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Making a bag or shape doesn’t always need to involve sewing or other major tools. This simple fold up bag is made by an ‘origami’ method of folding and threading tabs through holes to make a container. This fold-up bag is my unique design and intended it to be made of heavy felt. For fun I call this “Square Peg in a Round Hole”. It’s super simple with my free pattern (downloadable).

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

The simplicity of this bag is great as it doesn't need fancy supplies:

  1. Heavy weight Felt/material (amount depends on size chosen) Any heavy weight fabric or leather can also work, ideally something that will keep its shape and not fray. (You could also consider vinyl, tarp material, painted canvas, the list goes on...)
  2. Cutting tools like scissors or xacto/mat knife/rotary cutter (if using a matt knife or rotary cutter you will want to protect the table surface with a cutting mat or cardboard)
  3. Straight edge to cut the straight lines against
  4. Printer to produce pattern
  5. Magic marker to trace pattern onto material.

Step 2: Print Pattern

To download the pattern (PDF) click here

You may want to print it at a size according to the amount of felt you have or size of bag to make. Since the pattern is symmetrical you may just reuse sections and not have to print it that large.

Step 3: Cut Out the Shape

To trace the pattern onto the material you can cut it out and trace around the shape with a marker or pen. If you trace it onto the back side then any lines will not be that visible later. I use the straight edge to cut the straight lines first and then use the scissors/mat knife to cut round edges. Also cut the curved slots in the tabs.

Step 4: Fold Up Your Bag

You have now finished the hardest part. Amazing isn't it?! Now you just need to fold it up. Bring the 2 rounded tabs to overlap each other and then bring up the square tab and thread it through the 'rounded' slots. Since the slots are curved it will look like a round hole. Pull it up and you have finished the first half. Repeat on the other side... Ta-da! Done!

Step 5: Enjoy Your Creation

It stands quite nicely and can be used for a multitude of things. Tools, towels, bathroom stuff, CD's, as a gift bag, etc. The nice thing is that it can be flattened for easy storage as well. I rather like the simple geometric shapes as well. Once you see how easy it is make one, you may want to size it up or down and make more! I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed designing it!

This is freaking AWESOME!
<p>Ah, thanks! Being crafty from a young age makes 'making' a way of life...</p>
<p>Great Job, I'll try to do it out of car tire-tubes, that's my working material... upcycling tires into bags. Felt is not so easy to find here in my town, in san juan Argentina</p>
<p>Wow, I'd LOVE to see that finished! I think recyling is the best!</p>
<p>Seems like the felt you have used has a hard layer in the back side? why does it look black in the inside of the bag? </p>
<p>Yes, that could work! As long as the edges hold...</p>
<p>think I might try to make a &quot;quilted&quot; one.! </p>
<p>I'm in canada and there is a great felt store (http://www.thefeltstore.com/). The first thick felt I saw by the metre in a fabric store was in Germany and it is 1/8&quot;(3mm) I believe. It is great and I've used it to make purses as well. This black and grey one is not wool, is actually an automotive product. I found it at a mill store. It is pretty 'bullet proof'! Us DIY'ers are always collecting stuff. I like to feel the felt to see the stiffness. Felt is awesome as it doesn't fray but it is not that difficult to cut or sew. See http://www.madebybarb.com/2016/05/30/working-and-making-with-industrial-felt/ and http://www.madebybarb.com/2016/06/07/no-sew-perfect-little-purse/</p>
Awesome thank you! An auto product! Clever you.
I love this! Do you have a recommended source for the felt? And what thickness did you use. (When researching online I've seen different thicknesses.)
<p>Love it! How would you modify this pattern to add a fold over flap like a lid?</p>
<p>Interesting idea. You could add a flap (square rectangle) to the edge that eventually ends up to be the top edge. May I suggest you try first by using paper to see how it works. You could make a miniature one, testing the shape and size. If you add one on each side it would be more symmetrical. Let me know how it goes.</p>
<p>Very well done Barb!</p><p>Great design and well explained. </p>
<p>Use hardware cloth, it will make a great temporary/disposable sieve. </p>
<p>Interesting idea! That's what I like about designing; absolutely endless possibilities</p>
<p>Yeah, I'm going to make one to sieve dirt from my compost pile to start seeds this weekend. It should work well. Granted hardware cloth is a little more challenging/dangerous to work with than felt but what's life without risk.</p>
<p>What a great idea! This is going on my &quot;must make&quot; list. Thank you!!</p>
<p>Happy to help</p>
<p>Excellent! Gonna make it from oilcloth )</p>
<p>I had been thinking what else could be used. Yes! and maybe even the old tarps... Once you make one you will realize how/where to expand the shape to make different sizes/proportions</p>
Nice! I'm going to have to give this a go.
<p>Great! Let me know how it went.</p>
I love the idea! This looks phenomenal!
<p>Oh thanks! I find the greatest joy in designing new things. Give it a shot...</p>
Awesome, where can I buy such heavy weight felt?
<p>If you search industrial felt you ca find suppliers. It comes in different thicknesses as well. I like to be able to feel it to see which I like. The one I used is black on one side and I think it used to line cars. It is quite sturdy. This place looks cool: http://www.brandfelt.com There is some pointers of working with felt on my site</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: Welcome! Pleased to meet you, I am Barb; a “Maker”. I have been making things AND explaining how to make things for as long as ... More »
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