Monday, 23 July 2012

DIY Satchel Bag/Backpack

Never have I been as excited about a DIY as I am today. Yesterday, I decided I would try and make myself a satchel bag. When I started I didn't reaaaaally know what I was doing, so I kind of made it up as I went along but I'm super super happy with the results. The only thing I would change is that I might make it a little smaller, but as it is, it's a good size for lugging around uni books.

So here's what I made:
dress - c/o Oasap
bag - made by me!
tights - c/o Oasap
shoes - Vintage
hat - c/o Wholesale

The colour inspiration for this bag came from this Dangerfield coat:
Which looks a lot nicer in real life than in this photo, and shall one day be mine. I probably never would have put dark-ish green and brown together if it weren't for seeing this coat the other day.

I also took photos of the process so I could attempt to explain how I made it. It was fairly difficult so I recommend you only try it if you have some sewing experience. Here we go!:

what you need
note: your fabric needs to be thick-ish (i used velvet.)
the belts should be near-identical (mine are just from a charity store, this is a good place for cheap belts)

what you do
Cut two identical rectangles out from your fabric. This will be the front and back of your bag.
Make a strip of fabric for the bottom of your bag. Make it at least two layers thick so that the bottom of your bag is strong.
Sew it onto the bottom of one of your rectangles (the two materials facing each other).
Sew your other rectangle to the opposite edge of the bottom strip.
Make 2 side strips (the same width as the bottom strip) and sew them onto both sides of the main front rectangle.
Sew it all up into a bag-shaped object!
Now you need to cut out one rectangle of cardboard to the same size as the front of your bag (but this is terrible and you should probably actually use iron-on fusible interfacing instead). This will help give the bag shape. Insert it into the front of the bag.
Cut out a rectangle of fabric of the same size. This will be your inner lining (it'll go over the cardboard).
Flip your bag inside-out.
Place the cardboard inside the front of the bag. Trim it until it fits. Place the lining over the top, then hand-stitch it to the edges of the bag.
Make your front flap by cutting out another 2 rectangles (they need to be the same width as the main rectangles but slightly shorter in height, and with rounded edges at one end). Sew them together first (so you have a kind of pocket), then sew this flap to the back edge of the bag.
Use craft glue and thread to attach the straps the the front flap of the bag.
Wrap the belts around the bag, then open up the bottom of the bag (at the back) where the belts need to go inside by flipping it inside-out and cutting the threads. Insert the belt then sew it back up over the top of it.

If your belts were long enough (only one of mine was so I had to use a third belt) then cut off the ends of the belts and do a similar thing to before, but insert them into the bottom of the bag at the front of the bag.

And that's it! I think I will also add a handle to the top and try and make straps for the sides (using another belt - I have so many of these belts, it's a little insane).

I hope you enjoyed this DIY! Can't wait to hear what you think of it!

xxx Annika


  1. Your so clever the bag looks awesome!!!!

  2. Very cute! I love that you used belts for the straps. So convenient!

  3. girl. i'm in love with this! i'm bookmarking this page so i can one day pluck up the courage and make one of these!

    gahhh so amazing.

  4. Love it! Cant wait to get my sew machine so i can try this!


    Teardrops Are Falling

  5. I AM BLOWN AWAY. Seriously, girl, is there something you can't do? haha

  6. WOW! This is such a great DIY. I will have to think of making things :)

  7. super cute inspiration!

    from helen at // @thelovecatsinc

  8. haha, this is really a great diy!

  9. I love your bag <3 !

  10. Woah, my goodness! I can't believe you just winged that. You're so talented!


  11. oh honey you look stunning as usual <3 beautiful + this backpack is amazing, i wish i had one <3

  12. oh this is so adorable, i loveee it!!! i really like the colors too. and your outfit is wonderful, that dress is so darling!!

  13. That dress is melting my heart, you have amazing legs! Beautiful DIY

  14. NO WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!! Annika! once again you have blogged my heart! <3 i have been searching everywhere for a reasonably priced satchel bag...but found none (here in Cape Town, South Africa is verrrry difficult). I then (gave up hope) and googled some DIYs but my results yielded nothing that I got excited about.....BUT NOW!!!!!!!! I can make my own AWESOME satchel and its all thanx to you!!! You are awesome! x

  15. this is is awesome i'm going to try it!

  16. what a fabulous DIY. i love the color combination and the coat that inspired it. fairly simple as well. i just love it.

  17. you're really an amazing blogger !!!!! so creative !!! I must try to do one!!! HAVE A NICE DAY ,Annika !!!:D

  18. Im working on making one of these right now out of some floral print material! Hopefully it'll look as great as yours does!!! (: I love the green btw!

  19. Hi. I was just wondering, about how march fabric does this take.

    1. Hey! I'm sorry but I'm actually really not sure, I just made this up at the time from a heap of vintage fabric I had and never bothered making any measurements! Haha. You just need enough for all the pieces... I can't give you any kind of accurate estimate though :(


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