How to Make a Tool Roll

Written by anne hirsh
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How to Make a Tool Roll
Tool rolls keep small tools handy and easily transportable. (Wrench image by hugy from

Tool rolls are convenient ways to store and carry small tools such as wrenches, screwdrivers, chisels and files. You can customise your tool roll to suit your personal tool selection by adjusting the width of each tool slot, the number of tool slots and the length of the overall roll. Make sure you have a heavy duty sewing machine and needle that are capable of stitching through multiple layers of heavy cloth. While canvas is recommended for easier sewing and low cost, you can also make your tool roll out of leather for increased durability.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 18 by 24-inch heavy canvas fabric
  • 3 yards 1/2-inch wide double-fold bias tape
  • Fabric scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Heavy duty thread
  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk marker
  • Straight edge
  • 24 inch long 1/2-inch thick heavy duty elastic
  • Grommet kit
  • 1/4-inch grommet

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  1. 1

    Lay out a piece of 18 by 24-inch canvas so the longer sides are horizontal, and cut two pieces of 24-inch bias tape with sharp fabric scissors. Pin the bias tape to the top and bottom edges of the canvas roll, then sew the bias tape on using a straight stitch and heavy duty thread, such as bonded nylon, removing the pins as you go.

  2. 2

    Measure 6 inches up from the bottom of the canvas and fold up the fabric on that mark, so the canvas is now 12 by 24 inches with a 6-inch flap at the bottom. Pin this in place.

  3. 3

    Measure 3 inches down from the top of your canvas on each end. Pin one end of the elastic to each end of the canvas on these marks. Cut two 13-inch pieces of bias tape and fold the last 1/2 inch on each end inward to create a clean fold on the ends. Pin these to the short sides of your tool roll, over the folded flap, horizontal bias tape and the elastic. Sew the tape in place, removing the pins as you go.

  4. 4

    Measure and mark the top and bottom edges of the roll, using a chalk marker, at the following increments (in inches): 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13.5, 15, 16.5, 18, 19.5, 21 and 22.5. Connect the top and bottom marks by drawing a line using a straight edge, then sew along the lines, either the full height of the roll or just along the flap and the elastic. This creates your individual tool slots.

  5. 5

    Mark the spot 1/2 inch in from the right edge of the tool roll, just above the folded flap. Use a grommet kit to install a 1/4-inch grommet according to the kit's instructions.

  6. 6

    Fold your remaining bias tape in half and twist the folded edge together until it is small enough to fit through the grommet hole. Poke the twisted end through the grommet until approximately 1 inch is showing through, then run the free ends of the bias tape through the loop this creates by passing them over the outside edge of the tool roll, through the folded end of the tape and pulling tight. This secures the bias tape to the tool roll; when rolled up from left to right, the loose ends can be tied around the roll to secure it.

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