I made my Tom Bihn Small Cafe Bag into boat storage


I know, I know, all you Tom Bihn fans out there are cringing. How could I have done this? How could I take a perfectly good plum/wasabi Small Cafe Bag (Vintage! It even has the old “Portable Culture” tag!) and cut off the shoulder strap and pound grommets into it? WHY, GOD, WHY?

Two reasons:

1.) I love my Tom Bihn bags (despite appearances to the contrary). I used to work at Tom Bihn, and I know firsthand how well they’re made and how great the company is. I have way too many TB bags however, more than I need, and yet I don’t want to sell any of them, because BAGS.  So, I have to find other ways to use them.

2.) My boat needs storage.


I haven’t entirely figured out how I’m going to hang it yet, but I know it will involve some paracord and maybe a couple of small cleats screwed into the wall. This bag is a test to see how well it works. A Flicka 20 is a very small boat, and Elska needs more storage. If I can find a way to harness the power of my many, many bags, in a creative way, then I’ll be golden.

I used a Lord & Hodge 1073A-0 Grommet Kit [Amazon link]:

It worked pretty well, except for the first step of using the cutter tool to cut a hole in the fabric. I whacked on that tool with the hammer for several straight minutes, and nothing. This just goes to show how durable Tom Bihn bags are. I finally broke out the sewing shears and ended up making two small holes that way.

Once the holes were in, the hammer was the only tool I needed to whack the grommets into place. It took longer, and required more strength than I thought it would, but that’s fine. At least it worked! I feared I might have made holes in my bag for nothing, but I think this will work great.

I could have left the shoulder strap on and just tucked it in, but there was no point really; I don’t use the Small Cafe Bags for much, I prefer the Medium and Large Cafe Bags.  I have two Smalls, and of the two, the purple is the less precious (the other one is a beloved Nordic/Solar, you TB fans know what I’m talking about).

Once I figure out how and where to hang it, I’ll make another post! I love the idea of seeing my beloved bags in the boat, working their storage magic. I think this will work really well.

(I have a new photo editing app. The futzing has begun.)

Oh, and in case the puzzle background is puzzling – those are foam puzzle pieces [Amazon link] you can buy for your kids’ playroom. I have a set down in my office for going yoga and other exercises on, and they’re also great for blocking knitting (far cheaper than the “blocking mats” that knitting stores often sell). I’ve discovered they’re also useful for whacking things with a hammer.

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