Add a Third-leg to Your Messenger Bag!





Introduction: Add a Third-leg to Your Messenger Bag!

Many messenger bags don't come with a third-leg stabilizing strap, which comes in handy when riding a bike or doing anything active. Here's how to add your own!

Step 1: The Strap

The strap I used came from a sleeping bag I think. It's been kicking around for a while because I knew it would come in handy. You should be able to pick one up at camping store or sporting goods store. Nylon is good and the stronger the clip the better.

Wrap the pronged end around your messenger bag's strap then cut it leaving a good 4 inch tail. In order to keep the freshly cut end from fraying it's good to burn it. I used a "hot knife" which is the right tool for the job but scissors and a lighter work fine too.

Step 2: Sew the Pronged End

The last time I sewed was in 7th grade home economics, so don't use my terrible job as an example.

Wrap the pronged end around the messenger bag strap and sew it to itself. The stronger the better, so many passes with the sewing machine is good.

Step 3: Size the Second Part of the Strap

Put on the messenger bag and size up how long you want the new third-leg to be. The length of the third-leg will depend on how full your bag is, so keep that in mind when you are determining how long to make it. The strap I used is adjustable which is sweet for varying bag fullness.

Step 4: Sew the Second Part of the New Strap.

Sew this the same way as the first side, and not as shoddy as me. The leftover piece of tail can be cut off and burned.

Step 5: Epoxy Time!

Since I don't trust my sewing very much, I decided to add a little epoxy to make sure it doesn't come apart. If you are in the same boat, follow this step. If you actually know how to sew then you are probably laughing at me right now.

I used some thin epoxy resin and "kleer kote" hardener. The ratio is 1:1, and since I only needed a little bit I used 4 grams of each which turned out to be perfect.

Mix it up and soak the "iffy" parts of your sweet sew job. Let it dry and then you have a super cool third-leg.



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    15 Discussions

    Thanks. Going to do this this week.

    i just finished one the other day, but instead of sewing mine to my bag i used snaps so that i have full movement of the bag strap

    Very well thought out and executed. Inspired by you, among others, I did a really easy version of this:

    Whoa that comment i made was from four years ago haha, basically a different person now. But yeah did you get it off of Threadless? :D

     Getting mine from local company that sells German Army surplus stuff on friday and was wondering to make iPod/iPhone charger into it. :D

    this is a great instrucatble the only issue i have with it is that you say burn the end of the nylon you want to fuse it by melting it but you don't want it to cetch on fire so if it dose it looks and feels worse and isn't as strong.

    I finally had a chance to add this modification to my bag, i went with a reflective belt from rei (helps while riding at night) and added an adjustment pull loop to the end, helps with quick (on the go) adjustments. great instructable.


    We use messenger bags because we need to - when you are running around fully loaded, trying to move through NYC like a snake through the traffic, an adjustable strap is useful. The third strap is a great idea, perhaps higher up and buckling over the chest for support.

    Our Messenger Company


    11 years ago

    Robotrix, Make a "spacer" strap using the same type of buckles to add to your bag strap. If your espcially ambitious, make the psacer adjustable. Hooz.

    I made a hip strap for my backpack this summer, and i totally did not make it adjustable, which i deeply regret. It doesn't change so much with bag fullness, but since i made it in the summer, i forgot that i eventually would be wearing the bag with thicker winter clothes and a jacket etc. So, now, it's pretty well useless until i can find the time to resew it with some adjustability. Props for thinking ahead!

    lol, epoxy. just make a big square with an "X" in the middle and make sure your ends of the thread are inside the X

    My laptop bag is getting one of these as soon as I have access to a sewing machine (and someone that can show me how to sew :P). I wonder if I could use two old leather belts and pop rivets... I'll have to experiment :P

    Wow, that's pretty awsome. Especially when you are riding a bike, sometiems it swings around and stuff, just craziness =P But this is the solution, and it looks like the company made it, which is a plus. By the way i saw you have Make hoodie =P They're a sweet magazine, along with Popsci. =]