I was talking with our DIY editor Kate about this project, and since this month’s theme is academia, she threw out the idea of an old-fashioned book strap. I immediately thought it sounded interesting and wondered what I could do with it. Also, the sun isn’t going to shine forever, and when it dies and we have no energy to charge our laptops, we’ll all have to read books again. The rebirth of print!
So, you may not want to let go of your backpack yet, but regardless, there are some fun construction opportunities to tinker with here. I’m just showing one simple direction, so you have plenty of opportunities to experiment on your own. More pencil holders? A cross strap? A clip to attach a six-pack? Go for it!
Material-wise, my inclination is to use some leather and a scrap of Army blanket. I have tons of this stuff. You could use denim and an old belt. Felt and some nylon webbing. There are lots of possibilities. — Matt
See the full how-to after the jump!
- leather or nylon web strap
- wool surplus blanket scrap
- contact cement
- two 1.5″ rings
- cutting mat
- metal ruler
- sewing machine
1. First thing, cut your wool blanket material in the shape of a T. The top is 5 inches wide and 3 inches tall. The overall height is about 12 inches. This length gives you a long flap to protect your book from the buckle area. Cut your leather to a strap of 1.5 inches wide and at least 48 inches long. You can make it longer or shorter to your preference, and longer if you want a looped handle.
2. Take both material pieces, lay them out together, apply some contact cement to one end of the strap and lay it glue up in the T. Fold the T ends to the glued center to make the pencil holders. Bring the strap back over the glue strip with the rings included. Press together and allow to dry. The glue is to keep things together before stitching and add some stiffness to the assembly.
3. Once dry, sew everything together using some thick thread. You can sew it on a machine or hand sew.
4. Final step: Stroll to the library looking like a literary connoisseur.