Introduction: On the Go Bag (never Loose Ur Stuff Ever Again!!)

Picture of On the Go Bag (never Loose Ur Stuff Ever Again!!)

Its September (October)!! For College student like myself.... School commenced, and a busy semester is about to storm its way... As a physics student I am gonna show u how to build a Hadron Collider !! haha just kidding we have more pressing issues...

Some university students have a “smart phone” or 7”+ tablet for viewing lecture notes & checking emails, flappy birding... Or a little paper notebook, pens, wallet and other personal belongings... But going around in campus, switching classroom and lecture theater with everything is quite tough... I found the pocket in my jeans isn't enough, especially for tablets... I am not a careless person, still I've forgot my water bottle once, I lost my wireless mouse once too... the list goes on... When we are on the go, it's easy to loose stuff...

This instructable introduce the making of a Customized “On the Go Bag” at perfect size holding items mentioned above... A crafty/stylish life saver to perharps the most annoying problem of étudiant, loosing stuff!! Come Follow this step-by-step, low-budget instructable and never loose you stuff in classroom ever again!!

I would like to include both video tutorial and written tutorial for different audiences... Enjoy!!


It is absolutely possible to hand sew this if you have the time and patience...

Step 1: Game Plan

Picture of Game Plan

7“ tablet can fit in most jeans' pocket, but when one try to run or seat with the tab in the pocket... well my verdict: not comfortable, it drops out easily... I saw a wonderful cylindrical bag on Ubiworkshop (official merch from Ubisoft, my dream game publisher). I think that is a stylish bag and wanna make one to a customised size... I have no background in bag making, so I consulted my mother who has... Keeping durability and simple design in mind, Here is a my game plan...

Design: A cylindrical bag of 2 color... a light color for the body, a dark color cord-like décor a dark décor

and base on the bottom... I also plan the contactable opening on top of the bag with a rope... a little loop on the top so we can wear the bag on my belt... Only 1 light color thread will be use, so we get a nice white stitch line/pattern on the darker fabric...

Measurement: My tab is 11cm x 19cm big... so our cylindrical bag should have at least circular base of 12cm diameter ( ⇒(12cm)π = 38 cm circumference). Also the height should be around 25 to 26cm so that the opening can close up tightly above the tab...

Then just unfold the cylinder in our head!! We got:

  • 1 dark circle as base,
  • 1 dark strip for cord-like decor
  • 1 dark strip for the décor
  • 1 dark strip for the belt connection
  • 1 white rectangle for the main body
  • some rope for the core of cord-like décor also the contraction of the opening

Like most fabric project we have to leave 1 cm bleeding edge for sewing... so that the cloth wont fall apart...

Here is the final measurements (refer to the picture)

Step 2: Gather the Material

Picture of Gather the Material

This is the part to keep the project low-budget... I got most of my material in IKEA...

not that they paid me to say so... but they do have some nice offer from time to time, or some cheap left over curtain fabric from other costumers in curtain section... Afterall affordable craft supplies are everywhere if you look for it...

Material I used (well-under 5 U.S. dollars):

  • (HK$17∼USD 2.20) 30cm Minna L light brown curtain cloth , which I used ∼⅓ only(or any fabrics with some thickness)
  • (HK$4.9∼USD 0.63) 50x60cm TEKLA dishcloth (or any light color fabrics with some thickness )
  • (HK$7∼USD 1) 1 roll of cotton rope which I used <⅕ only

Tools I used:

  • White Sewing thread & Needle (if you are desperate, go to hotel lobby for a sewing pack, use English with a foreign accent, lol)
  • Sewing Machine (optional, but I prefer one)
  • Measuring Tape (if u dun hv one just take 1 of those free paper tape from IKEA)
  • Masking tape
  • safety pins (optional)
  • Scissors

Step 3: Cut Out the Pieces

Picture of Cut Out the Pieces

I bring up the picture of the measurements again... cut accordingly


  1. Draw & cut 1:1 shapes with paper, pin the the paper on fabric b4 cutting the fabric itself
  2. For Rectangular shapes, stick masking tape on the cloth to mark the dimension to ensure straight cuts.
  3. I use double layers of the white cloth and the circular base... to give more durability...
  4. If you find a thicker fabric or hand sewing... feel free to reduce the layer...

Step 4: Optional Tricks...

Picture of  Optional Tricks...

For the rope used in the cord-like décor and fastening the opening... I couldn't find a rope with desirable diameter at the time I was making the bag... And I was feeling extra crafty that day, so I kinda knit a rope from thinner ropes I already have. Go Find a rope with suitable diameter and ignore the step...

Only For those interested... I used a technique I pick up at a young age... When my family went to the Moomin Vally in Finland... There was this booth teaching a way sailors making bracelet from four loops of strings... Its fun, but its a bit of a challenge to knit a 60 cm long rope... Took me a lot time and afford. But I like how it turns out... And I am crazy about D.I.Y. So....

Basically, we got four loops on index fingers and middle fingers of both hands... by exchanging the loop on right index finger (r.i.f) with the loop on left middle finger (l.m.f), then exchange the loop on left index finger (l.i.f) with the loop on right middle finger (r.m.f)... this is a full cycle.... Keep repeating the cycle till the the bracelet is done... for the sake of demonstration, I can show you guys with two different colors in the pic and video.

Alert!! this is really abit crazy to knit a 30 cm and a 60cm rope like I did!! So this part is really purely for sharing... dont say I didnt warn you!! haha

Step 5: Sewing Pt.1

Picture of Sewing Pt.1

Lets handle the cord-like décor first,

  1. Wrap the 40cm rope with the dark stripe of cloth...
  2. Roughly hand sew the cloth around the rope tighly...
  3. Secure it with a sewing machine...

Then overlap the Dark décor onto the white body cloth,

  1. Fold a 1 cm bleeding on the dark fabric.
  2. Hand Sew (roughly) the cloth around the rope tighly...
  3. Secure it with a sewing machine...

Close the white and dark body combination into a cylinder

  1. Fold the combination in half where the dark decor in the inside
  2. Hand sew (roughly) the layers together next to the red line (around 20 cm mark , result in 40 cm circumference)
  3. Secure it with sewing machine. Sew from bottom up, stop sewing at around 22cm... the few cm left will be handle in the next step.

Step 6: Sewing Pt.2

Picture of Sewing Pt.2

Finalize the fastening part on the opening... with a cylinder which the dark décor stripe face inwards. (I mean the cylinder should be fliped inside out, so that the outside of the actual bag is facing inwards now)

  1. Sew a U-turn at the few cm left from previous step with a 1 cm of bleeding.
  2. Fold down 2.5 cm of white from the top, forming a tube.
  3. Make sure the tube is wide enough for the rope to pass thru, ideally twice as wide.
  4. Hand Sew the the tube all around
  5. Secure it with sewing machine twice for durability.
  6. Push the 60cm rope thru the tube

Attach the cord-like décor to the bottom of the body...

  1. Overlap 1 cm of bleeding for the cord-like décor onto both the dark décor and the white body..
  2. Hand Sew the layers together
  3. Secure it with sewing machine.

Close the bag at the bottom of the body...

  1. Overlap 1 cm of bleeding for the dark circle onto both the dark décor and the white body..
  2. Hand Sew the layers together
  3. Secure it with sewing machine.

Step 7: Touch-Ups Almost There...

Picture of Touch-Ups Almost There...

What you now have should be a functional bag filped inside out...

Just flip it now and you have a working bag...

Last component: the belt connection

  1. Fold the strip in half along the long side.
  2. Sew the 2 layers, forming a tube.
  3. Flip the whole tube.
  4. Sew the both ends of the tube together, forming a loop.
  5. Sew the loop on to the bag with the iconic cross square pattern.

Step 8: Enjoy You Semester

Picture of Enjoy You Semester


There you have it!! A custom made On The Go Bag!! With style and convenience, you are the proud owner of a life without fear of loosing your belongings ever again!! With well under 5 U.S. Dollars, you get a hand made fashionable bag probably priced at USD 24.99 even USD29.99!!

You like red and blue over white brown? Is the bag a bit small for you tablet? No worries, the choice of fabric, colors and dimensions and totally up for customization... look forward to seeing what u guys made... I hope this instructble showcase a clear work flow for a beginner(like myself)... My apologies for not knowing the correct terminology and some missing photos, I was a bit focus at getting the bag right and forgot to take pictures sometimes...

Is my description too briefed? Too detailed? Any confusions or suggestions? Tell me in the comment below!! Your feedback and comment means a lot and help make instructable a better place!! I really appreciate it and will reply your comments ASAP!!

Anyway, thank you for reading my instructable to this point!! If you like my tutorial pls fav and vote for me in the University Contest!!


jrutherford7 (author)2014-12-13

I just got into sewing. this would be my first ever project. I used a military jacket and salvaged the patches. I am really happy with how it came out!

mchau2 (author)jrutherford72015-06-21

you should be proud!!!! your bag is so cool looking!!

hxr.keltz (author)2014-10-21

I made one based off this instructable. Used a plain red woven fabric, black duck cloth, and some manner of fake suede for the inside. In place of actual rope, I braided 3 strands of paracord for the bottom decor, and used a bit of leather cord for the top. I think it turned out pretty well. I plan on using it for tools and the like when I'm fixing things, or just like it's extra pocket space.

hxr.keltz (author)hxr.keltz2014-10-21

Also, forgot to mention, all the thread is thick nylon thread, in red and black, for contrast and durability.

mchau2 (author)hxr.keltz2015-06-21

the red tone is a brilliant idea!! very well-thought choice using nylon!!

tgrant3 (author)2014-11-06

awesome idea. had to make my own. had a bit of trouble with the bottom circle, but got it to work. it turned out to be an awesome wearable duffle bag.

mchau2 (author)tgrant32015-06-21

cool man!! this so awesome!!

anasazi jack (author)2014-10-09

for us old guys a bluejean leg from worn jeans would make a great start point.

yakumokobe (author)anasazi jack2014-10-10

Hey I made one out of a jeans leg when I worked as a boom operator! Perfect to have the right stuff on hand!

mchau2 (author)yakumokobe2014-10-11

wow... care to share a pic? love to see your bag...

yakumokobe (author)mchau22014-10-17

Hey! sorry for the delay, I was away from home.

mchau2 (author)yakumokobe2014-10-17

looking super handy and well made.... btw goes well with the jean... Good job

anasazi jack (author)mchau22014-10-13

dirt simple. the string and washer are the belt loop

just slide the washer under your belt from the bottom and out the top.

you can adjust position easily without half undressing

mchau2 (author)anasazi jack2014-10-14

looking super practical... this definitely one way to go with the belt loop too! good idea... but if things get a bit heavy (water bottle+tab+novel) or if one want a slightly loosen belt... then a fabric belt loop still serve it durability. .

mchau2 (author)anasazi jack2014-10-10

worn jeans is a fabulous idea... and hey we are never too old to be creative!!

JM1999 (author)2014-10-11

Wow, this is the most work I have seen go into any bag!

Good job on the win, I hope you enjoy the prize/s!

mchau2 (author)JM19992014-10-14

I tried haha... the contest is still in judging phase, other instructable are epic too! dunno what prizes I will have... fingers crossed

JM1999 (author)mchau22014-10-14

Multicolor pack of Sugru!

Good job!!!!

anasazi jack (author)2014-10-14

Otzi a 5000 year old guy gets credit for the belt hook.. I've only hauled 4-5 pounds but I'm confident it will take more.
Otzi is a great teacher for campers survivalist and just everyday. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Don't let a couple of nay sayers hold you back. I've been around for almost three quarters century and try to learn something every day

S3rj (author)2014-10-12

incredibile good looking bag!
but too much work for that much utility, for a lazy guy like me.

mchau2 (author)S3rj2014-10-14

thx... it suits my need, and I am quite crafty so yeah... glad you like

mpulliam1 (author)2014-10-12

As a utility worker, I am going to add this to my favorites. When the work hours slow down, I plan on making something similar to this (in denim as someone suggested). This would work great for my small tool swaps. I lose tools all the time - on my own body! In my pockets of my jeans, or my firesuit, or my protective vests. Pockets EVERYWHERE. Sometimes I just need a magic a bag...

Also, I have seen the mushroom farmers use something similar to these. So many uses.. Thanks for your time!

mchau2 (author)mpulliam12014-10-14

Glad you found this useful, love to see ur denim bag

flamesami (author)2014-10-09

I like the idea, and I think the sewing is many times better than what I could do, but... In the Uni I'm at everyone carries backpacks, messenger-style bags or laptop cases, me included (DIY bag though) so the idea seems weird to me...If I didn't have a bag, it'd probably be something I'd want

LadyEz (author)2014-10-09

This is great!!! Always brilliant to see people designing and making stuff for themselves. I would suggest that it could be made flatter - a slim rectangular base rather than a round one(it can still be drawstring) and then it would be more streamline and would fit to the side of the hip(its a little vulnerable at the back) . This one is very stylish and simple and I give it 10/10....I must admit I winced at the spelling....but English spelling is so stupid and I cannot even imagine how hard it is coming from a first language like Mandarin or Cantonese.....

mchau2 (author)LadyEz2014-10-09

wow 10/10 I am flattered haha... rectangular does make a more streamline design... especially when the bag is bigger..

greatpanda (author)2014-10-08

I know your inspiration was a game merchandise site, but it reminds me of the bags linemen use with leather bottoms to get tools back and forth to the crane bucket: I've been considering making one for awhile, but I've been lazy, I admit. I'll make the bottom of mine of leather, as I need it for tools and have to sit on concrete while I work. It might benefit from a couple of heavy snaps or a big button on the belt loop, so you can take it off without removing your belt. Great job!

mchau2 (author)greatpanda2014-10-09

greatpanda? cool name... leather base would be super cool...

fixfireleo (author)2014-10-07

so much for the "be nice" policy. please astound us with your perfect chinese. what's that? you cant say ANYTHING in chinese? oh...then i'd say you should shut the hell up and give him a break.

mchau2 (author)fixfireleo2014-10-07

Thx so so much for your support and understanding!! yes i did feel a little bit sad when i first read his comment, but its alright... the guy kinda has a point... I should re-check my english more carefully b4 i post them... You know i have been working on this project days and nights like most instructables users... Picking the pictures, editing them, writing the instructions, making the video till midnight... And excited to share my instructable as soon as i can... I should have spotted the mistake earlier...

Again, so nice to see support and respect from the community!! 1 thing i am certain, i will keep posting great stuff. Hopefully great stuff with "très bien anglais"

maka (author)mchau22014-10-07

So sorry you had to deal with somebody being a jerk about your grammar. ::rolls eyes:: Seriously, your grammar is every bit as good as that of plenty of native English speakers. You're not required to have perfect grammar to post an Instructable!

I walk with a cane and dislike having to try to juggle a shoulder strap bag along with my cane and whatever else I might be carrying, so I'm looking forward to giving this a try! I don't wear a belt often, so I'll probably put a hook or carabiner on the strap so I can hang it from a belt loop. I'll definitely post pics when I get it done! Have to sxcavate the sewing machine from the piles of school supplies and textbooks stacked around it!

mchau2 (author)maka2014-10-09

thx for the caring... Cant wait to see you customize bag!! poor sewing machine finally shines again!! haha happy instructabling

fixfireleo (author)mchau22014-10-07

dude, i'm born and raised american with an IQ 3 points shy of genius and even I make the mistake between "lose" and "loose". dont knock yourself. you dont have to be perfect just because english isnt your first language!

mchau2 (author)fixfireleo2014-10-09

i feel better now really... thx

Comtgma3 (author)fixfireleo2014-10-08

Right on !!! And good for you, too. It's nice to know that not every guy in this day and age isn't an idiot. Tho to tell the truth, as we know it of course, is you don't have to be, or pretend to be, perfect for ANY reason.

stumpster (author)fixfireleo2014-10-07

Even I can't say anything in Chinese, since there is no spoken Chinese language. I can write it in Chinese, but if you want to hear something spoken by me, you'd have to choose Cantonese, Mandarin, or Pinyon. I did find the grammatic, spelling and word mistakes a little annoying, especially from a physics student, until I learned English was not his native language. BTW, mchau2, it also reminds me of an archer's "essential" bag, used to carry any small essentials needed for the activity. Very handy!

fixfireleo (author)stumpster2014-10-08

you see, as you point out, not only can i not SPEAK chinese, i am ignorant of the fact that they have no language by that name. but i do wonder why you would expect perfect english from a physics student (foreign born OR native)? he is a scientist, not an english teacher or a professional writer.

DB.Cooper (author)2014-10-08

Keep the grammar mistakes - so what - we've all seen worse. It is a great 'ible as-is.

Now to the real comments, I have paid a pretty big chunk over the years for gear bags. I would think an option for the one you have might be a second loop a few inches from the first one - i think i might try that as a bag for storing my oversized camera on my hip.

love it. good job.

mchau2 (author)DB.Cooper2014-10-09

You are right... i am gonna keep it... my canon 500 camera fit in my bag too!!

Comtgma3 (author)2014-10-08

You should also share this on Pinterest. I think there's definitely an interest.

XVinnys (author)2014-10-08

Very cool, maybe a littler one will also be good for climbers to put their powder for climbing.

Kudos! ;)

Comtgma3 (author)XVinnys2014-10-08

Go to Walgreens. I don't think they cost much but they have several assorted sizes from very small, like for change and they progress in size to grocery bag size. Granted they are not a make it yourself deal but if in a hurry they work. And if I'm not mistaken they also have ones with leather bottoms. If you don't have Walgreens, I can find out the company name for you and then you can order directly from them. Good luck.

Comtgma3 (author)Comtgma32014-10-08

I forgot to mention that they are made of canvas and there is another one of some sort of nylon type material.

sylvia.bastien.7 (author)2014-10-08

Great job, I like your bag! Here is my suggestion.
I would make this bag out of the legs of old denim jeans (recycle). I would double fold a strip of material (or use a piece of webbing) at least 1" wide and 2" (finished size) longer than the bag and sew it from the top to the bottom (vertically) along the side seam for extra support. Since I have paracord 550, I would braid a cord for the drawstring. and put a cord lock on the drawstring as well.

The Green Gentleman (author)2014-10-08

I actually just finished something a little like this, but I did it as more of a cloth "box." Now I'm wondering if the cylinder might have been a better plan. This looks very nice!

swiftbird (author)2014-10-07

From reading other comments, I think English is not your native language. I would suggest that for any future Instructables, you ask for help proofreading your work. There are quite a few basic errors in conventions that get in the way of readability. I like your idea, though, and think you may have a future in making these and selling them to fellow students, if you need $$ for books or other costs of college.

marjoycek (author)2014-10-07

Good instructions. A good way to waterproof it,is buy a can of "Camp Dry" spray like they sell for waterproofing tents,canvas shoes,etc. Just spray on and let dry. Does not make the fabric stiff.

mchau2 (author)marjoycek2014-10-07

I gotta check where can I get this spray in my neighborhood... it's a good idea cuz the fabric will still be soft... thank you...

marjoycek (author)mchau22014-10-07

Walmart,Target,local hardware store,sporting goods store. They even sell a waterproofing spray in Payless Shoes for sneakers. That would also work,although not quite as good as the Camp Dry in my opinion.

Cool pouch design I like it, the basic design is like a sailors ditty bag with elements of the modern dump bag. BTW on the subject of hand sewing a pouch like this, back in the days of sails, a ditty bag was one of the first projects for an apprentice in the sail-maker's trade or for a working seaman. So patterns, instructions and tips exist for hand sewing a pouch like this. Also things like fabric glue and sewers double sided tape are available to help with hand sewing.

I'm now inspired to hand sew a ditty bag with your belt loop and hopefully make a instructable of it, but I think I'll use paracord and a plastic toggle for the drawstring. Granted I like your drawstring and how it's made.

Since you asked for feedback, overall I say good instructable. It could have been broken down a bit more, like steps 5&6 could have been split up into more steps to concentrate on the individual parts and steps in assembly.

About This Instructable




Bio: i am now a college kid, constantly believe i can be a better man, Just be the change you wanna see in the world, thats ... More »
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