Introduction: Paper Bag? Shoulder Bag!

About: When things don't go the way I want, I still hear my father say: ‘There is no such word as can’t.’ The things I make, I make thanks to him. He taught me how to bake and paint and everything in between, I got h…

I can't run hot for shoes, but bags .... You just can't have enough.
Last week I needed some PVC connectors and they always put your purchases in a paper bag or sack. When I left the store, I thought how nice it would be to turn a paper sack into a bag. It gave me some headaches, but I managed to make a fairly solid one. Much of the bag is made from recycled material.


* A used but whole paper sack or bag
* fabric for lining,; I used an old blouse and old T-shirt
* A tie (from the thrift store )
* Strip of fabric of 10 x 75 cm and maybe decorative tape of 4 cm wide, if your strip of fabric is in one color
* Beads (from the thrift store)
* Magnetic clasp
* Buttons
* An 8 gallon garbage bag
* White glue waterproof
* Tube of contact adhesive
* Spraying contact adhesive
* Sewing machine
* sewing yarn
* Cotton yarn
* Hemp rope
* Needles, pins and binder clips
* Kitchen paper
* Scissors
* Tape measure / ruler
* Brush
* Tray for glue
* Cardboard for reinforcement
* Hammer
* Punch
* Hole punch
* A piece of wood narrower than the bag (for use as anvil)

Step 1: Open the Bag

Place the bag so that the bottom is above. Place a wet piece of kitchen paper on the bottom to loosen the glue. Once the glue is soft, carefully open the bottom. Now fold the bag so that the side seam is on top and place a wet kitchen paper on the seam to loosen it too. Carefully loosen this seam and let the bag dry when unfolded.

Step 2: Prepare the Bag

At first measure the unfolded bag, you need this size for the lining. On the outside of the bag I placed three small dots on the bottom to easy recognize the outside so that the bag can easily be folded again.

Put some white waterproof paper glue in a bowl mixed with a little water to make it a bit thinner and brush the entire surface with glue. Once the surface has been rubbed, clean the sides of the table with a wet piece of kitchen paper to prevent the bag from getting stuck to the table. When the bag is dry, repeat the same process on the other side. The paper is now impregnated and water-repellent.

Cut open an 8-gallon garbage bag and set it up for use. This is for the inside of the bag to prevent the paper from tearing.

The next step is best to do outside because of dangerous fumes. Lay the bag down with the inside facing up and spray contact glue on the entire surface in a regular motion. Follow the instructions on the glue canister. Once the surface has been completely covered, take the bag back inside and carefully press the garbage bag onto the layer of glue. Try to make this as smooth as possible and let it dry. Once dry, cut away the excess plastic.

Step 3: Close the Bag

First make the folds clearly visible again by folding the original folds of the bag. Glue the side seam with a tube of contact glue and let it dry before you continue. After the side seam, the bottom side is next. First fold before you start gluing and make help lines, if needed, with a pencil so you know where you have to glue. You must glue the bottom in two or three steps to prevent sliding. First glue one side and let it dry, then do the other side and let it dry again. Finally, glue the overlapping lip. You now have a reinforced paper bag.

Step 4: The Closure and Strap

Take the tie and cut it so that the strap is the right length, for this you use the narrow part of the tie. You make the closure of the wide part.
Sew up both cut parts. Make a buttonhole, the size of the buttons, on both sides of the narrow band and set the strap aside.

Fold the cut edge of the wide part about two centimeters and secure with a few stitches. Determine where the closure should be, glue with contact adhesive and let it dry.

Cut a two-centimeter-wide strip out of cardboard with a length equal to the width of the glued-on part of the tie.

Make 4 small holes on each side of the cardboard strip with a hole punch in the shape of a cross.

Place a piece of wood under the glued part of the closure. Place the cardboard on the glued part of the closure and use this cardboard as a template. Hit 8 holes in the closure with a punch.

Take a piece of hemp rope and thread through a needle. Make a loop at the end that is easy to remove. Now place the strip of cardboard in the bag and make crosswise stitches from the inside to the outside (see photo). Once you are done, remove the loop from the rope and tie off with a knot. The cardboard serves as extra reinforcement for the closure.

Decide now where you want the magnet closure. Attach the first part of the closure in the tie. The best thing is to do this at the beginning where the tie goes double. The reinforcement of the tie also serves as a reinforcement for the closure, and because the tie is double you will not see the closure. Be careful not to cut too far (see photo). Bend the legs of the clasp outwards.

Use the newly placed part of the closure to determine where the other half should be in the bag. Make an extra reinforcement by cutting a piece of cardboard of approximately 3x3 cm. Draw and cut the slots for the closure. Use the cardboard as a template again. Place the log in the bag and cut two slots. Push the closure through the bag from the outside, place the cardboard and cover plate on the inside and bend the legs out.
Option: Make a few, about 10 cm, strands of beads and attach them to the tie.

The outside of the bag is now almost ready, set it aside until the end finish.

Step 5: The Lining

For the lining I opted for a double lining. This not only gives extra strength, but also when the bag tears by accident, I can remove the bag. I turn the lining inside out and I have an emergency bag.

Stretch cotton lining
For this I used an old T-shirt. This one was white in color and I wanted it, although you don't see it as long as it is not an emergency bag, in a matching color so I put the shirt in tea for a night.

When the bag was folded open, I measured the sizes. The bag that I use is unfolded 70x52 cm. From 70 cm, 2 cm goes off for sealing so I have a circumference of 68 cm for the lining.

Take half of what you have left, in this case 68 cm, and cut a piece paper of 34x52 cm (use this template for the second liner later). Place the template on the T-shirt and pin. Cut out but cut a cm hem!

Thread* and stitch
Stitch two long sides and one short side together on the sewing machine. No need to finish because T-shirt fabric does not fray. Use a needle that is suitable for stretch fabric and if your sewing machine has the ability to make stitches, stitch and finishing stitch in one, use that. You can then cut the hem slightly shorter.

Measure the bottom of the paper bag, in this case 20x13 cm, and cut this size out into cardboard. A cardboard bottom is placed between the two liners for extra strength.

Use this bottom for both liners also as a template to model the bottom of the liner (see photo). Thread* and stitch the points, then cut off the excess material. The first lining is ready.

* Threading is not necessary if you can sew with pins but since pins and sewing machines are not a good combination for me, I opt for threading.

Printed lining
The printed lining is made in the same way as the T-shirt lining with two small differences. With this lining you do finish the seams with a zigzag stitch to prevent fraying. At the bottom you do not cut the points but turn them over and secure with a stitch (see photo).

Merge lining
Turn the T-shirt lining so that the right side is on the outside and place the cardboard on the bottom. Turn the printed lining so that the right side is on the inside. Now slide the printed lining into the T-shirt lining and pin and thread the two lining together. Stitch the lining together on the sewing machine with a zigzag stitch.

Decorative band lining
Take a strip of fabric 10 cm wide and 75 cm long. I had only solid black and put decorative tape on it of 4 cm wide. Fold the strip in half and pin the decorative band along the fold. Sew the decorative tape to the fabric strip with the sewing machine. Fold the strip in half again and fold under the decorative band (see photos). You now have the line where you need to secure the strap to the lining. First sew the strip on the cotton side of the lining, fold over, fold a hem and fasten on the printed side of the lining (see photos).

The inner bag is now ready. If your bag breaks down on the way, you can remove the paper. Turn the lining so that the printed side is on the outside. Attach the shoulder strap to the buttons (they should be turned on at the last step) and you have an emergency bag.

Step 6: Merge Lining and Bag

Place the lining in the bag and wrap the decorative border around the bag. Secure with binder clips. The lining cannot be sewn to the bag because the paper will tear. Instead of sewing with the sewing machine you fasten it with a stitch here and there, I used buttons for it.

Now determine the height where you want to secure the shoulder strap. Tie a button at that place and at the same time attach a counter-button on the inside. This way most of the force comes on the lining and the button. Do the same for the second button, attach the shoulder strap and your paper shoulder bag is ready.

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