I have one really nice leather bag that I usually use for work. I also use it when I go on interviews, and when I have important events where I need to look nicer. Most females have many of these bags. I do not.
Since I take the subway instead of driving to work now, its impractical to carry multiple bags, so everything I need gets stuffed into one bag. Sometimes, when I zip my nice leather bag, I get scared it will rip.
Thankfully, I have other, bigger bags. Like this Timbuk2 Scrunchie tote-like bag, which fits all of my stuff perfectly.
But my problem is that I hate carrying heavy bags on just one shoulder. I feel uneven, and it isn’t comfortable. I’d much rather use a cross-body bag (messenger bag-like strap) or even better, a backpack. But a backpack looks very messy for work.
So I made this bag into a convertible backpack for work. It’s a perfect convertible bag because it has lots of loops, letting me preserve my bag without stitching into it.
I thought this would be an extremely cheap project, but it ended up costing a little more than I expected. I bought 1.5″ black webbing at $3/yard (I used approximately 2 yards), two adjustable buckles at $1.50/each, two spring-loaded rectangular metal rings at $1/each, and two sets of swivel hooks from REI at $0.43/pair (bought them a long time ago since it was a great deal!), as well as a large metal key ring that I already had at home.
I put my two rectangular metal rings and metal key ring in place.
I made two straps approximately 1 yard each. This measurement will vary a lot depending on the bag and where it is being hooked on the bag. I also made my straps much longer than I needed so I’d be able to use the straps for other things.
For each strap, I fed one end through the buckle, the swivel hook, and back through the buckle. I sewed the very end of that strap by folding the strap over about .25″ and sewing straight lines and zig zag stitching to make sure it doesn’t fray.
For the other end of the strap, I fed it through a swivel hook to get the strap to loop around it, and sewed it down with straight lines and a zig zag stitch again.
I repeated the process for the other strap. Then I hooked ’em in, and carried my stuff in comfort!
And, when I get a block away from my office, I can swing my bag back down and its a perfectly acceptable non-backpack, tote bag for work. I can even detach the straps when I don’t plan on carrying it like a backpack.