Tutorial Tuesday: a vintage book bag

bookbag

How many of you have seen the fabric book covers in issue nine? Our vintage fabric covers help to keep your books looking gorgeous when you’re on the go. Well, we’re not ones to rest on our laurels so we’ve sourced another idea for you, and we’re sure you’ll like it. This time instead of covering up your book, you use the book to make a bag. Crafty, thrifty and downright ingenious, we say. We saw this on curbly and we had to share it with you… Read more to find out how to make this vintage book bag and to link to curbly‘s video tutorial below.

Here’s what you need to get started…

Materials
•    A hardack book with an appealing cover
•    Fabric (1/2 yard or so)
•    Sewing machine or needle and thread
•    Scissors
•    Utility knife
•    Craft glue
•    Store-bought or thrifted bag handle
•    Coloured markers

•    Polyurethane finish, Mod Podge, or watered-down white glue

To make the bag you can follow curbly’s step-by-step guide below. Or, you can watch the bag being made by watching curbly‘s video tutorial. Over to Chris Job from curbly now to present this fantastic idea.

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1. Use the utility knife to cut the pages away from the binding. Be careful if you’re using an old book (especially a initially inexpensive one); don’t cut through the cover. Make several light passes if necessary.
2. If your book is worn, colour in any white areas with matching markers.
3. Stand the book vertically on a piece of paper, opened as wide as you’d like the handbag to open. Trace its shape on the paper. Cut out the shape, adding a half inch (for seam allowance) on each side.
4. Cut the triangle in half along its height. Copy each half of the triangle onto the fabric twice, adding another half inch for seam allowance along the height. You’ll have four triangles, two of each shape.
5. Pin one of each of the triangles with right sides together, and sew along the height. This will recreate the larger triangle that you traced from the book. Sewing a seam along the middle helps to encourage the sides to fold inside the handbag when closed.
6. Copy this larger triangle onto a fresh piece of fabric. Pin the sides right sides together, and sew along all three sides, leaving a tiny opening at the bottom to invert. There’s no need to sew the opening, as it will be glued on the inside of the book.
7. Repeat steps 5-6 to create a second triangular side panel.
8. Cut four 2×3” (or whatever will fit in the slots of your handles) strips of fabric, fold along the length, and sew right sides together. Invert them (it’ll be difficult) to create four 3” tabs.
9. Lay the book cover flat on the fabric, and cut out the shape, adding an inch on all sides. Fold this extra inch over and iron to make a lining panel.
10. Attach the handles by gluing the tabs to the cover. Then, glue one side of the side panel onto the edges on one side of the book.
11. Dot that half of the book with glue, and glue one half of the lining panel to the side glued in step ten.
12. After the glue dries a bit, glue the other long side of the triangle end pieces to the other half of the book, and cover with the lining panel. This will take a little patience, but it will come together. Press down to secure the glue.
13. Add any embellishments, such as buttons, beads, etc, if you want to give your bag a little additional flair.
14. Finish with a protective coat (either glue or polyurethane based).
15. Fill with the essentials (or, in my case, give it to someone with impeccable taste), and be on your very stylish and recycled way.

Thanks, Chris and to curbly for sharing this vintage book bag tutorial. Just the thing for toting about town. And think of the possibilities…