I've had this cool old hat box lying around the house for a while. I have a massive hat collection, but didn't want to use this fun box for ordinary storage. When I got my scooter, I knew exactly what to do with it. Space on a scooter or bicycle is limited and one of my gang's favorite things to do on warm days is to pack up games and food to enjoy on the lawn of the local square. With this hat box, I can travel in style both on and off my scooter. It can be firmly attached and then removed from the rack to transport items after I arrive at my destination. Add your own unique box to the back of your bike or scooter!
veg tanned leather (small strips and a large belt/strap) I used pieces from a leather kit I won in a contest. Thanks Instructables!
belt buckle that fits your strap
heavy duty snaps
leather hole punch
drill/small drill bit
large piece of paper/newspaper
rivets in various lengths
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Step 1: Measure and Plan
Lay a large piece of paper over your rack. Mark where all the bars are so you can make sure you attach your straps in the best configuration.
I folded my paper at the top just below the curve to line up with the flat edge on the back of my box.
Step 2: Bottom to Front Strap
Choose the best place to rivet your first strap on the bottom of the box. I couldn't bring the large strap all the way to the front of the box because the handle hardware was in the way, so I used two small straps to wrap on either side of the handle.
Mark and cut your strap with a box cutter and metal ruler to guide the cut straight.
Punch two holes in one end of the large strap evenly spaced. These holes will affix the strap to the bottom of the box.
Punch one hole in each of the small straps at the inside corner.
Lay the small straps on the other end of the large strap (that doesn't yet have holes punched) and mark where to punch holes to attach the small straps.
Step 3: Stamp and Color
I wanted my new leather to have a more worn look to match the vintage hat box, so the first thing I did was wet the leather pieces and wad them up. Twist, pull, and scrape them until they look a bit less perfect.
I didn't stamp the large strap because it would be exclusively on the bottom. The small straps would show on the front, so I used my leather stamp on them. Stamp on a hard surface and only hit the stamp once with the mallet. If you hit it more than once, it is likely to move and create a double printing and look messier. If you haven't had a lot of practice with this, don't worry if they don't come out perfect. They blend together pretty well from a distance.
There are lots of different ways to color your leather. I used the product that came with my kit. It didn't make it very dark, but did make my stamps stand out. Whatever you use, follow the directions on the packaging.
Step 4: Riveting
Rivet the small straps to the large one by following the directions on the rivet package.
Place the strap back on the bottom of the box and use the template of the bike rack to make sure the placement is between the bars.
Remove the template and mark the holes on the box with either pins or an awl.
Drill holes in the box on your marks. The size of the hole should be close to the size of your rivets. They should fit snuggly.
Rivet the strap to the bottom of the box.
As you move forward and have to rivet and attach snaps to the box, it may become difficult to hammer the rivets because you cannot place them flat on your hard surface. I had to use several different items including a recipe box, various lengths of boards, and other items placed inside the hat box to have a surface to hammer the rivets on. I also found it useful to tape the rivet base plate tool to the bottom of the rivet so it wouldn't move. There's an example of this in the images using purple duct tape.
Step 5: Snaps
Add heavy duty snaps to the ends of the small straps.
Take the box out to the bike rack and wrap the straps around the box on the rack to mark where they will fall on the front of the box.
Add the other side of the snaps to the front of the box.
Step 6: Buckle
Buy or salvage a buckle. I salvaged mine off an old thrift store belt.
You'll need two pieces of strap that fit the buckle. For the first piece, measure and cut a a strap that runs from the back of where you want the buckle placed, around the back, and to the bottom. For the second piece, cut a short strap that runs from the top front past the buckle.
In the short strap piece, use the hole punch to put holes where appropriate to fit the buckle. The buckle will not be used once strapped in, so only one hole is necessary, but more may give it some personality.
I used my dremel to round the corners of the small piece.
Wet, wad, stamp and stain all these pieces.
Add a snap at the end of the small piece that attaches to the front center of the box above the zipper.
Step 7: Brace
I added this piece to help stabilize the longest part of the strap. You need to make sure that you can get the buckle under this piece. It doesn't have to be easy if you don't plan on removing the box on a regular basis, but it must fit under it in order to strap the box to the rack.
The pieces I used were keychain pieces from my kit. You could cut your own shapes here or just use a straight strap.
Rivet it to the top of the box. I used straight pins to mark where I needed to drill holes in the box.
Snap the buckle strap to the top front of the box. Take the box back out to the bike rack and wrap the back end of the long buckled strap around the rack and mark where it needs to be riveted to the bottom of the box. make sure it wraps under at least one bar on the rack.
Trim it if needed, punch holes in the leather, drill holes in the box, and rivet it to the bottom.
Step 8: Repairs and Lock
While working, the hinge on the back (made only of cardboard) was badly ripped. I cut a piece of leather and riveted it to the back for support.
The handle was badly worn, so I decided to replace it as well. Because the straps are all attached with snaps, the bag can be easily removed from the rack and carried around with the handle.
I also wanted the box to be lockable. I can't possibly make this box theft proof since it could easily be slashed open or removed, but a small deterrence can go a long way to preventing an opportunistic thief. I added a flap with a metal ring that could be locked to the zipper and prevent the bag from being opened more than a couple of inches.
Step 9: Additional Strap
The box felt quite sturdy with just the one strap, but I wasn't sure how it would handle if I ever put anything awkwardly weighted or heavy. I also loved the first strap and decided it would look even better with another one. Therefore, I added another strap riveted at the center bottom, with holes to affix to the rack, and snaps on the sides.
Some of the pictures do not include this additional strap.