Monday, June 1, 2015

Coffee Bean Sacks Repurposed into Handbags.

Every year I like to participate in one or two craft fairs. My inventory varies based on what I feel like making what materials I have on hand. It is usually whatever suits my fancy. I recently acquired some coffee bean sacks and have a source for more. They are a combination of burlap, jute, straw, plastic fiber combinations. Some have really bold graphic designs others more subtle imagery. I decided to recycle these sacks into handbags.


Have you worked with burlap? It is tricky. You have to deal with the twisting grain, the fraying fibers, and at times the transparency of the loose weave of the material. I hesitate to give away all my secrets, however, I will tell you this, stabilize stabilize, stabilize! You must choose the stabilizer to suit your needs and purpose of your end product. I used heavier weight stabilizer for the totes,

and a lightweight for my hobo bags with softer shapes.
The adhesive on the interfacing takes a great deal of heat and pressure to bound to the sack. A press cloth is a must. It is important to press (up and down motion) rather than iron (back and forth) the material.

For the handles, I repurposed leather belts. I have a sewing machine that cuts through leather like a hot knife through butter! This combination of textures and fabrics work well together.

The bags have an interior magnetic snap and slide pockets.

After showing them to friends, they insisted I add these bags to my Etsy store for sale prior to my craft fairs. You can have a look at them and purchase there are if you like. I am also happy take custom orders if there's something you'd like that you don't see available. Use code thanks10 at checkout for 10%off.

Each bag is different. The orientation of the images varies based on what is usable and free of imperfections. The handles are chosen based on what I have sourced in my shopping outings. The fabric for the lining is chosen based on the treasures of my stash. I begin each piece with a vague idea of what I want to do, but I don't now until the end.  I am working with different patterns and tweaking design options so I'm excited to see what I come up with next :-).

Happy Sewing,


  1. Wow! These look great! I just passed on a couple of burlap bags because I couldn't figure out what to do with them due to the tricky weave. These look so professional--you really made a great use of them.

    1. Thanks! It was trial and error at first, but now I think I have the hang of it! I have an order for a crossbody version that I will work on this week. I am excited to get more experimental, stay tuned :)

  2. You are SO smart - those are fantastic!!!

  3. You are so clever and creative. All of these bags are fabulous.

  4. Repurposed perfection! Love these and what a great way to use belts too. Bet they sell like hotcakes


  5. GREAT work!!! I need to make me one ... FIESTA :)