DIY Info on Making Your Own UNIF Stitch Bag or Mini Stitch Bag

The UNIF Stitch Bag quickly sold out, but you can make your own since it’s a needlepoint made of yarn and plastic canvas.

Update! Etsy shop alexandrasstuff has a new PDF pattern to make a similar bag.

LOL There’s also a UK Etsy shop that has phone case for your iPhone with the UNIF design

Photo Credit: UNIF

UNIF’s Stitch Bag is uh… ‘inspired’ by a needlepoint kit from the ’70s called Ecology Tote Bag by Columbia Minerva. The original kit was on eBay, but it appears have sold out there as well.

What is it called? It’s important to know keywords in case you want to explore stitching styles.

  • Needlepoint: The original tote bag was made using needlepoint stitches that slant, called a tent stitch, to mimic tapestry. Needlepoint itself is mostly a US term while other countries like the UK call it tapestry or canvaswork. Needlepoint is either done on cotton canvas or plastic canvas.
  • Cross-stitch: I’ve noticed some young crafters calling it cross-stitch and as such are making the full X instead of the half stitch also using plastic canvas. That’s fine too.
  • Plastic canvas: You can also search for the term plastic canvas to see what else you can create with it.

FYI, plastic canvas can break especially when used as a bag. Keep in mind this should be for more decorative purposes. You can also consider combining all of the squares to be used as wall art instead. Just like an old tapestry!

  1. The first place to check out is Depop. Fashion reseller daisydazed created the motifs in grid format for free.
  2. On Instagram, Henri Purnell made his own version of the bag using his own pixelated motifs. Check the comments for more info too!
  3. Here’s a great one! Step-by-step instructions from taxidermypunkrat on TikTok.

Supply list:

  • Bulk yarn in multiple colors – it looks like Amazon has the only choice for this
  • Plastic canvas in 7-count 3, to 4 sheets or buy a pack of 10 – Annie’s is a good place or check your local craft store
  • Size 18 plastic canvas needles – again Annie’s or local craft store
  • Felt, scissors, glue, and time 😉
  • I would avoid making handles from plastic canvas as they will be the first to break – search Etsy or Joann for purse handles
  • Annie’s has a free online stitch guide – use either continental/tent stitch or cross-stitch for a more pixelated look

I hope this has been helpful. There are links to more resources at the top of Frogging News. Good luck!

1 Comment

  1. Actually plastic canvas bags will last years so that is false.I had one made by my grandmother 30 plus years ago and I’m still using it.

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