Combine a scarf, jeans and the lining of a coat to make a punk bookbag

This one is made as a birthday present for one of my punk-loving friends. I like to do something different with every bookbag to personalize it, and the scarf felt Punk to me. For example, I made a turtle themed one for another friend. They are called bookbags because they are exactly big enough for a book, key, wallet, and phone. This makes them perfect for every book lover.

Finished punk bookbag
Finished punk bookbag

Which materials did I use?

The main body of the bag is made out of old jeans. The lining of the bag, in black, is the lining of my previous winter coat. The black gives the bag kinda a sophisticated look, doesn’t it? The jeans fabric was very nice to work with because it was firm, although also a bit stretchy. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot with thin flimsy fabric and this made a nice change. With stretchy fabric it helps to pin a lot and to take care not to overstretch the fabric while pinning, to keep the fabric in shape. Also, sewing slowly helps to get it accurate (difficult, I know!). The scarf is left unfinished deliberately because the rugged look is what made it fit the theme of the bag. That is also why I did not sew the scarf into a more structured shoulder strap. I like the disordered look it has now.

Detail scarf belt punk bookbag
Detail scarf belt punk bookbag

Finishing the bookbag

When the bookbag was put together, something was missing. The scarf made the top look interesting, which consequently made the bottom look very boring. This is solved by embroidering the blue crosses you see bellow with embroidery floss. The crosses are sewed on every long side. To my great contentment, this balanced the bag. Not sure if this makes the bag more, or less Punk-looking though. For fastening of the bag, I stuck on some velcro. Subtle and effective.

Crosses to add some more colour (read: more blue)
Crosses to add some more colour (read: more blue)

Because carrying books is the main purpose of this bag, it is given together with a book. To keep within the Punk theme the book is  ‘Tante Patent en de grote Sof’ by Annie M.G. Schmidt, who is a famous Dutch writer. Her fame mostly comes from writing children books were people suddenly are compelled to do ‘strange things’. For example, in this book one of the Batavi, an ancient German tribe, lives with ‘Aunt Patent’ for a while. The Batavi causes a lot of ruckus in Tante Patent’s quiet life. For example, he inspires a movement for more spontaneity, whose people have as aim to punch people in the face more often. In a way you could call the Batavian one of the first Punk, considering he does what he feels like doing! If you can read Dutch, and feel like some excitement in your life I can recommend the book wholeheartedly.

Punk bookbag finished with book
Punk bookbag finished with book

See my DeviantArt or Instagram (username: for more artwork and WIPs. You can also follow my blog by clicking on the button on the left or by filling in your email address. There will be a monthly update at the end of every month and a new blogpost every Sunday or Monday.


    1. Cool! Glad to see I’m inspiring people 🙂 Didn’t know you liked to sew as well. What kind of things do you make?


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