DIY Tool Bags

Written by robin devereaux
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DIY Tool Bags
A wearable tool bag keeps tools at hand when working on a project. (tools image by pix29 from

Tool bags are a handyman's or handywoman's best friend when working on any type of home improvement or repair project. While a tool bag can be relatively expensive, with a little know-how and some simple, inexpensive materials, you can create your own wearable tool bags. Canvas fabric comes in several colours to customise and personalise your bag. This project requires some minimal sewing and measuring skills. You may want to make two bags, one for each side of your body.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 1/2 yard of 45-inch wide heavy cotton canvas fabric (will make 2 bags)
  • Heavy duty thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Yardstick or measuring tape
  • Straight pins
  • Steam iron
  • Belt

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  1. 1

    Press the piece of fabric flat with a steam iron. Cut along the fold of the 45-inch wide fabric to create two pieces that measure approximately 18 by 22.5 inches. Using one piece of fabric, fold it in half by matching the 18-inch sides. Press with the iron to create a fold. Open the fabric and cut along the fold, creating two pieces of fabric that measure approximately 18 by 11.25 inches.

  2. 2

    On the 18-inch sides, fold over the edges 1/2 inch and press down. Use the steam function to create a good fold. Fold over again 1/2 inch and press. Pin hems and sew them using a straight stitch on the sewing machine. Make sure both hems are folded toward the back centre of the piece.

  3. 3

    Hem the bottom of the piece in the same manner, folding toward the centre front of the piece then pinning and sewing it in place. To create the storage pocket, fold the same end up approximately seven inches and press in place. Sew a straight stitch along the edges. Measure to the centre of the pocket and sew down the centre to create two pockets.

  4. 4

    Create the belt loop by folding the remaining raw edge 1/2 inch toward the center back and pressing in place. Fold over again 2.5 inches and press. Pin and sew the edge down using a straight stitch.

  5. 5

    Thread the tool bag onto a belt via the belt loops. Fill with desired tools or hardware.

Tips and warnings

  • All seams are 1/2 inch.
  • These handmade tool bags make great gifts for any handyperson, gardener, painter or artist. Plain canvas tool bags can even be decorated using fabric paint according to package instructions.
  • Denim fabric may also be used to create tool bags.

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