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 Awhile back, I bought a new bike.  It’s a really pretty turquoise retro style bike and I love it.  I forgot how free it felt to ride a bike.  It had been years since I had been on one – we’re talking sophomore in high school years.  The first day I brought it home, I just wanted to ride forever.  Of course, my muscles quickly disagreed.  We bought a kid seat to put on my husband’s bike and we had all sorts of fun riding our bikes to the ice cream store, to a restaurant with some other friends and other places. 

However, I always envied my friend’s sweet bike with the sweet little basket.  I found some really cool bike bags on etsy that I couldn’t afford and whined to my Mom that I too wanted something that would carry just a few things (like my wallet and my Kindle).  She responded, like any good Mom should, by making me something;)  A couple of somethings actually.  I have asked her to share the details with us.  And, here they are for you to make your own little vintage tea towel book bags – you can make them to hang on something (like a bike’s handles for example) or not hang on something – it’s up to you.  Enjoy.



  • Retro Tea Towel
  • Wide Rick Rack
  • 4 to 6 Large & Small Buttons
  • Large Snaps
  • Thread
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine
  • Sewing Needle & thread


  • Fold over one end of the tea towel, 3/4 of the way up and sew sides closed, creating a pocket.
  • Slip a piece of cardboard in the pocket, that has been cut 1″ smaller than the tea towel, on all sides.
  • Fold tea towel up again and stitch the sides and bottom of the tea towel, being careful not to catch the cardboard in the stitches.
  • Sew Rick Rack across the top flap tucking under at the ends. Sew  Rick Rack up the sides to the top of the folded pocket, from there measure 4″ or more of Rick Rack to make a loop. (do not sew down)
  • Sew a snap on under side of Rick Rack and a small button to the top of Rick Rack. Measure 1 more inch down and place another snap and larger button on Rick Rack. Measure down 2 more inches of the Rick Rack, cut, fold under and sew end. Sew the bottom of the snaps to the flap of the tea towel, lining up with the top snaps.
  • Tip: The snaps are used only if you want to hook the book bag over something, like a bikes handle bars, otherwise you can omit the loop of Rick Rack and sew the Rick Rack all the way down the tea towel flap, to the end. You can still sew the buttons on the Rick Rack without using the snaps.
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2 Responses to “{DIY} Bike Book Bag Tutorial | Made With Vintage Tea Towels”

  1. Amanda says:

    This is so cute! What a great idea 😉

    I run Fun Family Crafts, a library of craft tutorials geared at kids of all ages. I would love it if you’d stop by and submit this to be featured! It would be perfect in the category of “by adults, for kids”. (by the way, I link to you, I don’t post your tutorial on the site) Feel free to submit as many kid friendly craft tutorials as you like!

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