Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Messenger Bag Refashion Tutorial

free messenger bag re do (30)
Random ugly trade-show items are rampant in our home. We have several bags at the moment that are proudly declaring various company names. We use them for library books or other needs. I decided this orange one (below) needed a makeover! I’m really excited about the result. You might recognize the makeover fabric from these bags.
upcycled bag before and after
Do you have an ugly bag you’d like to refashion? Oh, good.
This is easy. First, I dismantled the bag. I used my seam ripper to take off the flap and then took off the binding. (Save the binding. We’ll use it for reassembly.)
I used two scraps of fabric and some fusible interfacing. The binding and velcro piece I harvested from the original bag.
upcycled free tote bag
1. Use the flap as a pattern to trace around both the exterior and lining fabric. I interfaced the exterior fabric only.
2. Before applying the binding, machine baste the exterior and back pieces together.
3. Sew the binding bck around the fabric piece. I didn’t pin. It worked out for me this time, but you might want to pin depending on the type of fabric you’re using. I’ve had some binding disasters when I don’t pin.
4. Fold the flap down. Now fold it over again to hide the raw edge. Stitch it to the original bag. (Try and do it the same way the original flap was attached.)
5. Re-attach the velcro piece. I used a zig-zag stitch set to the widest setting but the shortest setting, so there wasn’t a lot of space between the zig zags. I went back and forth a few times to cover all the bare space. Not sure if that’s the best way, but it worked for me this time.

I love this bag! And the project went very fast (less than one nap time!) and was completely free.
free messenger bag re do (27)


  1. Cute! I have a few of these that I could cover up! :)

    Great job!

  2. I have one of these same bags that I got in High School. Back then I sharpied it and wore it to shreds so I made myself a more "adult" looking copy cat version. It's a little bit bigger but I had a big laptop I needed to fit in it. Thanks for sharing your version if I ever get another bag that isnt worn to shreds I will copy you!

    1. 'Sharpied' it? As in wrote on it? Glad you like the idea!

  3. What a great idea! We too have random bags with ugly logs showing up at our house. I am sure I will be able to use your hints to fix our bags and make them cute as well as useful. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Nice refashion! This would be a great way to use up some of the pretty-but-i-bought-too-much-of-it fabrics. :) I'm your newest follower!

    Jess @ Tupelo Creative

  5. Hi there! I’m going to start hosting a weekly blog hop on Sundays on my blog, WTFab. I’m looking for 4 co-hosts each week, starting October 14th and was wondering if you’d be interested! It’ll be a fun way to gain more followers and make new blog friends. If you want to be a co-host, you can email me at:

  6. Cool makeover! Thanks for linking up at Submarine Sunday!

  7. So much cuter! Would love if if you linked up on my blog hop Also let me know if you'd like to follow each other!

  8. very nice! great way to salvage a bag you don't like


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