I recently picked up some awesome burlap strapping (some call it jute webbing, used for upholstery backing). I also scored some pretty amazing rag rugs at the dollar store for $2ea! I knew I wanted to use my new burlap strapping as tote handles, so when I got the rag rugs so cheaply a light bulb went off in my head;) So, the "Rag-Bag!" was born!
Here's how I did it:
You will need: 1 small Rag rug, 1 yard of burlap strapping (Burlap Strap on Esty), two 3"w x 6'L strips of thin leather, scissors, embroidery thread, heavy duty embroidery needle.
Fold the rug in half. Pick up one of the bottom corners and invert it. This will create slightly angled bottom corners, giving your finished bag shape. Pin for stitching and repeat on the other bottom corner...
This is what that inverted corner will like on the inside of the bag.
Using embroidery thread, stitch securely. Starting at edge, do a simple but tight running stitch until you are about 2-3" in and then stop and tie off. Trim excess thread, and repeat on the other corner.
This is what the bottom of your soon-to-be bag should look like now!
Now for the handles, take the yard of burlap and cut it in half. These will be your two handles. Starting with the first one, find the center and pinch it in half. Secure this fold with a bout 3-4" of stitching (I used my machine here..)
Round off the edges of your leather piece and fold over the burlap strap fold that you just stitched. Sew the leather onto the burlap (again, I used a machine here, but this could also be done by hand, using THIMBLE as well;) Repeat above three steps on second strap.
Now you should have two straps that look like this!
Now stitch your straps on! I had to do this by hand because all of the layers of material were too thick for my machine:( I also chose to stitch them to the INSIDE flap of my bag because of the classic fringe on the rug that I thought would look fun uninterrupted.
Repeat this step on the other side of the bag, and then you'll be ready to stitch the sides closed and be done! (The above photo shows the inside of one side of the bag).
Hand stitch your sides closed using a plain blanket stitch( or if you'd prefer a whip stitch that works too). Make sure it's nice and tight from top to bottom!
How much fun is that!? It looks like a lot of steps, but over all it's pretty simple and I LOVE how cool and funky this looks. This tote is going to be TOTES awesome for beach trips, shopping trips, quick overnights etc.
I thinks it's my new new go-to "schlep bag" :)
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