Make a Duffel Bag That's Better Than Santa's

Some sturdy fabric and other materials, basic sewing know-how, and the instructions that follow are all you'll need to make a duffel bag.

| November/December 1978

Although the Yuletide is just around the corner, there’s still time to whip up this easy-to-make, inexpensive (but valuable) gift for some of the special folks on your list: the do-anything, go-anywhere, kick-it-and-cuddle-it duffle bag!

All you’ll need to make a duffle bag for a favorite traveler are a few materials, some basic sewing know-how, and the instructions that follow. So grab your scissors. Time’s awastin’!

Materials: The Bag-inning

For a 19 1/2" x 8 1/2" duffel bag, gather together one yard of 40"-wide fabric (canvas, cotton duck, coated nylon, Acrilan or just about anything that's durable and won't stretch or shrink too much), one-quarter yard of 40"-wide cloth (perhaps of a different color) for welting cover, two yards of 1/16"-diameter welting cord or rope, three yards of 1 1/2" webbing for straps, one 21"-long strip of zipper (bought off the roll) with slider, and one roll of cotton-covered polyester (or other heavy-duty) thread.

If You Want to Get Fancy

(A word of caution: Some of the following "trimmings" must be attached to a bag before it's completed. You can save yourself some frustration, then, by reading all the directions in this article before you sew that first stitch.)

FOR POCKETS: You'll need all of the above materials plus one foot of elastic or shock cord, one-half yard of extra fabric (the same as the bag material), and two 9" lengths of zipper (with sliders).

FOR A SHOULDER STRAP: Add on 1 1/4 yards of the same 1 1/2" webbing strap material called for above (if you want end straps, too, make that 2 1/4 yards more), plus a buckle that will fit the webbing, two clip or spring hook fasteners, and two D-rings.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: September 14-16, 2018
Seven Springs, PA

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard