Perhaps it is time for you to make your own Book Bags for your children, not only to save you money, but your children will have on of a kind Book Bag that will stand out from store bought ones. If you have children getting ready to start school in the near future, then you will realise the importance of them having/needing a Book Bag to protect their School and Library Books from the general wear and tear of just placing a Book straight into a Schoolbag.

Why not Make it Waterproof?

If you are going to your own Book Bags you might as line it with parka nylon to waterproof the bag from, water bottles and other lunch fluids. As, with all good containers and intentions, accidents happen and containers rupture… All on their own, in a child’s Schoolbag.

To be able to save a book and wash and reuse your Book Bag makes it all worthwhile making your own Book Bag for your children… Plus, so cute! Limited only by your imagination.

What You Will Need to Make Your own Book Bag

The Book Bag I make has a finished size of 36cm x 44cm. To make one the same size you will need the following:

1 x Fabric (100cm x 37cm)

1 x Parka Nylon Fabric (100cm x 37cm)

2m Bias Binding (25mm) – See Tutorial on How to make Bias Binding.

10cm Velcro Hook & Loop

Matching Thread

Tailor Chalk

Saucer or CD (create rounded edge)

How to Put Your Book Bag Together

Place fabric with Wrong Sides Together, Zig Zag or Overlock one end together.

This is where you will attach your first piece of Bias Binding. If your fabric

has a pattern, this will be the top of the pattern, as it is the front of the envelope.

FOLD 42cm toward the alternate end of the Book Bag to envelop the Nylon lining within the main fabric. This will form the shape of the finished Book Bag.

This will leave room for an overlap Flap, like an Envelope, which you can then round the ends ready which will be finished off with Bias Binding.

MARK both corners with Tailor Chalk for your cutting Guide.

Pin and Cut curved edges ready for Stitching, prior to attaching Bias Binding.

Pin and Attach Bias Binding to the opening edge of the Book Bag.

Mark halfway with a pin to center the Velcro Hook.

FOLD Velcro Hook in half and line it up on the FRONT of the Book Bag, and PIN in place.

Pin Velcro Hook in place before stitching around the edge to attach.

Zig Zag Side seams together and stitching around the perimeter to tidy up edges before attaching the Bias Binding.

Now that you have stitched around the edges, trim any untidiness back to the Zig Zag edge.

FOLD Flap, your Book bag is now ready to attach the Bias Biding around the edge.

PIN Bias Binding to the edge as you go, starting with the Back of the Book Bag facing you.

STITCH Bias Binding to the edge PINNING and REMOVING Pins as you go, for a tidier finish.


CHECK underside of Bias Binding to ensure you are catching it as you sew around the EDGE of the Book Bag.

STITCH around entire EDGE of the Book Bag, taking care around the curves, catching the underside as you go.

Now you have completed the entire EDGE turn it over and check that you Have caught the underside of the Bias Binding. If NOT, rectify now before continuing.

You are now ready to Attach your Velcro Loop to the underside of the Book Bag Flap.

POSITION the Book Bag Flap where you would like to to sit.

Fold back to expose the Velcro Hook, and line up your Velcro Loop on the Book Bag Flap.

STITCH  around the edge of the pinned Velcro Loop, to attach it to the inside of the Book Bag Flap.

INSIDE view of Completed Book Bag, ready to close with Velcro Hook & Loop.

OUTSIDE view of Completed Book Bag, closed with Velcro Hook & Loop.

It Was Easier Than You Thought

Now that you have completed your first Book Bag, you may consider making them for afamily and friends for their little ones starting out at School.

As you can see they are a lot nicer than any store bought book Bag that I have seen before and way more versatile, durable and waterproof to boot.

If at all you are concerned about someone walking off with your work of art… Put a NAME on it! Either use the name tags that you already have for their clothes, as this is the easiest, and sew it under the flap, above the Velcro Hook so it is only visible upon opening the Book Bag itself.

I would love to see your creations so, please post them below so we can all see your master piece. But, if you are still struggling, then please what is it you are having an issue with? Ask away in the comments and I will be happy to assist you… OH! and What did I forget?


JoAnne Adrian
Director: Learn to Sew at Home with Jo ‘n’ Sew

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