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Published June 24, 2011, 12:00 AM

North Dakota woman turns pop tabs into purses

GALESBURG, N.D. - Dori Lande’s latest craft venture started with an order for 1,000 pop tabs. Next, it was 4,000. Then 5,000.

GALESBURG, N.D. - Dori Lande’s latest craft venture started with an order for 1,000 pop tabs.

Next, it was 4,000.

Then 5,000.

And now she’s working through 15,000 pop tabs – all 11 pounds of which she’ll put to use in hand-crafting purses.

Since entering early retirement four years ago, the Galesburg resident has spent much of her time making and selling various handmade crafts.

But Lande caught on to pop-tab purses last fall while visiting her former home in Washington state.

A woman she knew was making one, and the idea resonated with Lande.

Back in Galesburg, Lande challenged herself to make the complicated purse for herself.

Lande looked online but didn’t like the patterns she found.

So with a little ingenuity and creative spirit, Lande came up with her own pattern from scratch and set to work crocheting hundreds of pop tabs together using nylon cord.

Thousands of pop tabs later, Lande was working on her 16th purse last week.

She said various women across the Red River Valley region have asked her to make a purse for them as word of Lande’s purse-making has spread.

“They’re so unique, and people that want something unique or different, they just snatch them up,” she said.

It takes Lande about 20 hours to make each purse – and it’s not a simple process.

Lande first orders the pop tabs on eBay – because after all, “How could you save that many?” Lande acknowledged.

Then she has to sort through each pop tab, clipping them as necessary and washing them thoroughly.

Crocheting takes the longest amount of time. Lande uses about 870 pop tabs for a shoulder purse and about 750 pop tabs for the handbag variety she also created.

On the inside, Lande sews in a Kangaroo Keeper purse organizer, which offers a boost of practicality to the final product.

Lande sells the purses for $60, but she said one woman offered her as much as $100 for the unique accessory.

Aside from the purses, Lande specializes in potato-cooking bags and high-strength magnetic jewelry.

“I’ve always enjoyed doing crafts,” she said. “But it’s fun when you find something new.”

Lande can be reached by email at purplelande@polarcomm.com.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541

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