Summer is here, and for Portland, one of the typical activities involves bike rides and park picnics. Considering the current blanket rolls on the market, I wanted to make something a little more svelte and useful that can be applied to your handlebars, so here you have it – the Bicycle Blanket Roll DIY. It's pretty simple, consisting of a sewing canvas envelope and some leather bits attached and some closure straps.
Please note that W&F DIYs are for personal projects only and no rights granted for commercial use.
You're going to need some tools:
- Rolling knife and cutting surface
- Rawhide hammer
- Leather end punch, slot punch, hole punch
- Sewing machine
You're going to need some materials:
- Heavy canvas (I used 18oz waxed) panels - 18"x10", 18"x7", 18"x14"
- Strap leather in sizes 5/8"x9" (2ea), 5/8"x24" (2ea), 1.5"x15"
- Speedy rivets 5/16" size (depending on your leather thickness)
- Nickel 5/8" buckles (4ea)
- Snap sets and setter
First thing, make all your leather straps. You'll need to long for the outer roll of the bag and two smaller for handlebar attachment. Each size can be made to your custom length requirements. Use your end punches to cut straps to length, then punch your slot for the buckle pin and add your holes. To rivet your parts, I used tubular rivets, but the easier type is called 'speedy rivets'. They are found at your local leather craft supply place or online, and only need a hammer to set.
Next stage is to create your roll body. I've constructed a simple envelope with a snap closure. You can be more elaborate and add a zipper, or can eliminate the pocket all together. Snaps are pretty easy to pick up at your leather and craft store, and not much money. With the included setter, you can attach using a rawhide hammer.
Cut your canvas back panel to 18"x10" and set aside. Cut your pocket panels, 18"x7" and 18"x14". If you have a serger, run one of each of the long sides through, and fold over to make a 1" hem. Sew your hem into place with a topstitch. Lay your panels over each other as they will close and mark your holes for the snaps. I placed mine 5" in from the outer edge. After setting your snaps, go ahead and snap the panels together and sew (or surge) them to the back panel, outside-in. Once sewn together, you can turn the envelope inside-out and press all your seams flat.
Take your finished envelope roll to the bench and add your leather frame. Mark holes on the frame to accommodate your straps and add some bracing, then punch your holes in the leather and the canvas. You might want to make some leather washers for the canvas side of the assembly to reduce stress on the material. Attach with splitting rivets as shown, or use your speedy rivets and a soft faced hammer.
Once finished, feed all your straps through and grab your favorite blanket roll. I chose to use a cut piece of Army shelter tent. It rolls into a small size and is tough and easy to clean.
Once you're ready, roll a few cans of wine into your blanket and hit the park. Be safe, stay hydrated and have a great summer!