How to make a yoga mat bag from upcycled material

The yoga mat bag I am going to use as an example for this step-by-step article was a birthday gift that I made for my mother, she originally asked for a bag for her yoga mat in different shades of the same colour.

For the bags I use thick cotton as much as possible (for example I use old trousers in large sizes), because they are strong. When I use thinner material or other kind of materials, I use interfacing to make it stronger.


For this particular bag I have used green recycled clothing, an old piece of fabric and a 70’s pillowcase with a green pattern.


The mat that my mother uses for yoga is quite thick and to be able to make a bag for it I use a circle with a diameter of 20 cm. This measure can also be used for a thin mat and a small blanket.

The width of the mat is 55 cm. I make the side of the bag 68 cm wide (circular circumference + seam) and 58 cm high. I start working from the middle of the bag, I also use the hip pocket of a trouser and put the other materials around until I have the right combination. Then I cut the other materials in pieces (remember the seam), thin fabrics get interfacing and stitch it together and top stitch it with a fancy stitch.


Before you make the side and the bottom circle together, make the shoulder belt.  Not long ago I bought two large rolls with fold-a-band waistband interfacing in a charity shop, ideal for the shoulder straps. The shoulder strap is adjustable, the longest strap is 60 cm, and is attached to the top of the bag, and has a D-ring. The other band is 50 cm and is placed between the bottom and the side whilst the other side of the strap goes through the D-ring for the required length. I use a piece of inner tube over the shoulder strap, which doesn’t slip out of the D-ring.


Make a lining bag, same sizes. I use a old curtain (smooth fabric), put them both inside out (bottom on bottom) and stitch the seams together.


Turn the outside over the inside, pin them together on the top, and then attach the shoulder strap to it.


To create the top of the bag, I cut two pieces (diagonal) of fabric, 34 cm wide and 50 cm high. I sew the sides together and, slightly below the middle, I make loops with buckles, so I can roll up and buckle it together.


You can connect with Natasja via her Facebook page or you can browse through her creations on her Etsy shop

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