Mary has many hobbies and shares her ideas and passion in an easy to read user-friendly way.
Using Ring Pulls to Make Handbags
Have you ever wondered what happens to all those tabs on your soft drink cans? We know the aluminum cans are recycled but what about the ring pulls. The answer is a resounding "Yes"! In some countries, they are being turned into art. Still, others are turned into jewelry and here in Brazil communities are using them to make handbags, belts, and shoes. These are then being sold in Europe at boutiques and at chic open air markets.
Providing Work in Brazil
Here in Brazil, these bags are made from recycled pop tops and delivered to the USA and throughout Europe.
These women, who would likely be unemployed without this intervention, enjoy the opportunity to learn a new skill and be paid for their work and time. In many areas of Brazil, poverty still affects many people. The willingness to work is there but not the infrastructure of getting the product to the export market, this is something that has been lacking. Part of this was due to the language barrier, and not having an end buyer.
The video below shows how this has changed. From collecting the tabs off the cans to the handbag's end destination.
Make a Bracelet Out of Soda Pop Tops
Below shows you just how easy it can be to make a bracelet using the tabs from a soft drink can. Why not give it a go?
This is just the start, you could soon be making belts, and handbags, anything you can think of. You are only limited by your imagination.
Once you have made one, you might think about selling some. As you have seen from the video above, this can be a great community earner. Sell your items on Etsy, eBay, or rent a stall at a crafts fair. People love buying unique items especially if they know it will benefit a good cause. This would also make a great fund raiser for schools.
Making Handbags and Purses
There are loads of things that you could turn into a stylish bag. The smallest piece of fabric could be used as a coin purse. A few snaps and piping and hey presto, you have a one of a kind, design.
Let's face it ladies, how many times have you come out of shop and not seen the perfect handbag. This way, you get the style you want, the color you want and the lining you want. All of this at a fraction of the cost.
If you are a seamstress you will already have scrap material that can be used. There are often very usable pieces of material left over after making another sewing project. Or in a fabric store, remnants are usually fairly priced and are the ideal size for purses and handbags.
Other items to use can be found in their handicraft section or even in a hardware store. You are only limited by your imagination.
Start Your Own Business
Start your own business selling handbags. It is easier than you think. If you are complimented on the bag you made, you could consider selling them. People are always looking for something creative and unique.
If you have a sewing machine, it makes it that much easier. Once you have successfully made one, the rest will take you a fraction of the time.
You could sell at craft fairs or handicraft exhibitions or approach small boutiques and see if they would be willing to sell for you.
If you decide to sell them online, there are of course sites like eBay which you could sell from. The problem with eBay is everyone expects a bargain and you will be competing with Chinese imports which are usually very inexpensive. Etsy would be your better option as there are designers selling their unique creations.
Read more about starting a sewing business
- How To Start A Home Sewing Business
Having a sewing business in your home is a way to supplement your income or provide all of your income. In order to make money at home, you'll have to carefully device a plan and have patience. In time with dedication, you'll be making money working
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2011 Mary Wickison
Have you seen pop top bags for sale?
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on May 24, 2012:
I don't know if there is a website but you could try.
Mercardo Livre. This is the Brazilian Ebay. Using an online translator you should be able to navigate your way around the site. The prices would be in Brazilian Reals and is written as R$.
Another place to try would be ETSY, they often have wonderful handmade items there and I believe the contributors are international.
Hope that helps.
mwilliams66 from Left Coast, USA on May 24, 2012:
I have never seen these before. I was really excited when I saw a pin on making chain mail from tab tops.
I would very much like to know how to purchase from the Brazilians or Salvadorians. Do you know if there is a website?
What a fantastic hub.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on March 25, 2012:
There are several people here with small businesses. Some deliver only one type of veg to all of the small shops. Normally this is done on a motorcycle.
We have a tilapia farm and we supply one local man twice a week who resells them. He will carry up to 50 kilos on the back of his motorcycle delivering to all the family run shops in the area.
Mary Roark from Boise area, Idaho on January 31, 2012:
This is both a very unique craft idea and a very wonderful story for those in Brazil. Thanks for sharing!