Monday, 20 August 2012

Back-to-School Satchel Tutorial

On trend - and fun to make!
Make them with brads and a front "kangeroo" pocket...
Or make the "no-frills" version - sans pocket, with fake brads.
Less is more: no-frills satchel in "genuine leatherette" paper.
Where did the summer go? Never mind - this fun, geek chic seasonal project will cheer you up (and the recipient, too). These cute mini-satchels are pretty easy to make, so you can craft a bunch to give as surprises to returning students of all ages (brad-free version for the little ones, of course). Why not make one for the teacher, too. The bag measures 9.5 x 7cm (3-3/4in x 2-7/8in). You can make the no-frills version out of a single sheet of A4 paper (not counting the gold buckles).

Here are your pattern templates:
There's a choice of two front pocket styles - basic or accordion.
Here's how to make the satchels:

1) Cut out the pattern pieces and score the folds. (Use the printout of the pattern as your scoring guide.) Score the folds using an embossing tool held against a metal ruler. Mark the position of the name tag pocket on the front pocket and the completed front pocket on the main
body of the bag with pencil dots.


2) If you've cut the buckles out of one-sided gold cardstock, glue two
pieces back-to-back to make double-sided buckles.
 3) Fold and glue the name tag pocket as shown.


 4) Insert the name tag.


4) Glue the name tag pocket in place on the front pocket. Fold strap in half over centre bar of buckle. Fix buckle to pocket front with mini-brads. (If you are not using brads, fold strap over buckle, glue halves together, and glue strap onto pocket front.) Repeat for other strap and buckle. Fold pocket and glue the folds. (Use tacky glue or ds tape.) Very important: attach the straps to the pocket front before assembling the pocket.



5) Attach the remaining bag fittings to the bag body: the handle,
the flap straps, and the D-ring buckle straps at the sides.
 6) Glue the pocket onto the bag front. (Or use ds tape.)
 7) Glue or tape the satchel body together - bottom tabs first, then
the side flaps.
 
 8) Almost finished - you just need to attach the strap.

 9) It is an adjustable two-part strap. Fasten an end through each of the side D-rings. Attach a buckle to the shorter end.
10) The satchel is complete! Other versions: if making the no-frills satchel, the buckle straps must be attached to the bag front instead of the pocket. To make mock brads, punch circles out of gold cardstock using a 1/8" circle hand punch; glue the circles on in the brad positions.
You can, of course, omit the strap to make a briefcase-style satchel instead of a shoulder bag look. You can also make a one-piece strap.

Stuff I used: Inspire Me Premium paper (for the brightly-coloured bags), gold cardstock (for the buckles), mini-brads.

Postscript: 
Just visited the newly-refurbished William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, Greater London, UK. Saw the humble satchel that belonged to the great man! (He used it for distributing leaflets.) It was brown cloth - and similar in design to my papercrafted satchels! Satchel serendipity!