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How to Make a No Sew Hobo Bag by Upcycling with Bandanas - Picture Demo

Updated on August 16, 2014

Coordinating accessories are a girl's best friends.

Recently, I did a craft project where a notebook got a bandanna makeover. I love the way the finish came out. Somehow, after a few coats of Mod Podge, the plain, old, black bandanna takes on an almost leather look.

I got to thinking it would be fun to have some accessories that matched it, like maybe a purse and a few other things. I had to try getting this look again.

The patriotic hobo bag you see displayed is what happened. It took the better part of a day, but wasn't really hard. Best of all, I had the supplies on hand! Yahoo and you just can't beat that.

It really doesn't take much, three bandannas, one coffee can with the lid, a ton of hot glue, some paper dolies, Mod podge, a little bling, some stickers and voila! A new hobo bag to match the notebook was born.

This highly affordable craft would be a great back to school or even an off to college project, as well as being good for slumber parties. While it would be enjoyed by adults, teens and some tweens, it's a bit too complicated for the younger ones, in my opinion. However, with that said, each child is unique. If they want to give it a go, and an adult is willing to supervise, I say go for it. Keep in mind though, they most likely will need a few or more breaks. I did.

Image credit; All images are my own photographs shot while constructing this puppy. I'm Vix, by the way.

Close up
Close up

Have you ever liked a project so much you just kept going?

I do that sometimes. Not only do I like the colors, print and texture of the original craft, the notebook, I like that it was really cheap and upcycled something headed down the short road to the trash. This new purse is the same in that way, since it's made out of a coffee can. That container affords a few added advantages, such as strength and protection.

For me, the black and white really works. The vast majority of my closet is in black and white, so this feels right at home. Lastly, as mentioned, there is the strength thing. Lately, I have made a few purses from crafting. All were fun and I like each in its own way, but this one I feel is much sturdier.

This is mostly because of a thicker strap and more height. It's tall enough I could put a water bottle in it easily and this strap can hold a good deal of weight. I'm horrible about over stuffing.

Check it out. It's huge! - I love that it will hold a bunch of stuff.

Hobo bag
Hobo bag

From lip gloss to the brush, keys to cell phone, address book to hand sanitizer it all fits!

There are multiple reasons I love this product. - For the price, I have yet to find a better deal.

The first reason I love these is the cost. They are cheap. Single or better yet, in value packages, you can't beat the price for an equivalent piece of fabric unless hitting the scrap bin.

Bandannas, in my mind, are much better than scraps because they already have a perfect seam all the way around. They come in perfect square shapes and you get the full pattern. When getting a remnant or scrap, often times you don't get the whole pattern, or it isn't centered well, there may be some fraying where it was cut, all kinds of added obstacles to your project. Who needs the added work for what is often more money? Not me.

Dozen Bandanas (Choose Variety of Colors) White
Dozen Bandanas (Choose Variety of Colors) White

The crafting applications are limitless. From book covers to pillow cases, window valances to lamp shade makeovers they just work easily, quickly and cheaply.I like this particular set because it comes in basic colors that kids like. Mixing and matching can be great fun. Of course, there always exists the traditional uses of head wraps, scarves, neck ties and fashion accents of all kinds, too. Having a supply of basic colors allows for the quick accessorizing of most casual ensembles.

 

How to make the no sew hobo bandanna bag -

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Start with the stuff. Pay no heed to the lying list. As per my normal behavior pattern, it didn't go down that way. You need 1 coffee can with the lid, 3 bandannas, 1 package of small paper doilies, the basic bling of your choice, in this case 1 smalStep one is to drill a hole on each side of the can. Be careful. Since this is a circular shape, it's best to use a vice or maybe have someone hold the can if you are not experienced with a drill. This step should be done by parents for small childreCover the inside of the can with a good amount of hot glue. Insert a full felt square and hold it down being sure to press it good all around the edges. Now, this can get hot. If your fingers are not liking the heat as it does take some getting used When the bottom has dried well enough to hold, about 30 seconds, glue down the felt wrinkles on the sides. I like the wrinkles as opposed to a straight lining because it adds some extra padding.  If you want more padding, just add another felt squareIt is time to cover the can. Using the holes on the sides for the straps, determine where the midpoint is. Fold the bandanna in such a way as to have it positioned how you want it to look. Use a bulldog clip to secure the bandanna. Run a thick bead oKeep gluing and clipping about every inch working vertically all the way around the canWhen you get to the point where you join the two ends, fold each over the way you want it to look when done. Have one side overlap the other some. Glue down your finished seam.Flip the can over. Glue down the overlapping fabric on the bottom. Because of the shape of our container, work in one to one half inch intervals pulling as you go. Don't worry about it being perfect. We will be covering the bottom edge in a manner thPull down all remaining cloth at the top of the coffee can and glue it down to the interior. Now, the basic purse part is covered. Time to fancy it up a bit.Grab your second bandanna. Fold it in half. Find the midpoint. The bottom of this is where we want to attach this bandanna on the inside of the can being sure to line it up with the matching pattern on the front. IMPORTANT - The fold line has to go uNow, it is time for our last bandanna. Cut one two inch strip of fabric for the drawstring we are going to create. Since we want the good looking borders for our straps, be sure to save those.Fold the cut strip over onto itself a few times and glue it all the way down. Cut the remaining cloth in half and repeat for the straps. To get it in the can, cut the corners and twist tightly with your fingers. Wrap in a small strip of duct tape to Fold and clip the sides of the cloth so the pattern seam will be as you want it in the back. Glue down the back. We do the front and back first so our patterns will match up. IMPORTANT: Be sure when gluing to glue under the rim of the can. We will neInsert the newly fashioned drawstring into the top fold of the bandanna you just glued down.It will look something like this. Glue the two open ends together working from the bottom up. Glue all the way up to about an inch under the very top.I used simple silver studs to secure the fabric under the drawstring so it would not fall down and to add some bling. These are super easy. You just push it through the fabric and then use your finger to press the prongs down and secure it. I suggestBe sure when using the studs to get all prongs through both layers of cloth or it does no good. They are not forgiving and do not come out easily. I used one on each of the little paisley strips and a few more placed every few inches just to be sure
Start with the stuff. Pay no heed to the lying list. As per my normal behavior pattern, it didn't go down that way. You need 1 coffee can with the lid, 3 bandannas, 1 package of small paper doilies, the basic bling of your choice, in this case 1 smal
Start with the stuff. Pay no heed to the lying list. As per my normal behavior pattern, it didn't go down that way. You need 1 coffee can with the lid, 3 bandannas, 1 package of small paper doilies, the basic bling of your choice, in this case 1 smal
Step one is to drill a hole on each side of the can. Be careful. Since this is a circular shape, it's best to use a vice or maybe have someone hold the can if you are not experienced with a drill. This step should be done by parents for small childre
Step one is to drill a hole on each side of the can. Be careful. Since this is a circular shape, it's best to use a vice or maybe have someone hold the can if you are not experienced with a drill. This step should be done by parents for small childre
Cover the inside of the can with a good amount of hot glue. Insert a full felt square and hold it down being sure to press it good all around the edges. Now, this can get hot. If your fingers are not liking the heat as it does take some getting used
Cover the inside of the can with a good amount of hot glue. Insert a full felt square and hold it down being sure to press it good all around the edges. Now, this can get hot. If your fingers are not liking the heat as it does take some getting used
When the bottom has dried well enough to hold, about 30 seconds, glue down the felt wrinkles on the sides. I like the wrinkles as opposed to a straight lining because it adds some extra padding.  If you want more padding, just add another felt square
When the bottom has dried well enough to hold, about 30 seconds, glue down the felt wrinkles on the sides. I like the wrinkles as opposed to a straight lining because it adds some extra padding. If you want more padding, just add another felt square
It is time to cover the can. Using the holes on the sides for the straps, determine where the midpoint is. Fold the bandanna in such a way as to have it positioned how you want it to look. Use a bulldog clip to secure the bandanna. Run a thick bead o
It is time to cover the can. Using the holes on the sides for the straps, determine where the midpoint is. Fold the bandanna in such a way as to have it positioned how you want it to look. Use a bulldog clip to secure the bandanna. Run a thick bead o
Keep gluing and clipping about every inch working vertically all the way around the can
Keep gluing and clipping about every inch working vertically all the way around the can
When you get to the point where you join the two ends, fold each over the way you want it to look when done. Have one side overlap the other some. Glue down your finished seam.
When you get to the point where you join the two ends, fold each over the way you want it to look when done. Have one side overlap the other some. Glue down your finished seam.
Flip the can over. Glue down the overlapping fabric on the bottom. Because of the shape of our container, work in one to one half inch intervals pulling as you go. Don't worry about it being perfect. We will be covering the bottom edge in a manner th
Flip the can over. Glue down the overlapping fabric on the bottom. Because of the shape of our container, work in one to one half inch intervals pulling as you go. Don't worry about it being perfect. We will be covering the bottom edge in a manner th
Pull down all remaining cloth at the top of the coffee can and glue it down to the interior. Now, the basic purse part is covered. Time to fancy it up a bit.
Pull down all remaining cloth at the top of the coffee can and glue it down to the interior. Now, the basic purse part is covered. Time to fancy it up a bit.
Grab your second bandanna. Fold it in half. Find the midpoint. The bottom of this is where we want to attach this bandanna on the inside of the can being sure to line it up with the matching pattern on the front. IMPORTANT - The fold line has to go u
Grab your second bandanna. Fold it in half. Find the midpoint. The bottom of this is where we want to attach this bandanna on the inside of the can being sure to line it up with the matching pattern on the front. IMPORTANT - The fold line has to go u
Now, it is time for our last bandanna. Cut one two inch strip of fabric for the drawstring we are going to create. Since we want the good looking borders for our straps, be sure to save those.
Now, it is time for our last bandanna. Cut one two inch strip of fabric for the drawstring we are going to create. Since we want the good looking borders for our straps, be sure to save those.
Fold the cut strip over onto itself a few times and glue it all the way down. Cut the remaining cloth in half and repeat for the straps. To get it in the can, cut the corners and twist tightly with your fingers. Wrap in a small strip of duct tape to
Fold the cut strip over onto itself a few times and glue it all the way down. Cut the remaining cloth in half and repeat for the straps. To get it in the can, cut the corners and twist tightly with your fingers. Wrap in a small strip of duct tape to
Fold and clip the sides of the cloth so the pattern seam will be as you want it in the back. Glue down the back. We do the front and back first so our patterns will match up. IMPORTANT: Be sure when gluing to glue under the rim of the can. We will ne
Fold and clip the sides of the cloth so the pattern seam will be as you want it in the back. Glue down the back. We do the front and back first so our patterns will match up. IMPORTANT: Be sure when gluing to glue under the rim of the can. We will ne
Insert the newly fashioned drawstring into the top fold of the bandanna you just glued down.
Insert the newly fashioned drawstring into the top fold of the bandanna you just glued down.
It will look something like this. Glue the two open ends together working from the bottom up. Glue all the way up to about an inch under the very top.
It will look something like this. Glue the two open ends together working from the bottom up. Glue all the way up to about an inch under the very top.
I used simple silver studs to secure the fabric under the drawstring so it would not fall down and to add some bling. These are super easy. You just push it through the fabric and then use your finger to press the prongs down and secure it. I suggest
I used simple silver studs to secure the fabric under the drawstring so it would not fall down and to add some bling. These are super easy. You just push it through the fabric and then use your finger to press the prongs down and secure it. I suggest
Be sure when using the studs to get all prongs through both layers of cloth or it does no good. They are not forgiving and do not come out easily. I used one on each of the little paisley strips and a few more placed every few inches just to be sure
Be sure when using the studs to get all prongs through both layers of cloth or it does no good. They are not forgiving and do not come out easily. I used one on each of the little paisley strips and a few more placed every few inches just to be sure

Would you consider carrying a bag made from found items?

Would you consider carrying a bag made from found items?

See results

To match or not to match?

the bag with the notebook
the bag with the notebook

This question is still bandied about by fashionistas today. Ultimately, I think it comes down to a matter of personal choice. Why can't we all just go with what we like? While the designers and department stores will most assuredly disagree, I think it's the way to go.

Ya and hoo! Time for the fun part. - Is it just me, or do most folks like the decorating part best?

Hobo bag worth the time?
Hobo bag worth the time?

After lunch, a few tunes, some light surfing around Squidoo and time with family, came the fun part, decoration. I wanted a lacy look here and something that would kind of fit in but kind of be in contrast with the sweetness associated with lace. Furthermore, and more importantly, I did not want to pay for real lace.

What to do? Fake it! And, bring on some chains since the sealing at the end will give us the leather affect. Leather and chains seem to be in direct contrast to the sweetness of lace to me, but that's just my thinking on the matter.

The lace look was super simple. - Better yet, it cost pennies.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
To make the lace, use cheap paper doilies. Cut off the lace parts.  Just snip them off where you have straight lines to glue down.I found turning the can over and making a platform of the bulldog clips made it easier to work. Use liberal coats of Mod Podge on the front and back of the doilies.Affix the lace to the interior edge of the can.To connect the strap, insert one end into the fold of the other. Secure both with several beads of hot glue along the overlap.I added a solid doily to the outside. Cover the entire bag, every square inch save the bottom in Mod Podge, repeatedly.When covering the strap, drawstrings, and hobo extension up top, keep in mind you have to occasionally "work" the fabric. That means, you have to move it or it will dry too stiff. Just keep applying and as it starts to stiffen, move the fabric aroundBetween coats, I recommend three, and working the fabric, do some fine detail work such as gluing the top extension to the inner rim behind the lace to create a super seal. Also, be sure to pull the drawstrings to be sure they don't get glued.To make the bottom, simply glue the coffee can lid to a piece of felt. Then, glue the felt to the outer rim edge and trim it up. Cover that in ribbon at the very bottom. Snip the edges of the plastic in three spots to create some give. Apply a good aTo create the tassel, wrap the ends of the drawstring an inch or so from the end with a small band of duct tape. Snip the ends. Mod Podge the fringes you just made and the tape.Just keep applying the product and working the fabric until it is totally covered.Do the chain and the stones last. When you know you will not be needing any more Mod Podge, affix the chain and gem stones. I hot glued mine to the front and inserted the prongs for the hobo extension and strap.Before you know it, you're done. Check it out. New bag. :)
To make the lace, use cheap paper doilies. Cut off the lace parts.  Just snip them off where you have straight lines to glue down.
To make the lace, use cheap paper doilies. Cut off the lace parts. Just snip them off where you have straight lines to glue down.
I found turning the can over and making a platform of the bulldog clips made it easier to work. Use liberal coats of Mod Podge on the front and back of the doilies.
I found turning the can over and making a platform of the bulldog clips made it easier to work. Use liberal coats of Mod Podge on the front and back of the doilies.
Affix the lace to the interior edge of the can.
Affix the lace to the interior edge of the can.
To connect the strap, insert one end into the fold of the other. Secure both with several beads of hot glue along the overlap.
To connect the strap, insert one end into the fold of the other. Secure both with several beads of hot glue along the overlap.
I added a solid doily to the outside. Cover the entire bag, every square inch save the bottom in Mod Podge, repeatedly.
I added a solid doily to the outside. Cover the entire bag, every square inch save the bottom in Mod Podge, repeatedly.
When covering the strap, drawstrings, and hobo extension up top, keep in mind you have to occasionally "work" the fabric. That means, you have to move it or it will dry too stiff. Just keep applying and as it starts to stiffen, move the fabric around
When covering the strap, drawstrings, and hobo extension up top, keep in mind you have to occasionally "work" the fabric. That means, you have to move it or it will dry too stiff. Just keep applying and as it starts to stiffen, move the fabric around
Between coats, I recommend three, and working the fabric, do some fine detail work such as gluing the top extension to the inner rim behind the lace to create a super seal. Also, be sure to pull the drawstrings to be sure they don't get glued.
Between coats, I recommend three, and working the fabric, do some fine detail work such as gluing the top extension to the inner rim behind the lace to create a super seal. Also, be sure to pull the drawstrings to be sure they don't get glued.
To make the bottom, simply glue the coffee can lid to a piece of felt. Then, glue the felt to the outer rim edge and trim it up. Cover that in ribbon at the very bottom. Snip the edges of the plastic in three spots to create some give. Apply a good a
To make the bottom, simply glue the coffee can lid to a piece of felt. Then, glue the felt to the outer rim edge and trim it up. Cover that in ribbon at the very bottom. Snip the edges of the plastic in three spots to create some give. Apply a good a
To create the tassel, wrap the ends of the drawstring an inch or so from the end with a small band of duct tape. Snip the ends. Mod Podge the fringes you just made and the tape.
To create the tassel, wrap the ends of the drawstring an inch or so from the end with a small band of duct tape. Snip the ends. Mod Podge the fringes you just made and the tape.
Just keep applying the product and working the fabric until it is totally covered.
Just keep applying the product and working the fabric until it is totally covered.
Do the chain and the stones last. When you know you will not be needing any more Mod Podge, affix the chain and gem stones. I hot glued mine to the front and inserted the prongs for the hobo extension and strap.
Do the chain and the stones last. When you know you will not be needing any more Mod Podge, affix the chain and gem stones. I hot glued mine to the front and inserted the prongs for the hobo extension and strap.
Before you know it, you're done. Check it out. New bag. :)
Before you know it, you're done. Check it out. New bag. :)

The finishing touches

finishing touches on the no sew hobo bandana bag
finishing touches on the no sew hobo bandana bag

Glue on your gem studs. I glued these to the front and inserted the prongs through the fabric on the hobo extension at the top.

Safety issues

There are a few safety issues to consider with this project. Foremost in this list is the drilling and the possible sharp edges that result. Be sure to inspect for this before sticking your hand in the can all willy-nilly.

The studs used have seriously sharp prongs. I recommend using a thimble to protect fingers. Simple glue on gem stones could be substituted or even peel and stick rhinestones.

Lastly, a hot glue gun always presents a safety issue.

Save an innocent coffee can from a landfill.

You will have some fun and get something cool.

Turn up the tunes and the savings with crafty goodness while having some fun.

Save money and gas.

Why go all the way to the store to buy

when you can make it, if you but try?

I Love the do she pulls off here using a bandanna.

She gives great, easy to follow instructions in a really cute way.

Please, let me know you dropped in by signing the quest book.

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    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
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      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @PriscillaPWood LM: Thank you. God bless :) !

    • PriscillaPWood LM profile image

      PriscillaPWood LM 4 years ago

      lovely lens

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @hntrssthmpsn: Thank you so much. Your comment made my day. I hope you have fun! I have a few coffee cans still lying around too, so I may end up doing a few more of these, but I want to figure out a way to use them for a large spinning storage system. I just haven't figured out how to do it yet!. Thanks again, God bless and most happy crafting!

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @Greathaul2013: Thank you! I wasn't aware I had style ;). God bless and thank you for making me smile.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      And now I must make this. I have a big stack of old coffee cans sitting out in the garage in the "stuff I'll totally get around to using" pile. I have bandanas galore because I love them, but have never crafted with them. If I dig around in the frightening tangle of the crafts chest, I bet I can find the rest of the materials. This is an awesome bag, your pictures are top-notch, and I feel ready to disregard the "lying list" and wade boldly into a bandana crafting adventure.

    • Greathaul2013 profile image

      Greathaul2013 4 years ago

      Coolness. I like your style!

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @DebW07: Thank you :). I miss the old time leather hippy bags with the fringe. Oh! Food for crafting thought. Have a great day and God bless.

    • profile image

      DebW07 4 years ago

      Your bag is so cute. I'm a hippy at heart so I would definitely like to have one.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @EpicEra: Thank you! The "journey." I like that. God bless and most happiest of sqidding.

    • bluelily lm profile image

      bluelily lm 4 years ago

      Nice step by step instructional guide to make this Hobo Bag. If a person sees the just the end result then it becomes very hard to distinguish from purchased one. Thumps up for your creativity!

    • EpicEra profile image

      EpicEra 4 years ago

      Very cool! I'm far more into refurbishment than buying new. It's about the journey :)

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @RazzbarryBreeze: Thank you. Your kind comment made mine. God bless.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @Rosanna Grace: Thank you! God bless and most happiest of squidding.

    • RazzbarryBreeze profile image

      RazzbarryBreeze 4 years ago

      Nicely done and definitely creative.. Thank you for sharing. Have a nice day!

    • Rosanna Grace profile image

      Rosanna Grace 4 years ago

      Very creative and nicely presented here too! :)

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @smine27: Evidently, it was my one for the month ;). Thanks bunches! God bless.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @KerryVor: Thank you :). God bless.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Great idea!

    • KerryVor profile image

      Kerry Voronoff 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      What an awesome idea. I love it.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @number43: Thank you :) God bless!

    • number43 profile image

      number43 4 years ago

      adorable and unique:)

    • profile image

      Bella31 4 years ago

      I dropped by and this is cool!

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @SheGetsCreative: Thanks bunches :). God bless.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Fun craft project. Pinned.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @Scarlettohairy: Thanks. I really do love how it came out. I know it's cheap, but with the way prices at the grocery stores are steadily sneaking up every week, I want double duty out of everything. Packaging just seemed a good starting point. God bless.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @SBRTechnologies1: Thank you :) God bless.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 4 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      What a great idea! I love using found objects and love the paisley on bandanas!

    • SBRTechnologies1 profile image

      SBRTechnologies1 4 years ago

      That is very creative... :)

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @flycatcherrr: Thank you. :) It was fun. Bandanas and I are quickly becoming buds. God bless.

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      How clever! I like the idea of using bandanas with that distinctive print, and the leather effect of coating the fabric with mod podge. Nicely done!

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