How to Create an Upcycled Bum Bag From a Vintage Tapestry

Sew Much 2 Wear
by Sew Much 2 Wear
6 Materials
1 Hour

I enjoy popping into antique stores during road trips to see what kind of treasures I can find.

Recently I've been drawn to the textiles department. That's where I found a battered, but still breathing woven wonder. I wanted to showcase the art from this "Wine in the Garden" tapestry with wearable garments and ended up making three different bags with the material and some other recycled pieces.

I used a free pattern for this project, which I am linking below for your ease. This tutorial will focus instead on how to use a woven textile in a project like this without it fraying and falling apart.

My first step in this process was finding a free pattern. I found this pattern from the Stitching Scientist. I printed it out, but the pattern was meant to be cut on the fold. Because I wasn't using new fabric I simply printed the same pattern out twice and taped them together to get the proper size reference.

There are three pieces in the pattern, as well as three lining pieces. To get the most bang out for my buck for this tapestry I only cut the two front pieces from the vintage textile. There was only a little bit left after I made a backpack (let me know in the comments if you want to see that tutorial) so I just put the pieces where they fit. If had more material I would have been more careful in matching them up nicely.

As you can imagine, cutting into a tapestry makes the treads want to unravel. To avoid this from ruining the piece I got out my hot glue gun. I used it to create a thin line of glue along the raw edges of each piece, essentially locking each strand into place. I knew the glue would be concealed once sewn together, so this was purely to keep the fabric from fraying.

To give you some perspective, this is what the dried glue looked like on the raw edges. It really worked like a charm to make this whole thing work!

Once I had my pieces cut I went ahead and followed the pattern directions with my dad's upholstery sewing machine. I think if you had a heavy-duty sewing machine it could also work for this project.

Here's a preview of the bag before I finished the straps!

In an effort to make this the most sustainable project possible each piece was upcycled. The zipper came from my mother's old work bag. The lining was from material from clothes she no longer wanted. I used one of her old purse straps and clipped the metal pieces together to form my bum bag strap.

I was actually incredibly impressed with how this all came together. The finished look with the strap made it look professionally made.

I love that this bag has just enough room for a cell phone, keys, credit cards or cash, and a few other personal items.

I don't typically carry a purse because it often feels too bulky, which means when I do have a purse I'll forget and leave it places. This bag is comfortable and so easy to pair with many different things.

I'm considering making more of these to sell with damaged vintage textiles. Let me know in the comments if you would buy a bag like this from a local maker, and how much you might be willing to spend.

Don't forget to connect with me on Instagram and Youtube to see what I'm going to be working on next!

If you'd like to see more easy refashioning ideas, please visit my YouTube channel,   Sew Much 2 Wear.

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

Suggested materials:
  • Vintage tapestry
  • Recycled zipper
  • Hot glue gun
See all materials

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Sew Much 2 Wear
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Join the conversation
  • Michael Michael on Jun 03, 2022

    I am excited about this project. I definitely have the vintage tapestries, but I have only a regular Pfaff sewing machine. I don’t want to damage my machine by using this heavy material. I do have needles for working with jeans fabric. Will that do? Thank you. I love your bum bag!

    • Sew Much 2 Wear Sew Much 2 Wear on Jun 03, 2022

      Hey Michael, I think you could try it with a heavy-duty needle. The only thing that might be difficult is attaching the straps to the bag, depending on what kind of strap you want to use. If it's a fabric strap you should be good, leather might need to be sewn on by hand.

  • BeeZee BeeZee on Jun 17, 2022

    I would definitely buy a bag like this if I was unable to make it. Pricing can be difficult, but I would price it at the $20 - $25 range.