April’s super-charged crate sent us into distant and fantastical realms, evoking beloved franchises like Game of Thrones, D&D, and Harry Potter. There was a lot to love about this tribute to the fantasy genre, and Loot Crate hit a great selection of biggies. For this month’s Loot Crate Hack, I decided that the deck of cards detailed lovingly with Princess Bride illustrations would make for a pretty sweet upcycle. Playing cards that I manage to obtain have a tendency to fall into the depths of Moria, so instead of risking the loss of such pretty designs, it’s time to turn them into something a little more visible–a bag!

Quest rewards: +500 Inspiration, +250 XP, +1 Bag of Holding

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Materials

  • 20150512_151024Deck of Cards
  • Scissors
  • Duct Tape
  • Paper/Fabric for Template

Optional:

  • Cardboard/Foamboard
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon

 

This month’s hack is relatively light on materials, relying on a few simple go-tos to get the job done. However, for a longer lasting and sturdier purse, I highly recommend using a base of cardboard or foam board as an inside lining to add more structure.

Make sure you’ve got plenty of duct tape before beginning this project! I started out with a very pretty, thick gold tape and ran out halfway through. That meant I had to dig out some old, thin stuff from the garage, which doesn’t make for nearly as nice a finish. Oops!

Crafting

First, you must decide what you’d like your Bag of Holding to look like. Classic rectangle for a gift bag, a circular clutch, a classic handbag shape–if you can draft it, you can build it! All it takes is a little creativity.

It’s easiest to go through the deck before beginning and separate out the character cards, since those are going to provide the focus for the bags. Decide how and where you want these cards to appear.

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The front face is laid out and ready to be taped. Below, the sides/bottom is duct taped into place.

I played around with the layout of my cards before attaching anything to make sure I was 100% happy, and then traced my paper template for later cutting.

For my bag, I used three rows of 5 playing cards for each of the two faces (and later cut them into the circular shape I was going for), and a strip of 12 for the sides/bottom (hereafter referred to as spine).

Once you have the layout set, roll out a strip of duct tape and carefully lay the cards down side by side along the tape. Since my spine section will need to maintain the flexibility to wrap along the bag, I am not reinforcing this section with cardboard.

20150512_125057Repeat the duct tape connecting for the front and back panels, lining everything up and taping each row together. Use cardboard or foamboard to reinforce these two faces, if desired. 20150512_132929

After the rows are duct taped together, take the template for your final shape and go ahead and cut the cards down to the proper size. I used a little bit of medium weight interfacing to make my template, since it had a little sheerness that allowed me to see exactly where my pieces would be lining up.

Tip: I decided that I wanted longer straps and would be attaching ribbon to the bag, but you can cut handles directly out of the cards, if you wish. Either add another row on the top or leave a full circle when cutting.

Once each of your sides is prepped, we can begin to assemble the final bag. The duct tape is fairly flexible, which will allow for some adjustments as we shape everything together. Line the center of your front piece up with the middle of your spine, both facing up, and add another row of duct tape to join the two together. Take the back piece and line it upside down, centered along the spine as well before duct taping into place.

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When the three pieces are joined together, you should be able to turn it over and flip it into a 3 dimensional shape. Now, fold the remaining parts of the spine (which are kind of just flapping around at the bottom right now) up, wedging it in between the front and back sections.

20150512_134512Fold the duct tape in on itself until you can form the spine along the curve of the faces, using duct tape along the inside to hold both sections together.

At this point, you can reinforce the bottom of the bag with a strip of cardboard cut to size or a few extra layers of duct tape.

If you cut out handholds beforehand, you’re good to go! For my handles, I took a hole punch and made four holes where I wanted to handles to go, grabbed a few hole protectors from the office (something like this, for extra strength and protection against ripping), and threaded my ribbon to the desire length.

 

 

Press the tape up into the corners, like so, to help the bag keep its shape
Press the tape up into the corners, like so, to help the bag keep its shape

Ta-da!

20150512_145804Grab your new Bag of Holding and go show off those awesome crafting skills while flaunting your love of The Princess Bride. I mean, hello, one of the best action adventure totally-not-a-kissing-book romance stories like ever, alright!?

Please share your creations in the comments, and let me know how the crafting process went!

Did something different? Share that too! I have a feeling playing cards would make for really cute gift bags, so I’m definitely keeping that for future gift-giving possibilities.

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HOW LOOT CRATE HACKS WORKS

basic ground rules for each month’s hack: I want my crafted hack to be as widely accessible as possible. I know that everyone does not have two rooms full of crafting supplies at their disposal, as I do, so the intent is to create something using as few and as common supplies as I possibly can. That doesn’t mean I won’t try and do some crazy specialized things if the motivation hits, but there will always be a version that can be easily and cheaply replicated.

This project is done entirely for fun. I have no affiliation with Loot Crate, just a love for their nerdy boxes and the cool stuff that comes inside each month. I appreciate the inspiration that their themes and items allow, as well as the opportunity to play with things I would never otherwise purchase for myself.

Writer. Cosplayer. Binge Netflix Watcher. Anime Dweeb. Book Enthusiast. Harbours inappropriately strong feelings about Shakespeare and William Blake. Once lost a whole day theorizing about Game of Thrones. The most motivated procrastinator she knows. Sometimes it works out in her favor. Mostly just causes widespread panic. It's all good though, because she never forgets her towel.

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