many of these purses were made of paper that had been covered with cellophane. Over the years the cellophane had began to deteriorate. I guess this is what you might expect because the old cellophane was an organic product. I began to experiment with paper and tape and I developed the technique shown below. The technique below uses Scotch storage tape which is about 2 inches wide. I like this tape because it is very strong and when put on top of paper makes it water resistent and very beautiful. The storage tape will not deteriorate like the cellophane did.

The first picture below show the Scotch tape with a piece of paper that will be covered. The paper and the tape are on a flat metal surface. You can use any surface you like but it should be one that would not be damaged by putting tape on it and removing the tape over and over again.

The second picture shows the piece of paper on the flat metal surface with a penny on the flat metal surface about an inch before the paper begins. This is where you want your tape to go. Also notice the quarter on top of the paper. The quarter is there to keep the paper from lifting up due to static electricity. You do not have to use a quarter but use something heavy enough to hold the paper down but not big enough to get in your way. This is another reason why I use the Scotch brand storage tape it is not flimsy like some of the other tapes I have tried and it does not seem to carry as much static elctricity which makes life a lot easier.

The third picture shows where the tape is placed on the flat metal surface The tape should be lined up evenly with the piece of paper so that it will cover the whole piece of paper. Hold the tape up a little bit and gradually smooth the tape on top of the paper. Remove the quarter from the bottom of the paper as you move down the paper.

The forth picture shows the the Scotch tape being cut at the bottom of the paper.

The fifth picture shows the piece of paper after it has been cut away from the tape and pulled off the flat metal surface. The little piece of tape at the top can be folded behind the piece of paper or it can be cut off.

Photo #6 shows the link when it is all folded up and done. You fold the link up just as you usually do.

If you have any questions about the above technique please let me know. You can use the links made in this way just as you use your regular candy wrapper links.

Tip #4 The Backwards Needle

One of the concepts I had to get clear in my mind is that when we connect the rows of links together, althought we are using needle and thread to do so, we are not really sewing. In this process we do not go thru the candy wrappers (pierce) but only thru the folds in the candy wrapper link. We do not want to tear or rip the candy wrappers we are working with. As explained by Mylinda in her excellent tutorial (see the link to her tutorial in the links section above) we do not need to use a sharp needle and if at all possible use a blunt tapestry needle or you can make a needle out of a flat piece of plastic. This will allow you to pull the thread thru the fold in the links. When all I have is a sharp needle to use I have trained myself to go thru the fold in the links using the threaded back end of the needle this works great and reduces the chances of you tearing your candy wrappers. I at one time thought that I needed a sharp needle to sew the zipper on to the purse. However I have found that a small to medium sized blunt needle will go thru the fabic of the zipper ( you have to push a little bit harder). Therefore I do not need to use a sharp needle. When not using a sharp needle or the sharp end of a sharp needle you will find the whole process goes a lot quicker.

Tip # 5 Link Pattern Template

Recently I was working on a muticolored candy wrapper purse. While I was cutting out my links for the purse I noticed that I was getting about 6 links out of each small chip bag. I think that is pretty good. However I also noticed that half of the links had patterns on them or colors on them which I did not want to use for that particular project. In looking at the link I realised that only a small amount of the paper showed when the link is folded up. There was something I wanted to appear on the link but I could not get it to appear where I wanted it to. So I tried to figure out just where I had to cut my chip bag in order to make the pattern I wanted appear on the link. I had to work on this for a while but I came up with the solution shown below.

1. First fold up a link (use a blank piece of paper) as you normally do.

2. push the link above thru another link.

3. Take a pen and fill in the area that will show when the link is folded up and pushed thru another link. There will an area which shows on the front and one that will show on the back of the link.

4. Remove the link from the other ink and unfold the link that you marked.

5. Cut out the area that you marked on the link. I usually only do the area tha will appear on the front or outside of the purse.

6. Cut out a piece of cardboard to be the same size as the link. place the link on top of the cardboard and trace the hole on to the cardboard.

7. remove the link from the top of the cardboard. In the areas where the hole is traced on the cardboard, cut it out with a knife or scissors. when you are done, this wil be your template.

8. It would be a good idea to test your template. Cut out another piece a blank paper and make another link. do not fold it up yet. Lay the blank piece of paper down and put the cardboard template on the paper. Mark an x onto the piece paper thru the hole in the template. Remove your cardboard template. Fold up your link and your x should appear just where you want it to be !

To use the the template just place it on top of your chip bag move it around until you see a pattern you want thru the hole in the cardbord template. mark or cut the chip bag all around the template. You should now have a link with the pattern on it that you wanted. It might be a good idea to have 2-4 more templates so you can figure out how to cut up larger ares of the chip bag or wrapper material.

Tip #6 Tight Folds

One of the things that can be very frustrating when sewing the links together is when your needle will not go through a fold. this can be for many different reasons. This is especially a problem when you are sewing up the bottom of a purse or putting on the straps for the purse. There is another way to get into the fold and that is go up higher in the fold and then bring you needle and thread back down into the fold. This is usually done in three or four steps.

1. Step one is to work your needle up under the flap that sits on top of the fold. When you look at your chains you will see that some folds sit on top and some sit under a flap, The folds that sit on top are easy to get through. The folds that sit under a flap are the tough ones to deal with.

2. Step two is, once you work your needle up under the flap that sits on top of the fold you will see that you are now above the flap. under the flap is the fold but you are now higher up on the fold. work your way under the flap and between the 2layers of material that form the fold. Your needle should go from one side of the layers of material that form the fold to the other side and come out the other side.

3. Now work your needle down under the flap and back into the lower part of the fold. See picture #3

The above method takes a little more time than going directly through the fold but when it is impossible to go through the bottom part of the fold, this works great and will save you many hours of frustration. I find I use the above technique a lot in my work. There are some projects I could not have finished without the the above technique because the material could have torn by attempting to push the needle through the bottom fold. Try this technique and I think you will like it!

Tip #7 The paper clip needle and dental floss

The other day I was at work and a friend asked me to repair the strap on an older purse. I did not have my needle with me and I did not have any thread, so I looked around for something to use and I found a paper clip. I had no thread so I asked my friends if they had any dental floss. I had never used dental floss to make a purse before. The paper clip was a large one. I tied my dental floss to the bottom of the paper clip. I put a little tape around the rough metal ends on the sides of the paper clip. When I sewed I made sure those rough edges were facing away from my work. I found I really liked working with the paper clip and the dental floss. the paper clip felt good in my hand. I also found that the dental floss worked great. It seems that the dental floss is waxed and it does not seem to tangle as easily as my upholstery thread does and just to think, I would never have tried the paper clip or the dental floss if I had not been forced to use them!

I have since found that the paper clip works even without the tape on the sides of the metal ends. Just make sure that the rough edges are facing away from your work.

Tip #8 Materials

I just thought I would include a section in my blog about materials. This blog is about candy wrapper purses. Why are candy wrappers so popular to use in making purses? First of all they are beautiful they come in so many beautiful colors. They also have some great art work on them. They are also durable and water proof. Candy wrappers are made to protect food so they are food grade. you can not have the printing on the wrappers rubbing off. All the graphics are permanent.

I have experimented with many different materials in making purses. The best I have found is the potato chip bag. The material used to make the bags is a little bit thicker and stronger than some of the candy wrappers. The potato chip bags are easy to work with and are very dependable. The candy wrappers and the potato chip bags are easy to find. Millions are thrown away everyday. If you let your friends and coworkers know that you can use these wrappers, they will save them for you and give them to you. I find these days most people want to recycle.

Other Materials

I at one time thought that all foils were equal now I know from my sad experience that that is not true! For example let us look at wrapping paper. Most wrapping paper is made for a one time use. These foil wrapping my have a temporary finish printed on paper that will rub off. Some of the metallic foil papers have the metallic color and silver backing just sprayed on. So test the material before you buy it. Get a small piece of the material and rub it with your hands until it warms up a bit and see what happens. Some surfaces will come off right away but others will only come off after they heat up a little when you rub them. Folks you do not know how depressing it is to buy a beautiful foil to work with, get it home, start working with it and then you start seeing it come off, at first you think it is your imagination and then you realize it is really rubbing off!(big timer BUMMER!) As far as I know candy wrappers are made in layers the inner layers might have the printing and silver backing on them and that layer is covered with a clear layer on top and a clear layer on back. The layers are bonded together to create the candy wrapper or potato chip bag. Some of the wrapping paper material may not have a protective layer over the printing or silver backing.

Recently I purchases some candy wrapping material. It came in squares. It came in many beautiful colors. But when I received it although the color on it seemed to be stable, if was a thicker form of aluminum foil which was not bonded to plastic of any kind. It tore and wadded up just like aluminum foil and I can not use it in any of my projects.

There are some other materials that I have found to be stable. The material used to make gift bags seems to be very stable. The ones with the holographic designs on the metalized surface are really nice to work with. They are backed with a thick paper so you do not have to add a piece of paper to them before you fold up the links.

I have also tested some of the foil banners sold in dollars stores and those seem to be stable. They seem to work up just like the candy wrappers do.

Covered Materials

All of the above materials were used without covering them in anyway. When you start covering materials a whole new word opens up. Newspaper, wrapping papers, magazine pages can all be used to do beautiful work, if they are covered. One way to cover the paper materials is to use plastic storage tape. The tape makes the paper very strong and water resistant shiny and beautiful. This takes a little time but the results are well worth it. I have some instructions up above for covering magazine pages with storage tape. Always cover your paper materials before you start handing them a lot. The color will start to rub off it you handle the pages before they are covered. Once you cover the paper there will be no problem.

I am now experimenting with covering the pages with cellophane. The cellophane seems to work great. I cut the cellophane to the size of the paper, put it on the paper, rub on it (it stick to the paper) and fold up my link. You have to make sure that the cellophane does not slide out of position. I am working with the very thin cellophane that you find in most craft stores. It is a little tricky to cut it and handle it because static makes it stick to things and itself and it is slippery. I am hoping to find a little thicker cellophane and that should work up just like the candy wrappers. I have seen some beautiful items made using the cellophane. I do not know how the cellophane will age so I tend to want to use the acrylic cello like materials that are not as biodegradable. I need to do some more research on which material will last the longest.

Another way to protect the surface of your paper is to cover the page with clear contact paper before you cut out the links. I have not done this myself. I will experiment with the contact paper and let you know how it turns out.

Liquid Protectants

I am now experimenting with some liquid protectants. The protectants are put on after the project is done. I have worked with a product called modge podge on a paper basket I made. It seemed to make a nice surface and made the basket much stronger. I also tried polyurethane on one basket made of brown Kraft paper. I found it (the vapors from it ) to be a little too strong. I would not like working with the polyurethane on a regular basis. I have seen paper items that were protected with lacquer they look really good. I will try to work with the lacquers and see how that goes.

Please let me know how these tips work for you . Also, please post any tips that might be useful.

Using Cellophane to make a candy wrapper purse (01/30/2010)

As you can see from my blog I have used many different materials to make candy wrapper purses. That is one of the great things about this technique, you have so many choices. One of the things I have found is that when you use materials that others have made or designed you are limited to the colors and designs that they used. This is true with candy wrappers. However with paper you can use magazines, food lables newspapers and even typing paper. On the paper you can put your own designs. I made a purse using typing paper and I printed my own design on to the paper. This flexibility is very important when you are trying to create. When using paper you have to protect it from water and from tearing. I first found that covering the paper with packing tape worked great. It took a lot of time but I was happy with the results I got. I have some pieces that are 2- 3 years old and the still look great. I tried another way of covering the paper to protect it and that was to cover it with cellophane. The cellophane I used, at the time, was some I bought form one of the big box craft stores. The cellophane was very thin and difficult to work with. The cellophane would stick to itself( and sometimes to my face!). I also learned that true cellophane is biodgradable. That is not what I wanted when making a candy wrapper purse that I worked 20 to 60 hours on. I wanted my purse to last as long as possible. Although it was difficult to work with the thin cellophane I was able to make a few purses and they looked great. I gave up on using cellophane. One day I was at work and a co-worker at work told me about a thicker stronger cellophane that is used to make gift baskets. I found a supplier of the thicker cellophane on Ebay. I found the material to be much easier to work with. I have since made many purse out of the thicker cellophane. The Poly clear cellophane protects the paper making it water resistant and prevents the paper from tearing.

The cellophane I am talking about is 1.2 mils thick. I would recommend that you do not use cellophane that is more than 24 inches wide. The source I use for my cellophane is at . They carry this item on a regular basis at a good price. I have recently seen an even thicker variety of cellophane and it is 1.6 mils thick. The 1.6 mil cellophane should work great too. I buy the poly man made version of clear cellophane ( non biodgradable).

One of the most difficult parts of working with the cellophane is cutting it. As I said the cellophane tends to stick to itself. I take a 5 to 7 foot piece of cellophane off of the roll and and I fold it in half longwise. I then cut it using a paper trimmer. The ones I have seen are about 12 inches long that is why I recommended that you not use material more than 24 inches wide. To cut the material I would not recommend that you use scissors as this would make the process more difficult than it needs to be. The trimmer you uses should be a major brand so you can always find the cutting stylus when you need to replace them. The trimmer I uses is a Fiskars trimmer. The trimmers run between 10 and 25 dollars. Here is a link to a great video on paper trimmers. (trimmer video). To cut the cellophane I slide it into the trimmer making sure that my the cellophane does not slip. I want all of folds and edges to line up straight. I cut the cellophane into 4 and half inch wide pieces. I then unfold the pieces and stack up 5 or 6 of them and cut them into pieces that are 2 inches wide. This gives me pieces that are 2 by 4 and a half inches. The pieces I make are usually a little longer. I like to add an eight of a inch ( this gives me pieces of cellophane that are 2 by 4 and 5/8 inches long ( that works better for me).

You might have to practice cutting the cellophane but once you get your cellophane cut it is very easy to use. The cellophane is placed on top of each link before you fold it.

I have seen comments from people saying it was difficult and time consuming to use the packing tape method. I think you will find this method much easier and faster and it will produce beautiful results for you. Please let me see some of the purses you create using this method.


Nan said...

Well Hey!! I didn't realize you had started a blog for Candy Wrapper Crafts! If you don't mind I would like to add your link to the one under the pictures and Mylinda's link so others can see what you have posted. I love the one with the gift wrapping paper, I had started one with the paper from Christmas morning, but I have since put it aside to work on other things, I think it will be fun to post it next Christmas as a gift in a give away.
Thanks for the instructions on how you cover the larger sized pieces of paper, maybe I will try it again as you suggested, when I get around to making another one.

Nan said...

It's good to see you have added to your blog! The tips are a nice addition, now you need to show and explain the taping of the paper pieces you use magazine pages for!! I know how to do it of course but I get plenty of emails asking me the best way to do it and I have been answering the question personally, because I got the instructions for it from you, I thought you should be the one to share the tip!! Good job by the way and I see in just the one week that I added your link to my side bar, your hits have doubled!! COOL, Huh?!!!
Love the red purse you made, that's really nice to have a mono colored bag, and I plan on it one day, but right now I have been inspired to create and capture in photo's a new design I am trying, if it's a success, I will be adding another tutorial soon, if not, well, no one will know any different, oops, unless they read this!

FazendoArte said...

it's a mazing technique
thanks to share
you're a great artist


embeadke said...

Thanks Nan and Fazendoarte. I am glad you like the blog and the red purse. Nan your adding a link from your blog to my blog has really helped! Thank you. Nan, I will try to put up a tutorial on how to cover paper with storage tape to make it more water resistant, very sturdy and beautiful for making candy wrapper chains.

I want to thank Mylinda again for setting up her blog and making the technique for making candy wrapper purses available to so many people all over the world. Yes Fazendoarte this is really an amazing technique!

Rachel Biel Taibi said...

Great photos and tips! I love the red purse, too. The tape technique seems like it would take f o r e v e r, but then the purse would never fall apart. I just don't know if I would have that added patience. Now I have to figure out how to link you to my blog! I'm very green at this!

nerowolfgal said...


Beautiful work! What size do you cut your paper/wrapper? Is there a "best" size?

embeadke said...

Thanks nerowolfgal for your kind comments. I use 2 sizes, one is the standard 2 inches by 4 and 1/2 inches. I usually add 1/8th of an inch to make a piece 2 by 4 and 5/8th inches. The other size I use is the dollar bill size. The wrapper is cut to the size of a dollar bill. The dollar bill size works reallly well if you have a beautiful pattern.

There seems to be no best size. It all depends on what you like. Most people seem to like the 2 by 4 and 1/2 inch size. I have seen beautiful work done in even smaller sizes.

nerowolfgal said...

I was in a dollar store yesterday and came across two materials that might work for the purses.

There was a rack of banners saying things like "Happy Birthday". They seem to be the same material as candy wrappers. I bought one that is five inches by six feet for one dollar.

The other thing I noticed was the gift bags. They seem to be made of paper with a shiny plastic coating.

I will try both and report back to you!

embeadke said...

Hello nerowolfgal

I know that the gift bags work. I have made a couple of purses out of the gift bags. The paper backing is a little thick and when you do the bottom you really have to know how to do the ends. The paper with the holographic designs works beautifully.

Candy said...

These look absolutely FABULOUS!!!!

sewing said...

am hoping you can help with with instructions on how to sew up the bottom of my bag! I can't seem to get the corners to look tidy i have a purse that i purchased which looks perfect and am even thinking of opening it up i am getting so desperate!!


embeadke said...

Hello Sewing

The bottom corners can be difficult to do. If you use really thick material it makes it even more difficult. Try reviewing the tutorial by Mylinda it is clear and has pictures. The link to the tutorial is #14 from the top of my link list. If you think a video is needed, go to ebay and look under candy wrapper purses. There is a gentleman there, from time to time, that sells a video with all the steps in it to make a purse. There is a link to his blog on my link list, it is #8 from the top. If you need more help please feel free to email me. I will be glad to help you.

Try to avoid tearing your other purse apart unless it is one of the very small coin purses. Taking one of those smaller purse apart and putting it back together will teach you a lot. take pictures as you take it apart so you will remember how to put it back together.

susiana said...

Thanks for teaching me how to cover the paper with scotch tape. However, scotch tape is very expensive for me so instead of scotch tape I'm using a regular tape. Could U tell me how can I make my paper link durable using this tape. Should I recover it with the same tape ? I used to fold the paper first then cover it with my tape ? Is that right ?

embeadke said...

Hello Susiana

You can use any tape you like. However to make things simple, the scotch packing tape is almost as wide as the link is before it is folded. If you try another tape, try one that is just as wide as the the tape used in my instructions. There are other brands that might be less expensive. I would not recommend using the regular sized tape. Not only is the material thinner it also seems to age and yellow quickly. The packing tape I used in the instructions is very strong and it last a long time and it adds beauty and strenth to your project. If you can, get the scotch packing tape it seems to work the best and one roll should cover a lot a material.

purseaddict said...

Hi! thanks so much for these tips, the are really helpful!
I was wondering if there is a technique to prevent the links from falling apart when you pull at it, because i'm worried mine will after i finish it

and also, the 2 and 4 1/2 inch size is not working for me, the end up being too long... maybe the way i'm folding the wrappers is wrong? you first folding it in thirds, then in half , then in half again, all hotdog style, right??

biokool said...

Nice blog on the candywrapper bag.
I have a doubt. YOu had mentioned using ModPodge as a sealant or protective coating on the paper after making the bag. How effective did you find this? Was it just normal application with brush and does it last?
Say, if I use newspaper or magazine paper to make the links, would Mod Podge suit it?

embeadke said...

Hello Biokool

I tried the Modpodge once or twice. I put about 3 or four coats on the purse I was making. It seemed very duarable but the purse became stiff and was not flexible like the purses I made when I covered each link in the purse with cellophane or storage tape. If you have already made a purse and did not use anything to protect your purse before you made it, I think the ModPodge would work fine. It is very easy to work with. No powerful smell like you would get when working with polyurethane sealants. The ModPodge should be applied before you add a zipper to your purse. Next time try working with the storage tape, clear contact paper or cellophane. I think you will be happy with the results.

embeadke said...

Hello Purseaddict

Please look at the instructions on Mylinda's blog again. You have the right size for the paper 2 by 4 and a half inches. I do not want to confuse you by telling you how to fold your links when there are videos that would be much clearer. Go to Youtube and type in candy wrapper purse and look at some of the videos that show you how to fold you links. Also on my blog go to the links and look at the video that starts with "Fantastic video". That video is very clear (the best free video I have seen on candy wrapper purses) and you can see many of the important steps in making a candy wrapper purse including how to fold your links. Also in my great links there is a video showing prisoners making candy wrapper purses in jail. If you look at these videos I think you will be able to fold your links and make your wrapper chains.

juliiescottage said...

Wow, those look so professional! Thanks for putting instructions on too, that's nice of you to share!

dogbows said...

I know I must be overlooking it, but where can you purchase top quality candy wrapper papers? Prefer small plastic sheets, but plastic covered foil is OK.

embeadke said...

Hello dogbows:

I have been looking for 3-4 years for a good place to buy candy wrappers and I have not found one. Candy wrappers are a commercial product. They are made for big companies that have food products that they want to wrap. If you check in your area there might be a company that will have some wrapper material that they will give you (misprints, overruns. If you can not find a source for new wrappers, then look at the instructions on this blog for using paper and learn how to cover it with packing tape and use it. I have seen some very beautiful purses made with paper (covered). On this blog I have listed and given information on several other things that could be used to make purses.
Also please do not forget to ask your family and firends to save their wrappers for you.

Julie said...

I saw some spray laqer at the craft store. Have you tried that as a sealant? I really don't want to use packing tape due to the time it takes.

embeadke said...

hello Julie

I have not tried the spray on lacquer. I did try the paint on acrylic. The acrylic worked ok but I could not stand the fumes it gave off. Once the Item dried it was no problem.
Let me know how the lacquer works for you.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Eve said...

Isn't Modge Podge water soluble? I seem to remember it was very much like diluted Elmer's Glue, which made it very easy to clean up. But using it as a sealant wouldn't work if I needed to spot clean it. Or got caught in the rain 8)

embeadke said...

Hello Eve

The Modge Podge has been used by many people to seal paper items. When I used it, it seemed to add strenght to the piece and the paper was more water resistant when the Modge Podge dried. I still think the best way to go is to cover each piece of paper with the packing tape.

Anonymous said...

i would like to know how you learned this craft and if you sell that stuff for good prices because i make other stuff like that purse i make shoes, boxing gloves, saddles, cowboy hats and more only i teach this stuff at art shows and churches my e-mail is please let me know how you are doing with this stuff i have been looking into a large scale production for this stuff for hallmark i also have a computer program i have designed to calculate the designs for the finished product. i have much more i would like to discuss with you about this craft

Beverly said...

I'm just getting started on these purses and think covering with packing tape is a really good way to go. I am now working on covering larger sheets with clear contact paper but my first try went south - I covered scrapbook paper and it was TOO THICK! This is a real shame and knocks out so many possibilities! So I guess I'll have to move to wrapping paper....
I am having all kinds of trouble getting the bottom sewn together though...I used the 2"x4.5" size to make my links and put 3 rows together before trying to sew the bottom. Will having more rows together first help sew the bottom?

embeadke said...

Hello Beverly

The bottom of the purse can be difficult to figure out. You can buy a small purse off of ebay and take it apart to figure out now the bottom is put together. That is how I figured it out (I really did not have to take it apart I was able to figure it out once I got a small purse in my hands and carefully looked at it}. The small purses on Ebay can be less than 10 or fifteen dollars each. Go to Ebay and search for candy wrapper purses and many will come up. There is also a set of videos for sale that show you how to put together one of the candy wrapper purses. I think the gentleman who makes the videos has some videos advertised on Youtube.

Anonymous said...

Hi I use packaging tape to cover before folding, if you put tape on a holder and pull it out sticky side up, you can then lay cut paper on it, a bit tricky but practise makes almost perfect. I am looking for a pattern to show how to make flap, all my attempts are not working, any idaas.


Judy said...

I wanted you to know how helpful your blog has been.
I'm a Brit living in Egypt and thanks to you and Mylinda, I have just begun to teach how to make these bags to the women of the Zebaleen Garbage Collectors group.
These are desperately poor women who need to earn money to support their families. They have quite successfully produced items made from recycled paper pulp but have been looking for something new.
I think that this will really fit the bill.
Thank you so much for taking the time to create the tutorials.

Anonymous said...

I love your purses. I have been trying to make one, but haven't gotten the links made. When I apply clear tape to cover them for protection, I can't fold them, they won't crease and hold a fold. Any ideas?


embeadke said...

Hello Judy

I am so happy to hear about your project. Thanks for making this technique available in Egypt. It will be interesting to see how the local culture influences how the purses are made. You should be able to find some very interesting materials to work with. Good luck!

embeadke said...

Hello Sherry

There should be no problem in folding the links. Are you working with really thick paper? Just to make things simple, try covering a piece of typing paper (20lbs weight) with packing tape. The typing paper is thick enough so that you will not need to back it with another piece of paper. There should only be one layer of tape on the paper. Cut the tape to the size of the paper. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I have searched all over the internet for directions on how to connect the ends of chains together but I don't understand any of them. Can you post directions on how to connect the ends of a long chain to form a circle?

embeadke said...

Hello anonymous

It is very difficult to explain how to make a candy wrapper circle. I noticed that on Youtube there are some videos that should help you a great deal.There is a video that shows you how to connect the two ends of a chain together. There is also a set of videos in Dutch or German that show you all of the step involved in making a candy wrapper purse (8 to 9 mini tutorials with great pictures). Go to Youtube and type in "candy wrapper purse" in the search box and all of these videos should come up for you. If you look at all of the videos and still can not get it, you might want to buy the tutorial on making candy wrapper purses by the Candy Wrapper King. Last time I looked he had a sale going on. He has videos on Youtube that tell you about his course.

Another idea is to make a chain ten links long then go into the fifth link and separate it form the sixth link notice how the two links were joined together. Now try to link the fifth link to the the sixth link. If you can do it you can also link the two ends of a candy wrapper chain.

Anonymous said...

depois de muito procurar achei suas explicaçoes,te agradeço por que nos ajuda muito. nao é todo mundo que tem faz assim.obrigado!

jaciara lima

Anonymous said...

I love making these purses but I have yet to find a way to make the rectangles bigger so you can see more picture in the square. Can someone help me out please with larger dimensions?

embeadke said...

Hello Anonymous

The links can be many different sizes. If you need other sizes let me know, but the easiest larger size is the dollar bill size. That's right! cut your paper to the size of a dollar bill then fold it up as you would any other link. Some of the purses on this blog were made with the dollar bill size links. When working with the larger links it may be necessary to use more backing for eack link. If you are using one piece of paper to back the standard link you may need to use 2 two or one and a half to back the dollar bill size links. You can also change the kind of backing paper you use,one piece of typing paper will be stiffer and thicker than one piece of magazine page paper.

You can make your own larger size links by just keeping the same proportions between the width and the lenght of the link. For example 2 x 2 = 4 (width) 2 x4 and1/2 = 9. Giving you are larger link of 4 by 9. You will find that you may need to add 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch to the lenght depending on how thick your material is. make a few links of the new size with the material you will be using. If they are too tight when you put one link into the other then make the lenght a little bit longer. You should be able to push one link into the other without pushing hard. On the other hand the links should fit together and not be loose. Good luck I hope this info helps!

embeadke said...


I have been making candy wrapper purses for 4-5 years now and I have seen many changes in what is available to us. I see many people getting information on candy wrapper purses and there seem to be many people interested in the craft. I was wondering if any of you have set up meetings for people who are interested in the craft on a local basis? If so how did you go about it and was it successful?

About 2 months ago I talked to a woman who was at a quilting exhibit. She showed me all of the beautiful quilts and she also told me about the activites that her organization had for charity. It was very impressive. I would like to see the same kind of development with the candy wrapper crafts. This could lead to better material to work with and better patterns. In the future I hope we will have national meetings. I would like to see a national meeting (or international meeting) with guest speakers and venders of supplies that we need and can use.Can you imagine a tour of some of the best candy wrapper purse artists in Mexico? It is a lot of fun making these beautiful purses and it would be even more fun doing it together. Right now it is seen by many people involved as an occupation. I can see the possibility of kits being sold and maybe even a magazine with beautiful patterns and supplies in it.

If there is any interest in seeing the candy wrapper craft develop in the ways listed above please let us know.

Anonymous said...

Bravo, what words..., a remarkable idea

Anonymous said...

I have just added this post to :)

liz said...

I love your idea for making the links portable... I have been folding a bags worth at a time, and when you let go of them they pop open and take to a bunch of room, your way saves a ton of space

;) elizabeast

embeadke said...

Hello Liz
I am glad you like the idea. I find that it is easy to take your work with you. It is also easy for folks to work together on a project.One person could fold the links while someone else does the rest of the work. It seems that folding the links is the most time consuming part of making a candy wrapper purse, once the folding is done the bag can be finished easily.

Anonymous said...

thanks after this nice tips 147896325

caz said...

hi i live in greece, im a brit, and have just discovered candy wrapper bags, its great though we dont eat that much candy, but do read lots of magazines, i decided to use the pages from these, i was covering them with clear contact after i had finished the bag, but saw your blog on doing it first to the wrapper, why didnt i think of that? great blog will be checking it out regular, thank you, i just love the bags and get quite excited when doing mine, my friends want one since i made mine only 2 days ago, i love it,

embeadke said...

Hello Caz

Thanks for your comments. I hope you have a great time making candy wrapper purses.

hannahjanesweet said...

how do you make the rows on top of each other? just sew

Moving Boxes said...

WOW! Reusing candy wrappers is an awesome idea. So small a thing, but can be used in such a beautiful way! Great work!

Anonymous said...

you can also use clear tape to protect the candywrappers, its easy to work with and affordable.

craftyv said...

Wow what a great new craft for me, already made 3 but need more precise tutorials on, adding a flap, straight edges and larger bags. Any sites you know of with more details re-these. Thanks .

Akosua Rose said...

Hello, I have been looking for a way to make purses out of old wrapping paper and magazines. This looks just brilliant! I love the work you've done. I can't wait to try it myself. Thank you for this blog!

Lauren Baker said...

Hey, I have a small purse that my sister gave me using this technique and apparently it was made in a Prison in Mexico, do you know anything about this because I really want to learn more about it. please reply on my tumblr if possible. xx.

TeachingEnglishAreFun said...

For small paper crafts, like beads, I have found embossing powder to be a great way to seal and protect.

Also, I frequently use cardboard packaging from things like soda boxes and cereal boxes. The only thing I do differently (because the material is so much thicker) is to cut the pieces 4.5 inches by 1/2 in and then you don't fold it lengthwise at all.

embeadke said...

Hello, TeachingEnglishAreFun

I have used cardboard for other craft projects but never with
this technique. I will have to try making some cardboard links. Thanks for the info!

Anonymous said...

Yes there is

N. Davis said...

Hi there, I'm not sure if you still check this blog, but I found it after doing a search on "how to repair a candy wrapper purse" and could really use your help! I have a candy wrapper purse I found at Goodwill for only $5, and I absolutely love it! Unfortunately, recently I have noticed that a few of the links on the strap are starting to come loose. I know there must be some way to repair it, but I don't know how and am afraid of messing it up. Can you please tell me how you repair links that become loose? Thank you in advance!

embeadke said...

Hello N.Davis

I would need to see just what the strap on your purse looks like. Most definately the strap can be rewoven however, you will need to match the material that was used to weave the strap. If you would like to, you could email me some pictures of your purse and I will try to help you.

N. Davis said...


Thank you so much for your quick reply! I am definitely interested in emailing you, but I can't seem to find your email address (so sorry if I'm overlooking it!)

LoveableLittleButtercup said...

I remember making chains out of gum wrappers when we were little. One girl I knew used the chain to decorate her room. I'm glad to see this coming back :)

embeadke said...

Hello N.Davis

My email address is Please email me and let me know how I can help you.