DIY Purse Trash Can

I don’t know about you, but keeping my purse neat and organized is a challenge.  Receipts, gum wrappers, tissues, notes, etc. can take over and wreak havoc in a very short period of time.

Obviously, when I’m near a trash can I’ll use it, but there are many times when I have a piece of trash and no where to put it.

So what can I do except to toss it in my bag?  Ugh.  I hate all those little scraps and mess all over the bottom of my purse.

At one point I even added ‘clean out purse’ to my weekly cleaning list in my home management binder.  Good idea?  You bet.  Do I always do it?  Uh, not really.

One day it dawned on me – I need a “trash can” for my purse!  So, I set to the task of figuring something out.  Here is what I came up with – my very own do-it-yourself purse trash can:

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Here is how I did it:

Start with a pretty napkin, Mod Podge, and a plastic container.  I used a wide mouthed ibuprofen bottle.  You want the mouth to be wide enough so that it’s easy to dump out the trash.  This bottle has worked great for me – even tissues come out of it.

Cover your work surface with newspaper.  Measure the bottle area that you want to cover.  I wrapped the napkin around it to set the design how I wanted it.  Cut down the napkin to size.  I used both layers of the napkin at the same time.

Cover the bottle with Mod Podge using a foam brush.

Wrap the napkin around and secure the end with more Mod Podge.

VERY CAREFULLY cover the napkin with Mod Podge and allow to dry.  The napkin I used was fairly thin, so after it dried, I cut another layer of napkin, matched the design and Mod Podged it over the first layer.  You could probably put a plain piece of paper on for your first layer if you don’t have enough napkin.  Otherwise, you may be able to see the bottle writing through the napkin.

Allow it to dry for 20-30 minutes.  I set it upright and moved it a few times so it didn’t stick to the newspaper.

Follow the same process to cover the lid.  The design on my napkin just happened to fit the size of the lid perfectly!  I didn’t plan that, but was really happy with the result.

And here is the finished product!  Light, easy to empty, and effective in keeping my purse clean and organized!

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45 Responses to “DIY Purse Trash Can”

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  1. Laura says:

    That’s absolutely brilliant! Nothing worse than finding old gum at the bottom of a purse …

  2. This falls in the “why didn’t I think of that” category! I hate finding all those itsy scraps in the bottom of my purse! I would love it if you would come link up with Busy Monday (through Thursdays) at A Pinch of Joy, a linky party for ideas that make life better, easier and more fun!

  3. Virginia says:

    What a great idea! My kids are 18 & 20 and still hand me their gum in church to throw away for them!!!

  4. Karri Reiser says:

    I absolutely love this. I’m so bummed because I just threw away a medicine bottle that would have been perfect. Oh well. I know I’ll have another one. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful idea.

  5. Margo says:

    This is a crazy good idea! My little ones are always handing me gum wrappers or sucker sticks when we are at church or shopping, and I always stuff it in my purse or pocket, yuck. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best!

  6. Jenni says:

    Such a neat idea… I’m pinning this! :)

  7. Denise says:

    Oh my goodness. This is SO cute. Great idea, Ginny :).


  8. Jennifer S says:

    Visiting via Delightful Order…..
    Love this idea! Sometimes my whole purse feels like a trash can! This is a great solution.

  9. Janet says:

    That’s cute. Really clever.

  10. Great idea! My purse is always a mess!

  11. Carol Ann says:

    Great idea and pretty too!

  12. This gives me hope! Great idea. Hopefully I’ll have a cleaner purse from here on out.

  13. Marilyn says:

    Visiting from Shabby Creek Cottage. What a clever idea! Thanks for sharing.

  14. Alison says:

    Why have I never thought of having a trash can in my purse?! I get so grossed out by the trash I end up collecting in my purse! Thanks for sharing at oopsey daisy!

  15. Such a cute and creative idea! Thank you so much for sharing at Taking A Timeout Thursday!

  16. What a cute idea, my purse is always a mess, and never any place to put it, usually ends up on the floor of my car. Loved the fabric you used. Now I should have not problem keeping my purse clean. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration at Sunday’s Best!

  17. Karen says:

    I saw this on Roadkill Rescue. This is pure genius! How many times do I think I need somewhere to throw all my purse trash!!! Esp the lollipop sticks and old tissues!

  18. Karen says:

    PS I just pinned this :)

  19. Maria Matter says:

    perfect!!! this is such a GREAT idea Ginny!!

    would love you to share this at my linky party, Inspire Me Fridays, for all to see!

  20. Susan says:

    What a great idea! Perfect for kids’ used gum, with or without a tissue. :)

  21. Kajo says:

    This would also pretty up the small pharmacy that I carry in my purse. Instead of carrying different bottles for Tylenol, Aleve, Prevacid etc I usually just dump them all in one bottle. With your decorative bottle idea my pharmacy can look pretty too.

  22. Taryn says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this! My 12 year old and I are both doing this during Spring Break this week! Shared a link here:

  23. Katharine says:

    I’ve been saving my empty prescription bottles thinking that I could reuse them if I covered them up. Now I’ve seen a great idea. One for the purse trash and the rest for craft organization. I hadn’t thought of napkins but that makes mores sense than paper. :)

  24. Pamelacourterier says:

    Great idea!! Thanks for sharing.

  25. Mary Daughtry says:

    I have not used hodge podge before. Would wrapping paper work or be to thick. It looks like the hodge podge would have to penetrate the paper. (was it modge podge, anyway you can tell I am just starting craftingLOL

  26. al says:

    Love it! I just made mine with some scrapbooking paper (thicker than a napkin) that matched my coupon folders that I made another day. Thanks for the inspiration!

  27. Rhonda says:

    Thanks for this idea!
    If i may i’d like to suggest another tip for an empty prescription or overthe counter vitamin/medicine bottle….
    i make sure the label is off and store it on a high shelf where no one can easily access.
    I use it to put used box cutter blades, used Xacto blades, dull razor blades/cartridges, bent small nails, thumb tacks, sewing needles, pins, bent paperclips, small pieces of glass, used razor cartridges, etc. anything sharp that can be discarded into the bottle.
    Then i discard the bottle with the lid on tight. Use the childproof lid that came on the bottle. Write in bold, sharpie
    This prevents any holes poked in my plastic trash bags, and prevents these little ‘dangers’ from roaming around loose in the trash bag or in the hands of others.

  28. Cheryl-Ann says:

    Can’t you just reuse an old ziplock bag (I always seem to have an excess of those) and toss the lot when full? But this is a nifty way to decorate and I think I will decorate some bottles to store little things in my junk drawer/tool chest.

  29. Robbie says:

    For me “clean out purse” is on my evening checklist…along with about 40 other items. I have about 2.5 hours from the time I get home from work till bedtime. I’m lucky if I can get through three other tasks beyond getting dinner on the table. :( So I totally relate to having something on one’s list, but not necessarily following through. (Fortunately I bought the now discontinued Vera Bradley bowler bag. It has the smartest design of any bag I’ve found which makes it easier to keep everything organized.)

  30. Barb Garber says:

    What an AWESOME idea!!! Love it

  31. Katharine says:

    Loved this idea but then thought Why couldn’t I use a protein powder or meal replacement container and make a bigger one for my car…I always have stuff there that ends up on the floor… going to make on for my car too..thanks for the inspiration

  32. Dawn Andress says:

    Love this idea! I think I will invite a friend over and we can make one together!

  33. Mme Aiello says:

    Dying to know how it’s “held up” against the inevitable abuse it must get in your purse… Can we get an update? LOVE this original & creative idea! You rock!

    Mme Aiello @ Teaching FSL

  34. I made one like this but with duct tape. I use it all the time!! So easy and simple.. and now I don’t have garbage at the bottom of my purse.

  35. Kristin says:

    LOVE this idea!!

  36. Amy Molly says:

    Love it. I made one today. I didn’t use mod podge or a napkin. I used wood workers glue and some fabric I had. Worked wonders. Thanks for the awesome idea!!

  37. Carol says:

    Pure Genius!!! Thank You!


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