Lune's Project Restyle - Tapestry Bag Tutorial

This week Lune was happy to contribute to Project Restyle over at A Beautiful Mess (check it out here!) I love finding vintage tapestry rugs from the 60's and 70's. My love affair with these rugs started as a child. My dad had a huge printed tapestry of "The Hustler" by Arthur Sarnoff hanging in our game room. More recently, I pick them up for our local shop Lune Vintage to add a warm bohemian feel to the space. I also have a huge one with deer in my living room! Usually, I look for larger rugs, but it struck me that the small door mat sized ones would make such simple slouchy drawstring bags. So, this is what I used to make a Summer Tapestry Bag!


12 large metal grommets

Rubber Mallet

Sharp Scissors

Coat Weight Thread and Tapestry Needle

Cotton Cording (or other cording)

1 thrifted leather belt

1 thrifted small rectangular Tapestry Rug

This project is easy, but takes some practice, especially when hammering in the grommets. I suggest buying extra because I made a few mistakes along the way and replaced some loose or overly bent ones.

STEP 1: Fold your tapestry in half and cut down the middle with sharp scissors. The bottom fringe will be at the bottom of the bag.

STEP 2: Measure and cut small holes with scissors at the top of the two sides of the bag, making sure they line up. Hammer away and add grommets. Be sure they're facing the right way out!

STEP 3: Serge or Sew the two sides of the bag (good sides facing in) together down the left and right side. Leave the bottom open.

STEP 4: Turn the bag right side out. Top stitch the bottom of the bag an inch above the top of the fringe. This step is important if you want to maintain the original tapestry fringe at the bottom of your bag - my favorite detail this spring!

STEP 5: Sew your leather belt (or any other strap you choose) to each side of your bag. I used a tapestry needle, and a leather awl and punch to get through the tough materials. An easier solution would be to use canvas strapping that you can easily find at the fabric store, our braiding a length of cotton cord to make a thicker strap!

STEP 6: Thread your cotton cord through the grommets and tie. I hand dyed my own cord for a mottled look, and then knotted and brushed out the ends for long tassels. Alternatively, you might find some vintage curtain cord that already has tassels, or lengths of leather! Add beads, chain and feathers ... So many options!

My tapestry bag features an arctic scene of polar bears. Most vintage tapestries are nature themed and in rich jewel toned colors. Tapestry bags are the perfect bohemian accessory for spring and summer! Just think of how much beach gear you'll be able to fit in there. Try it out, and share your results. I guarantee you'll get a ton of questions on where you got your amazing bag!

Visit the Red Velvet Project Restyle flickr group to join in, and share your own restyles HERE!

Love and Peace,