Introduction: Giant Binder Clip Bag

Who doesn't want to carry their stuff around in a giant binder clip? With some super basic algebra, foam, and acrylic dowels, you can create your very own office supply carrying case.


EVA foam

box cutter

Barge contact cement

1/4" diameter acrylic dowels

quilter's mat and ruler

silver spray paint

acrylic cement (depending on size of bag)

magnet clasps

velcro dots

heat gun


scrap board (larger than handles)


painter's tape

Step 1: Math

The proportions of the bag need to match that of a real binder clip for the effect to work, so you'll need to do a bit of math to figure out the dimensions of your bag. I've done all the measurements for a standard binder clip to make it easier for you.

First, you'll need to decide on one dimension for your bag. I initially opted to base the size of the bag on the length of my acrylic dowel rods. However, once I figured it all out, I realized the bag would be tiny. So, I did all the math again based on doubling the length of the dowel rods. That made the bag bigger than the width of my foam, so finally, I decided to base the size on the width of the bag.

Whatever dimension you choose to start with, Follow the directions in the first image of this step to cross multiply and solve for each of the other dimensions.

Throughout the rest of the steps, I'll refer back to the dimensions by their letter on the diagram from this step.

Step 2: Cut Foam

Use a quilters mat and ruler along with a boxcutter to cut a piece of foam that equals

Width: B(2)+C

Length: A

Cut two pieces of foam, each equalling:

Width: B

Length: C

Step 3: Bottom Curve Template

To create the curve at the bottom of the binder clip, Create a template out of a scrap piece of cardboard or paper as shown.

Place the template onto each of the smaller pieces of foam and cut side C on one side of each.

Step 4: Top of Clip Template

The top of the bag/clip needs to be divided into three sections. Create a triangle on the edge of a scrap piece of cardboard or paper. The height should equal 1.75" if you're using 1/4" dowels. This is the length of foam that is required to wrap around the dowel. Make the width of the base of the triangle 1/2" wide.

Measure and mark D from all four corners of your large piece of foam.

Trace and cut the template at the center of each mark.

Step 5: Glue Curls

Add a piece of painter's tape across the foam at the points of the triangles you just cut.

Add barge cement on the outside edges of the tape as shown.

Add barge cement to the edges of the ends as shown.

Allow the contact cement to dry per the instructions.

Roll the ends onto the edge of the glue just outside the tape.

Peel the tape off.

Step 6: Repeat

Glue all the rest of the edges.

Step 7: Glue Sides

Add Barge cement to the top edge of the long piece of foam.

Add Barge cement to three of the edges of the smaller pieces of foam. Do not add glue to the short straight side.

Allow the contact cement to dry per the instructions.

Center the small piece of foam along the edge of the large piece and wrap the large piece around the smaller.

Press firmly.

Step 8: Clasps

Add magnetic clasps to the sides of the bag. Begin by pressing half of the clasp into the foam. Cut small slits where the impressions are. Attach the first half.

Put the second half onto the first and press the other side of the foam onto the prongs. Cut slits and attach the second part.

Repeat on the other side.

Use Barge cement to attach a velcro dot to the center inside of the bag.

Step 9: Shape

To create the curved bottom, heat the foam with a heat gun and lay something along the bottom while it cools.

Step 10: Handles

Cut two acrylic dowels to each equal:

Length: E(2)+D(2)+F(3)

Use acrylic cement to fuse dowels together if necessary to get more length. Because you have to bend the acrylic so much at the top, if you must add length, attach at the straight sides not at the top.

Use the dimensions you have of the metal part of the binder clip to draw out a template for the handle shape.

I only made half, but I regret it. I recommend making both sides of the template to help keep both handles symmetrical.

Once you've made a template, nail it to a board at each of the bending points.

Use a heat gun to soften each section of the dowel and wrap it around the nails.

Step 11: Paint

Spray paint the handles silver.

Step 12:

Slide the handles into the bag and enjoy!

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