Colorful fanny pack | Spoonflower Blog

Whether you call it a fanny pack, bum bag, hip bag or belt bag, one thing’s for sure: the functionality of a hands-free bag has withstood the test of time. We love that fanny packs are making a stylish comeback and Berlin-based artist and Spoonflower designer Anda Corrie is loving the trend so much, that she designed a free bum bag pattern for the Spoonflower community! Test it out with her coloring book pattern and fabric markers or give it a try with your favorite Marketplace design.

Black and white beach fanny pack partially colored in with yellow fabric marker | Spoonflower Blog

Anda: I am proud—or maybe embarrassed—to admit that fanny packs bum bags have been a part of my wardrobe since the early ’90s. Although back then most kids at my school rocked brands like Gitano and Jansport, I think I owned something akin to this. Freebie fanny packs were a marketing craze in late ’80s in America, beloved by corporate event planners everywhere.

When I was first challenged to make a DIY tutorial inspired by the theme “traveling,” I was in the middle of cramming art supplies into an old hip pouch in preparation for a beach vacation. The best solution is usually the one right in front of you, right? I decided to create a pattern inspired by my trusty lil bum bag, and design a black-and-white print that could work as a coloring page for fabric markers.

I wanted something easy and quick to sew because I like my projects easy and quick. I even wrote an entire book of afternoon sewing projects—aka the Spoonflower Quick-Sew Project Book—lest anyone doubts my devotion to finishing a DIY in the span of two podcasts. However, I would not describe myself as an expert seamstress and my pattern drawing skills are minimal. Constructing this bag required way more trial-and-error than I thought it should, considering it is literally two crescents and a semi-circle. But the result is a cute, straightforward bum bag with a single zipper and clip buckle — you can buy the notions in amazing colors online.

Your main fabric should be something a bit durable and I suggest a natural fiber for the nicest results when coloring. Spoonflower’s Linen Cotton Canvas is perfect for this. You could also try out Lightweight Cotton Twill or Cypress Cotton Canvas. Lining can be a lightweight woven fabric like Spoonflower’s Petal Signature Cotton™, just remember to wash all the fabric first to avoid mismatched shrinkage later.

Or, you know, you can just plan to never wash your bag. However, the Edding textile pens I used to color in my fabric are waterfast up to 140ºF, so if a sunscreen bottle explodes inside it, your bag can still be saved…

How to Make a Fanny Pack

Fanny Pack Materials

Materials for DIY fanny pack | Spoonflower Blog
  • Free Bum Bag Pattern
  • Fat quarter of medium-weight woven fabric in a black and white print*—I used Linen Cotton Canvas
  • Fat quarter of lightweight woven fabric for lining
  • 1 yard of 1” webbing 
  • 1” plastic clip buckle 
  • 12” zipper
  • 60” of double fold bias binding—make your own if you don’t have any 
  • Sewing machine and basic sewing equipment
  • Leather, denim or other heavy-duty needle for your sewing machine

Pro tip: Choose any design from Spoonflower to skip the coloring!

1. Cut out your pattern pieces.

Step 1. Cut out your pattern pieces. | Spoonflower Blog

Print and cut out the free bum bag pattern. Pin the three body pattern pieces to your fabric and cut out one of each in both your main and lining fabric. Mark or notch the center of all pieces. Fold your main fabric in half and cut out four of the side pieces.

DIY fanny pack pattern piece | Spoonflower Blog
I made, photographed, and ripped a part many bum bags while tweaking the pattern, so that’s why the lining fabric in my photos ended up being yellow and not navy blue like the materials list!

2. Cover the ends of the zipper.

Attach zipper fabric ends | Spoonflower Blog
Attach zipper fabric ends | Spoonflower Blog

Cut a 1.5″ length of bias binding, unfold it and with right sides together, line up one raw edge with the back of one zipper end. Straight stitch along fold. Trim the zipper end if needed and re-fold the binding around it. Top stitch the opposite side. Repeat with the other zipper end. 

3. Attach the zipper.

Attach the bum bag zipper | Spoonflower Blog

Place the two top fabric pieces wrong sides together. Center the zipper right side against the main fabric piece and pin. Using your zipper foot, straight stitch along this edge.

Attach the bias tape | Spoonflower Blog
Attach the bias tape | Spoonflower Blog
Attach the bias tape | Spoonflower Blog

Cut a 14” length of binding, unfold it and line up the one edge right side against where you’ve just sewn, starting from corner of fabric. Straight stitch with a ⅛” seam. Wrap the binding around this seam and top stitch the opposite side. Trim excess binding at ends.

4. Attach the front fabric pieces.

Finish ends of bum bag | Spoonflower Blog

Place the two front fabric pieces wrong sides together, and repeat the above steps with the opposite side of the zipper. Use a heavy-duty needle that will easily sew through all these layers of fabric to avoid your thread bunching underneath the needle plate (bird nesting). My machine was very unhappy and eating all my seams until I switched to a leather needle. When you’ve finished installing the zipper, machine or hand sew the excess fabric in each corner together as in the photo above — this will make it easier to line up with the back piece later. 

5. Attach the webbing to the end pieces.

Attach webbing to end pieces | Spoonflower Blog
Attach webbing to end pieces | Spoonflower Blog

Cut a 4.5” piece of the webbing strap and thread it through the female end of the clip buckle. Line up the ends between two of the side pieces (right sides together) and stitch together with a ⅓” seam. Stitch the two adjacent sides with a ⅓” seam, clip corners and turn. Press these pieces with your iron on low or finger press.

Attach webbing to end pieces | Spoonflower Blog
Attach webbing to end pieces | Spoonflower Blog

Line up one raw end of the rest of the webbing between the second two side pieces (right sides together) and repeat as above.

6. Attach the webbing and end pieces to the front pieces.

Attach the webbing and end pieces to the front piece of the bum bag | Spoonflower Blog

Place the main and lining back pieces wrong sides together. Pin the open seams of side pieces to main back piece as shown, about ¾” from corners. Baste in place.

7. Stitch the bum bag pieces together.

Stitch the bum bag pieces together | Spoonflower Blog
Stitch the bum bag pieces together | Spoonflower Blog

Roll up the straps and pin them to the middle of the back piece to get them out of the way. Place the front piece on top of this, main fabrics together. Open the zipper a little to make it easier to turn later.

Stitch the bum bag pieces together | Spoonflower Blog

Stitch a ⅓” seam around perimeter and then trim the seam to ⅛”.

8. Finish the inside edges.

Unfold the rest of your binding and pin one edge against the above seam (right sides together), all the way around the perimeter cutting away any excess at the end. Stitch it on ⅛” away from said seam, then refold the binding up and around to the other side of the seam, like you did to the zipper.

9. Turn the bum bag right side out.

Colorful fanny pack | Spoonflower Blog

Turn bum bag right-side out and thread the strap through the male end of the clip. Try the bag on and cut the webbing shorter to reduce the excess. Fold the raw end of the strap over 1″ and top stitch to keep from fraying. All done!

Next, the fun part: Coloring! These pens are soooo fun. The colors are super vibrant and opaque, I only needed to go over an area once to get a completely solid field of color. Their opaque quality makes them not as suitable for washes and blending, although I was able to get a gradient by using lighter colors on top of the darker colors and coloring with less pressure at the areas where the colors needed to blend. Test each pen first on a scrap of your main fabric before coloring, as sometimes the cap color differs slightly from the ink. Iron the bag without steam when you’ve finished coloring to set. 

Colorful fanny pack with beach supplies | Spoonflower Blog

Now you have a bag that is perfect for carrying your pens and a small notebook for sketching on holiday. Or for holding your essentials while you stroll around a new city. 

About the Guest Author

Anda Corrie is an American illustrator, designer, author, speaker, and artist living in Berlin with her little family. See more of Anda’s makes and designs on Instagram @andacorrie.