Learn how to turn regular kitchen sponges into a cute purse

On this episode of In The Know: Upcycled, style icon and DIY fashion expert Wandy the Maker (@wandythemaker) gives a tutorial on how to transform kitchen sponges into a stylish and creative handbag!

What you’ll need:

Step 1: Measure your purse

Start by grabbing an existing purse to use as a template. Lay the purse flat on your cutting set and measure its dimensions with a tape measure. Next, using those dimensions, cut out a piece of pattern paper to serve as an easy reference while making your purse.

Step 2: Arrange your sponges

Line up your sponges on the pattern paper. Wandy uses 17 sponges, but the number you use will depend on the size of your purse template. Get ready to start sewing, by arranging the sponges in the shape and pattern you have planned for your purse. 

Step 3: Sew your sponges

Use a sewing machine to sew the sponges together. Start by connecting 2 sponges using a zigzag stitch, then add more until you have completed the first side of your bag. Use pins as needed to keep everything together while you work. Once the first side is done, make the second side of your bag and the bottom of your bag using the same technique. Finally, use sewing clips to attach all 3 panels, and sew them together to finish your purse shape.

Step 4: Clean up the edges

Use some bias tape to clean up the edges of your purse. To do this, simply cut the length of bias tape you need to go around the top edge of your bag, then sew it on using a straight stitch. When you finish, the top of your bag should have a nice, clean edge to it. 

Step 5: Add the strap

Grab the piece of fabric you’re using for your purse’s strap and place it on an ironing mat. Then, fold the outer edges of the strap about a quarter of an inch, and iron them down. Fold the strap in half and iron again. Then, sew the outer edges of the strap together, attach the strap to your purse, and voila! You have a stylish purse no one will believe is actually made of kitchen sponges!

Wandy notes that you can play around with different shapes and patterns while making your purse, so don’t be afraid to get creative. “You can make the bag bigger or smaller, like a beach bag or a clutch,” he explains. “Just go to your kitchen, pick up some sponges, and try it yourself!”

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