Instructables

I love Indiana Jones's famous bag, but the last thing I need is yet another mid-size satchel. I've been looking unsuccessfully for another small purse to replace one that's falling apart... so I decided to combine the two!

In the movies, Indy's bag is a World War II British MKVII gas mask bag with the cloth strap replaced by a leather one. You can still buy these as military surplus, and there are a few prop replica makers that sell them. According to an Ebay listing for a vintage MKVII, the dimensions of the original bag are approximately 10" x 10" x 3".

This half-size bag will be 5" x 5" x 1.5", though you could also scale up the pattern to make a full size bag. It is big enough for a phone, coin purse, and a wallet, with just a little room to spare. I have left off the bottom drain vents and the round circular thing on the side of the original, but these can be replicated with grommets and the right button.

 
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Step 1: Parts

You will need:

1/2 yard canvas (or heavy linen) - washed to pre-shrink
thread
dark brown leather (or cloth) strap - 3/4" by 65" or so, depending on your preferred length
1 inch rings - 2
gold snaps - 2
silver rivets - 2
silver square buckle for 3/4" strap
pins

paper to make the pattern
pencil/pen
metal edge ruler
fabric scissors
iron and ironing board/surface
sewing machine with a needle that can handle canvas (or a needle and some patience)
snap setter and hammer for snaps

For dyeing:
green tea OR sage/ parsley/ thyme/ basil
pot that can hold 8 cups of water + fabric
spoon/tongs
stove top
white vinegar
old pillowcase (zippered or tied shut)
dryer
container for soaking

Note: it's ok to use food dishes for this project since you are dyeing with edible items and not using chemicals.

Optional:
zipper
fabric for purse lining

jmaxwell53 months ago
made a sightly modified one for my son out of old jeans worked pretty well.. thanks for the idea!
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Lama1004 months ago
i'm currently in dying process with green wnd black tea. going to make a bigger one for my books. thanks for the nice idea, luv it!!!!!!
Prestonium5 months ago

how do you think it would work with nylon? Would I need to add an interior lining for sturdiness?

Chrononaut (author)  Prestonium4 months ago

Unless it's very thick nylon, I probably would line it.

This is so cool :), loved it.

I dyed my canvas haversack by soaking it in black walnut "seeds" that had been in the bucket for a few months. A nice tan that slowly reverts back to "dirty" canvas color. I also used bee's wax too. Keep by a fire (safely) and it melts in all nice and cozy. That haversack has saved me many times. So versatile. I like your work.
bdempsey11 year ago
Using oil based paint will give you a weather resistant pouch for outdoor use.
Chrononaut (author)  bdempsey11 year ago
You could also wax the canvas.

Thanks all, and please vote! :D
AmyCat591 year ago
I think I'll make one from "upcycled" denim... :-)
lolson11 year ago
Well done!!
I believe that the orginal bag was a WW2 gasmask bag issue to some troops but it had D rings for the strap which was canvas and brass press fasteners to secure it. You have made an excellent job of this one!
Chrononaut (author) 1 year ago
Thanks! Yeah, pressing canvas is a pain - but it's worth the trouble. :)
foobear1 year ago
I like how it looks. Nice crisp edges - hard to do with most handmade stuff
That's a great looking bag!