ShyeAnne is a remote camp cook on the spectacular West Coast of British Columbia, Canada.
Well Worn, Well Loved Bags
What is a Medicine Bag?
A Medicine Bag is a small leather pouch, usually hand stitched, that is worn around the neck. Objects special to the wearer are placed inside for protection.
I have a small silver bear that was my father's, a ring of my mom's, a spider encased in a hardening agent that was my guy's and a wee feather to represent all our winged brothers and sisters, in mine.
My guy's pouch is full of his prayer energy. He wore his pouch always, when he was alive. I would have sent it to Heaven with him but it was not on his body when he was found. I found his medicine bag months later laying on top of a box of storage I opened while rooting around in my storage unit. The Power of Prayer.
I wear my Medicine Bag when I need confidence. I am comforted and feel courageous when I have it around my neck.
Objects in My Bag
- Approximately a square foot of leather or other durable material. You can use old leather coats, purses and vests from thrift stores for material.
- A couple of feet of waxed or leather lacing. Instructions for making leather lacing are included below.
- A hole punch is handy. you can try to sew with a needle but unless your needle is really sharp and your lacing is really thin, this is not easy.
- A thimble, if you need to use a needle.
- Sharp scissors.
- A bead, button or some type of doodah to use as a fastener unless you decide to tie the top of the pouch closed with lacing.
- A straight edge for drawing straight lines. A ruler for those of you that want exact measurements.
- A leather sewing needle with a big eye.
These sketched visual aids are not drawn to scale.
All of my measurements when creating small leather crafts are approximate. A desire for perfection and accuracy sucks some of the fun out of play for me. I always make sure to cut my pattern a little larger than I think is necessary. Pieces can be snipped off if they do not fit.
Take your straight edge and pencil and draw a rectangle approximately 10 inches by 2 inches on on the leather piece you are using to create your medicine bag. Make sure to draw this pattern on the edge of your leather to get the most possible use from the leather. Cut out pattern with sharp scissors. Fold from bottom up, leaving 1 inch at top for flap.
#1 - 10 Inches Long - 2 inches Wide
Starting at crease of where top flap is, punch 6-8 holes with your hole punch, as close together as you can without compromising the holes, vertically, down both sides and through both thicknesses of the leather. Join with a horizontal row of holes through both thicknesses.
Stitch both thicknesses together with waxed or leather lacing through the holes you created with your hole punch. Turn your projcet over and cut horizontally through the back thickness of leather, horizontally and below the row of horizontal stitches holding your project together.
Draw vertical lines on the bottom part of the leather, about 1/8th of an inch apart, across the width of the leather. Cut with sharp scissors to create the fringe.
If you need or want to create your own lacing you will need approximately a 4 - 5 inch round of leather. Using a small bowl or reasonable facsimile, draw a circle onto your leather. Starting about 1/8th of an inch in, draw a line in a spiral design round and round until you reach the center of your piece. Take sharp scissors and cut along the line to create your lacing.
Punch two holes in the back thickness of the pouch, about 1/3 of an inch apart horizontally. Thread the lacing you just created through both holes. Place around your neck to figure out desired length, cut and tie the ends.
Use Your Imagination
The design of your medicine pouch and the objects you place inside are up to your imagination and creativity.
Have fun and enjoy the process!
jazzlynn tukey on October 16, 2019:
see ya carter
ShyeAnne (author) from Qualicum Bay, British Columbia, Canada on January 31, 2015:
Thanks for your comments about my instructions TolovajWordsmith!
Tolovaj Publishing House from Ljubljana on January 07, 2015:
I made similar bag from old school bag when I was still a kid, but it didn't pan out so cool, of course. Maybe it's time for another try, this time with clear and professional instructions ... Thanks!