One of the stories I have written is about a little mouse called Willow whose teacher gives the class a challenge on Earth Day. All the students must carry around a plastic bag for one day, putting in all the rubbish they would normally throw away. Willow has a big breakfast, finishing off a box of cornflakes with a sliced banana and a pot of yoghurt. She puts the big empty box, banana peel and empty yoghurt pot into her bag and sets off for school.

In the playground she proudly shows her friends how much rubbish she has collected already! Over the course of the day, she adds an apple core and juice box from her mid-morning snack, half a bread roll from lunch and some paint-splashed paper towels from art class. The teacher tells the children that their next challenge will be to find ways to reduce the amount of rubbish they create, and to think of a clever way to recycle what they can.

Willow is excited by the recycling project and dumps all her rubbish on the kitchen table to sort through it. Her mum helps, and they separate the apple core and banana peel for compost, the bread roll to feed the birds, and the big box, paper towels and yoghurt pot for recycling. Willow decides to make a fabulous costume, with a Hawaiian skirt (plastic bags and colourful paper towels strung on a belt), a yoghurt pot hat and a cereal box handbag!

In our house we always have stacks of cereal boxes, so I made a handbag just like Willow’s which you can see here. I cut a large square out of the top half of the box at the front, leaving about an inch around the edge to make a handle. On the back I cut the same square, but only on three sides, so I could fold the square over to close the handbag.

Next I cut the sides off the top half of the box and folded in the bottom half on each side so the two handles would meet and the folded over bit would fit nicely. Finally I cut a little curved line in the front of the box to make a flap to slide the front cover into and hold it in place.

Here is a diagram of the whole process. The finished bag looks very stylish! Since cereal boxes come in lots of colours, you can make a different bag for every outfit. Have fun!

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