This bag is inspired by Scandinavian holiday paper baskets traditionally used as Christmas decorations. I super-sized the design, and made it with strong duck tape instead of paper. This transforms the delicate tree decoration into a perfect, sturdy beach bag -- which you can make for your sweetheart on Valentine's day.
Step 1: Materials
You will need:
- 2 rolls of duck tape of contrasting colors
- 2 sheets of tabloid paper to print the pattern
- the pattern, which you can download from my website
- Some regular scotch tape to hold down the pattern when you are cutting it.
Although you can easily make this with a pair of scissors, if you do have an Xacto knife, a large cutting mat and a ruler, use them! It will be faster and you will get better results.
Download the pattern template from my website -- the pattern is FREE, but you will need to enter a valid email address because I'll be sending you a link to the files via email.
Don't worry, I won't use your information for any other purpose (unless you ASK to get my newsletters). I just like to get a sense of how many people are interested in my projects. While you're there, feel free to poke around, I have tons of pop-up card and paper toy templates, many of which are free.
This template is formatted to be printed on tabloid sized paper (11" by 17"). The drawing goes right to the edge of the page. This means the border won't be printed... it is the edge of your paper.
Step 2: Prepare the Duck Tape "fabric"
Apply 34" strips of duck tape to a clean, flat surface (my formica table was perfect), overlapping each strip by about 1/4"
Keep applying strips till you have a width just over 11"
Remove the tape and flip it so it is sticky side up, then apply 11" strips in the other direction, till your entire sheet is covered with smooth duck tape on both sides.
Repeat with your second color.
Step 3: Cut the Pieces
Fold the duct tape "fabric" in half and use removable scotch tape to secure the paper to your material. The bottom of the pattern should be on the fold.
Cut the pattern with a pair of scissors, or, if you have the equipment, with and Xacto knife, a ruler and a cutting mat.
If you are cutting with scissors, be sure to hold the pattern and material down on a flat surface while you cut with your other hand. You want to prevent the pattern from moving as you cut. To be extra cautious, you can add a few pieces of scotch tape to the edges after you've trimmed off the material to hold everything in place while you finish the piece.
Cut both pieces and throw away your paper patterns.
Step 4: Weave the Bag
Weaving is generally pretty straightforward: you have 2 sets of thread (warp and weft) at a right angle. The weft is then woven through by going alternately above and below the warp.
The trick with this bag is that you are weaving folded material, so instead of going below the warp you will go through it (like threading a needle) and instead of going above the warp you will go around it, wrapping it on both sides. This sounds complicated and confusing, and it's hard to photograph too, but watch the video and you'll get the hang of it quickly.
First place your two, folded pieces a right angle to form a heart shape. Flip over all but the top strip of the weft (in my photos, that's the grey strips), then start weaving, starting with the strip at the top, closest to the rounded side.
Be very careful to only go THROUGH the warp, and then to go AROUND it on both sides. If you make a mistake, you might not see it on the front, but when you try to separate the top and bottom of your bag they will be attached together right where you made the mistake (when you flip the bag and look on the other side you will see the error).
I learned this the hard way, and had to take the whole thing apart, because my mistake was right at the top. The second time I wove the bag I made sure to run my hand between the layers every once in a while to make sure I hadn't messed up again.
Step 5: Add a Strap
Lay down two overlapping 36" pieces of duck tape on your flat, clean surface, then peel them off and flip them over the same way you did when you were preparing the first two pieces.
On the sticky side, lay down one strip of tape with about 6 extra inches on either side (so the third strip will be about 48" long).
Fold the edges over, so you end up with one long strip, smooth on both sides except for the 2 sticky ends.
Tape one sticky end to the interior of your woven heart, at the intersection between the two pieces (flip the top of your bag over so it's out of your way).
With the top of the bag still out of your way, fold the strap as shown in the picture, then carefully fold over the top of the bag to glue it to the strap.
Reinforce the interior with a few additional pieces of duck tape. This will improve the strength of the strap, and it will also help keep your weave regular and neat.