DIY Waxed Canvas Tote Bag Tutorial (Part 3)

DIY Waxed Canvas Tote Bag Tutorial (Part 3)

Finally, the last part of this three-part tutorial. First I sewed the body of the bag, then I waxed it, and now I’ll show you how to add leather straps. This bag, by the way, is super sturdy. It’s designed so that the bottom, which carries the most weight, has no seam, and the addition of the wax toughens up the fabric even more. The leather straps are attached with metal rivets that won’t be going anywhere, and these factors create a bag that can definitely stand up to regular use.

Leather straps, or thick leather to cut into strips (you can buy straps here, or from leather supply shops)
Leather punch (mine is similar to this one)
Rivets (12)
Rivet setter (this kit looks similar to the one I used)
X-acto knife
Fabric marker
Measuring tape or ruler
Bulldog/alligator clips

DIY Waxed Tote Bag Tutorial

1. If you’re using leather to make your straps, cut out two pieces 1 inch wide by 28 inches long. Measure and mark the locations of your straps. I placed mine 3 1/2 inches from the side seam of the bag. Also mark the locations of the rivets on the straps. I used three per strap end, for a total of 12, but if you use thinner straps, you can probably get away with one or two.
DIY Waxed Tote Bag Tutorial
2. Using a leather punch, punch three holes on each end of the strap for the rivets.
DIY Waxed Tote Bag Tutorial
3. Clip your straps in place, and use a pen to mark the locations on the bag where the rivets will go.
DIY Waxed Tote Bag Tutorial
DIY Waxed Tote Bag Tutorial
4. Use the X-acto knife to cut small holes for the rivets in the canvas. Cut them as small as possible, while still being able to force the rivets through the holes.
DIY Waxed Tote Bag Tutorial
5. Place the rivet posts through the holes in the leather straps, then through the corresponding holes in the canvas.
DIY Waxed Tote Bag Tutorial
6. Following the directions on your rivet setter, hammer the rivet caps in place.
DIY Waxed Tote Bag Tutorial
7. Repeat for both ends of the strap, then for the other strap on the other side of the bag.

DIY Waxed Tote Bag Tutorial
All done! I hope you found this tutorial useful. I tried to write it so that if you want to follow it to make a very simple (unwaxed) tote, with cotton webbing handles, you can, but you can also try out some fancier techniques if you wish.

Part 1: Sewing the body of the bag
Part 2: Waxing the canvas
Part 3: Adding leather handles

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2 thoughts on “DIY Waxed Canvas Tote Bag Tutorial (Part 3)

  1. How has your bag held up now that some time has passed? I am quite curious about the longevity of the wax.

    1. Lauralee, it has held up really well! So well, in fact, that I’m thinking of waxing some other items.

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