June 18, 2016

Rope & Leather Market Backpack | DIY

 I live for summer. The hot weather, days at the beach (well…when we go on vacation), fresh fruit, moped rides, farmer’s markets, bonfires. I love it all. I also love all the fun accessories that come along with the warmer HOT weather. I have been collecting market bags to take to the store and transport my etsy orders to the post office in. I saw a straw market backpack that I knew would be perfect for taking to the farmer’s market and any other daily run. I recreated it in a new way with white clothesline rope and veg tan leather that will take a new patina over time! I love how it turned out it was more simple to make than I thought it would be!


-150 ft. of clothes line rope. I found mine at Wal Mart near the ironing boards for $1.88/50ft.

-2 Leather straps of your choice. Found at Tandy Leather

-Sewing Machine with zig-zag stitch

-Hot Glue

-leather sewing needle

Process: Start by measuring 8 inches of rope and folding at the 8 inch mark. At the fold, place under your presser foot and zig-zag stitch to the end. At the end, continue to wrap the rope around the other rope while it is laying flat and you are still stitching. Continue this around until the rope piece is about 5 inches wide or until you reach the desired size you want the bottom of your bag.

When the bottom of the bag is at the right width, continue stitching but angle flat portion 90 degrees so it makes a sharp corner and the rope will begin to rise up in size instead of out. Keep the angle and continue to zig-zag stitch. You’ll do this until you run out of rope. When you run out of rope, back-stitch and cut the thread. Connect the new piece of rope as close to the old piece as possible and continue stitching around. Keep zig-zag stitching around the bag until you reach your desired size. I used about 2 and 1/4 entire rolls of 50ft. rope.When you are finished, back stitch and burn the end of the rope if you don’t want it to fray.

For the straps, Cut 2 two inch strips from each strap. Measure how long you want the backpack strap to be and cut according to size and set aside. With the leftover strap, sew it to the top back of the bag using a leather needle. Hot Glue the two inch strap to the bottom front of your bag leaving a space in the middle for the closure strap to go through. Repeat on the other side. For the back straps, sew on top of the closure straps in place and make sure they are sturdy. For the bottom, hot glue in place.

Trim off all the extra threads and head to the market! You did it!


-You’ll have gaps between some of the strands of rope because they are easy to miss. Make sure to go back and fix the gaps by just re-sewing over them. Do this as you go, otherwise the bag will get to large for you to reach with your sewing machine.

-I used hot glue and it was sturdy and worked perfectly, I tried to rip off the leather from the rope to test its sturdiness and it didn’t budge. Adjust glue if you don’t want to use hot glue.

This would even make a great beach bag! I’m telling ya, it is the perfect summer bag.

Got any big summer plans? I’m sure this bag would love to tag along.

PS. Thanks to Rachel for all of these photos!