This project comes straight from Todd Oldham’s fabulous book, Kid Made Modern, which is filled with great projects inspired by different design legends. In this case, the bag is an homage to Verner Panton and his iconic use of color.

The project requires just a couple simple materials. It’s very low-tech and takes a good bit of time. Kids love tape, and that’s what this project is all about.


2 11×16-inch Tyvek Priority Mail envelopes (from an Post Office)
Duct Tape in a variety of colors (from any hardware store)


Ages 6+


1 hour

Project Steps:

Have 2 Tyvek envelopes on hand for each messenger bag. Find colored duct tape at any hardware store. Seal the ends of both envelopes. Cut one long edge of one envelope.

To make the flap, lay the short edge of the uncut envelope over the long, cut edge of the other envelope. The two should overlap about 4 inches. Tape down securely.

Decorate! Decorate all sides with tape and add a colorful edge for a finishing touch.

To make the handle, tape two 24-inch pieces of tape together.

Tape each edge to the inner corner of the bag. For a completely flat messenger bag (great for papers and sketches) – you’re done!

If you’d like to make a flat bottom, start by folding over an inch of the bottom edge. Crease and release. Then, fold in the corners on each side; crease and release.

Here’s the tricky part (especially if you’ve used a lot of tape, like we did):  Coax the folded corners towards the interior of the bag to shape the bottom.

Tape on the inside.

Tape on the outside.

Now that you’re done, you can pack it with your stuff!

Have on hand for next Friday’s project:

Nylon weaving loops (like the kind used for making pot-holders) – you can buy bags of these at most toy stores. All those little plastic toys, bits and bobbles from goody-bags, the bottom of toy boxes and the back of your junk drawers, etc.

Curious Jane, founded by contributor Samantha Razook Murphy, offers project-based after-school programs and summer camps, revolving around creativity in the arts and sciences.


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Comments (6)


  1. Posted by: Sam

    Love this. Perfect for my 9 year old and her friends who are too old for most crafty projects I come up with. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for your comment Sam – I agree – I have a 9yo also and it’s hard to find crafty that are not too young and not too complicated. Definitely check out Todd Oldham’s book – Kid Made Modern.

    My daughter loved this project and wears her bag everyday. She added this twist – she wrote a secret message and sealed it inside the envelope that makes the flap. She’s the only one that knows what it says and it travels with her wherever she goes.

  3. Posted by: Samantha

    Made this tonight with my 7 and 9 year old kids. Both loved it!!! Pulling the duct tape was a good work out for all of us! Great project, thanks.

  4. Posted by: Carl

    This is such a perfect project for my daughter. Anything with tape is definitely a hit. She’ll love this. Thanks for the tip!

  5. great work! i’m making this right now.

  6. Pingback: 25 Duct Tape Projects Even You Can Do

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