Today, I’m going to show you make a purse or bag without sewing, cutting, gluing, taping, or stapling. This is the ultimate, minimalistic-travelers bag because it folds flat and can be re-used in different ways over and over again. It is also an inexpensive way to update a wardrobe, or to use extra lovely cloth, or to wrap presents (even wine bottles) safely and securely.
In Japan, they use a special cloth for this called Furoshiki. I just use pretty square scarves.
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I picked up the scarf used in this tutorial at one of my favorite places to shop in Orange County– What Goes Around Clothing. It’s a “thrift” store– focusing on brand-new and previously-loved name brand clothes and vintage finds. The owner, Kamal, is welcoming and positive and the store is filled with unique trinkets including Star Wars posters, tiny knights, records, and lamps made from bottles. All those things aside, though, I love the store because everything in there feels hand-picked for awesomeness. If you happen to be a local, stop by and say hey, and check it out.
What Goes Around Clothing
2750 Harbor Blvd, Suite a-6,
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
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1. Start with a square piece of cloth.
I prefer my bags large enough to carry several books, so I make sure that the scarves I use are at least 30″ X 30″. I also carry heavier things in my purses, specifically books– so I prefer tightly woven fabrics that are harder to rip.
2. Fold in half, triangle-way.
If your square piece of cloth happens to have a design on one side and not the other, be sure to fold it so that the not-designed part is face up, and the design part is in the sandwich.
3. Knot off each triangle leg.
Make it so each knot is equidistant as possible from the original edge.
4. Turn your triangle-sandwich inside out, with the knotted edges on the inside.
5. Decide on your handle.
The nicest thing about this purse is that there are no real permanent decisions. You can always go back and re-knot something. There are some basic handle differences, and I’ll give them entirely fictional names here, just to distinguish and because I like naming things.
The Artful Dodger
For travelers, those walking unknown paths, and those carrying important goods.
(Personally, visually, this is my least favorite of the folds, but it’s also the most useful. It ends up opening up very easily to you if you know how to get in,– but to everyone else, the purse is basically on lockdown. Click the pictures to zoom.)
The Samwise Gardner
For lovers of food, shoppers of farms, and collectors of precious wildflowers.
(Personally, visually, I love this fold, but I just can’t seem to rock it. It’s light, and bohemian, and tucks right under your arm. Click the pictures to zoom.)
The Jo March
For readers and writers; for those with bohemian hearts and city lives .
(Personally, visually, this is my purse. When it’s a tight fold, it’s professional enough to take to work and I can adjust the handle to match my outfits. There’s less on-the-fly versatility with this fold, but it’s easier to tweak into a fashion accessory. Click the pictures to zoom.)
And that’s that! There’s a million other folds available. In other words, a square piece of cloth should always be in your arsenal!
- I thought this was perfectly timed for the Daily Post’s opposite day, since I’m not much of a DIY blogger. Partially because my photos are so bad and partially because I often miss steps. Luckily, I’m quite good at answering questions, so if I confused you on a step, just let me know.
- I’m not a fashion blogger either! I’m sure a lot of you could turn these bag folds into something doubly fabulous. Unfortunately, my ability to help you ends at the functional… so if you would like design ideas, or other thoughts on upcycling various items, please turn to some of my favorite “turn this into this” fashion bloggers– Lindy over at Changing Your Clothes, and The Remissionary.
- Maybe it’s time to add a permanent site disclaimer to this regard, but I can’t be bribed or cajoled into writing something nice about someone. What Goes Around got a spotlight because the place rocked my world, simple as that.
- Also, these styles of bags are for men, too. Even Mick Jagger carries one.
So, did you recognize all the characters that I named the bags after? Are you a furoshiki expert already? Do you like my shiny dress?