Friday, February 20, 2015

Hand Laced Chalk Cloth & Jute Twine Tote Bag

It's so cold outside that I'm staying indoors and shopping my stash to come up with things to make.   A few years ago I saw a video where a craftsman made a leather bag primarily by lacing the main body and straps together through punched holes.  Unfortunately, I didn't bookmark the video to give him credit and now I've been unable to locate it in my search.  Since I don't have leather anyway I decided to use a piece of chalk cloth remnant leftover from when I made a chalk cloth table runner here

You know how you can visualize something in your head but when you attempt to put it together, it doesn't quite go as you planned.  This might be the project that almost got scrapped.  I thought using chalk cloth to make a no-sew bag a terrific idea.  Chalkboard this and chalkboard that are very popular and trendy right now.  And when I did a google search I found just a "lunch" bag tutorial using the material.  Now I know why.  But I want you to be the judge of this project  .  .  .  as always.  No sewing was involved and I liked that!

Materials Used:
  • Chalk cloth
  • Jute twine
  • Ruler                                                       
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Chalk
  • Mode podge

Cutout the following from chalk cloth
Main body - 12"x27"
Side gussets (2) - 12"x6"
Handles (2) - 44"x2"
Jute twine - Lacing handles (4) 36",  Gussets (2) 36" 

The surface of the chalk cloth must be primed before writing on the cloth by rubbing the side of a piece of chalk over the entire surface from top to bottom and side to side.  Next, take a soft cloth to wipe off the chalk.  The fabric is now ready to write on.

Main body:
Punch 26 holes one inch from the sides of the chalk cloth and one inch from the top edge of the main body piece on each side.

Punch eleven holes on each side of the gussets and four holes on the bottom, 1/2 inch from the sides and 1 inch from the top edge.
For a better fit, round off the bottom edges of the gussets. 

Punch six holes on each side of the straps, 1/2" from edge, lining up with the holes on the main body. Round off ends of straps as pictured.

Jute twine:
Wrapping straps:
Place a drop of glue two inches on the wrong side of chalk cloth from the last holes and place twine inside and close.  Begin wrapping twine around the chalk cloth strap pressing the cloth together as you wrap .  .  .
until you reach two inches from the holes on the opposite end. Glue as before.

Next, saturate the ends of the twine (cut to apply handles & main body) with mod podge and let dry.  The stiff ends wrapped with clear tape will make it easy to lace through the holes.

Position handles on the main body of chalk cloth two inches from edge and 7 1/2 inches down from top edge lining holes up with the main body holes. Starting at the back bottom, push ends of twine through holes, crisscrossing the twine as you go up. Reaching the top, tie off excess twine and insert ends into crossed twine. Repeat for both sides, front and back, lacing on both handles.  

Adding Gussets:
*Gussets should be placed on the inside next to the main body, but after lacing them, there was too much cloth showing (wrong side) and bulking on the bottom so I laced them on the outside of the main body which looked a bit better.
Match up the holes on the gusset with the ones on the main body and start lacing at the top hole going in and out of the holes, all the way around.

Finish lacing the gusset to the main body by tying off the twine and inserting the ends into some of the inside loops.
Have fun writing on the chalk cloth bag:

What do you think?
I need to find some real leather, suede or pleather and make more!

Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!



  1. Good evening, Gail! What a fun and creative idea! You always have such unique craft projects. Happy weekend to you!

  2. You've done it again Gail! What a great idea for your leftover chalk cloth. I love the combo of the jute twine with the cloth. How fun that you can change the messages on the bag.

  3. Oh my gosh! YOu have come up with something again that I have never seen in the blog world! Love it and it would be so much fun to write on! Of sew is always my fave!

  4. Very creative and unique! The possibilities are endless as to what can be written on it!

  5. You never cease to amaze me with your creative ideas. The jute lacing with the chalk cloth looks great.

  6. I'm lovin' it! I'm a pushover for jute, so this project jumped out of the #HappinessIsHomemade link party at me! I think I had a huge piece of chalkboard cloth somewhere for something....I'm going to have to look through my stash. Thanks for sharing this!-Sue

  7. super cute! love the hand stitching and rustiness of the tote with the fun of chalkboard! awesome combo and brilliant idea :)

  8. How fun Gail! I like the ABC Always Be Creating!

  9. Is there anything you can't make? This is just amazing!

  10. The bag looks great. Very creative.

  11. This is so darling! You never cease to amaze me, Gail! Thank you for sharing. You are one of the features at the Make it Pretty party. Here is the link to this week's party. Hope to see you again at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  12. A big thanks is granted for the width for the top of the goals. The manner of the Double swinging doors is field for thk terms. Goal is fit for the behest of the joy for the approval of thk terms for humans.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...