Introduction: Wrist Bag

About: The Maker Studio is a museum makerspace at Science City in Kansas City, MO. To see more of our creations follow us on Instagram @The_Maker_Studio or @ScienceCityKC

Make a wrist bag that's perfect for taking outside to carry explorer gear, art supplies or go on a treasure hunt. There are a few ways to make this bag, some with more sewing and some with less, making it a great project for multiple ages & abilities. This is also a great way to reuse an old shirt that you've outgrown but still love.

We love to use this bag to collect rocks. You can print out a guide to rocks & minerals in Missouri from the Department of Natural Resources to take with you here:


Basic supplies:

  • Scissors
  • Paper
  • Writing Utensil
  • Needle & Thread
  • Straight pins -or- paper clips -or- binder clips
  • Fabric- Best choice is an old T-shirt or felt (they don't fray), But any other fabric can be used it will require extra steps.
  • Ruler- if you're measuring your pattern (not needed if you want to draw it free-hand)

For fabric that frays:

  • White glue or fabric glue

Step 1: Make the Template

If you want to free-hand your pattern you can, it will still work even if it isn't completely symmetrical. Just look at the second photo of the cut-out.

  • Make sure your straps are fairly wide.
  • Make sure one strap is longer than the other.
  • Cut out the pattern.

If you want to measure out your pattern:

  • Start with the upper left corner- the lines are in yellow in the photo with the measurements. You will measure in 2.5" and make a mark. Then draw a line along the mark until you get to 3". This is your longer strap.
  • In the upper right corner measure down 2" and make a mark. Now draw a line along your mark inward 2.5", this is the top of your shorter strap. From the inner part of your horizontal strap line draw another line vertically down 1". Now you have your full shorter strap drawn out.
  • Next measure where the middle of the bag opening is. Measure down from the center top of the paper 5" & make a mark. Along that mark measure in 4.25" (to the middle of the paper) and make another mark so that you know where the center of the page is at 5" from the top.
  • Now draw a curve from your strap lines down to the mark you just made. Don't worry if they don't look perfect, you can keep drawing until they look good to you.
  • Cut out the pattern so it looks like the second photo.

Step 2: Cut Out the Fabric

Cut out the fabric pieces one at a time. You can trace around the pattern onto the fabric and cut the fabric just inside your marks. Make sure one piece of fabric is right side up as you trace and the other is upside down, this way you'll have two pieces of fabric that match up with the nice sides facing outwards.

Step 3: Sew the Pouch

You'll need to sew your bag inside out- both pieces of fabric need to have their nice/outside facing each other. Pin the two sides together so they don't shift as you sew. You can also use paper clips or binder clips to hold them together.

There are parts you want to sew together- the tops of the straps and the pouch & there are parts you do not want to sew together- the straps themselves. If you sewed the sides of the straps together you could not open them to put your bag around your wrist. Reference the photo to see where to sew and where not to sew if you need to. You can hand sew or use a machine, which ever is easier for you. A simple straight, running stitch will work fine. When you're done sewing you can turn it inside out and you'll see the nice outside fabric now.

If you're using a non-fraying fabric like felt or an old T-shirt you can skip the next step.

Step 4: Finishing the Edges for a Fraying Fabric

Fraying is when the edge of the fabric starts to unravel and come apart like in the first picture. There are two ways to finish the edges on a fraying fabric.

  1. Put glue on the edges and glue the fraying strands together. You can use fabric glue or white glue. If you use white glue it is water soluble- meaning it will wash away with water- so if you wash your bag or get it wet it may start fraying again. This isn't the best choice for a permanent fix but it will work for a while.
  2. Fold the edge over and sew it onto the inside of the bag. (the last photo) This can be done by hand or machine and may be a little difficult around the straps as they are basically rings. Just take your time and check regularly to make sure you're sewing the right part of the fabric.

Step 5: Close the Wrist Bag

To close the bag & wear it you just need to take the longer strap and pass it through the smaller strap. The longer strap will be what goes around your wrist and the smaller one will cinch it down to keep it closed.

Step 6: Use Your Awesome New Bag!

Take it out on an adventure, collect some rocks, take it to the market. There are so many things to do with this wrist bag.