How to: Canvas Tool Roll

We all know that tool boxes on a boat are big and clunky.  We’ve been trying to transition everything into cloth tool bags and rolls in order to store them under the aft bunk.

This is how I make my tool rolls.  It’s by no means the only way or the best way, but hopefully it will give you some ideas.  Measurements for it are based on a screwdriver set my husband got for Christmas, but would work more or less for any tools. I use marine canvas and 4oz thread (upholstery thread works great).  Neither needs to be UV resistant as it won’t be outside.  I used white thread for this tutorial to show the stitches better, but I would recommend black.

I start of by chalking out my pieces.  You’ll need two large rectangles.  I like to double layer the back of the roll just in case.  The two slanted pieces will be your interior pockets.  This particular one will have two rows.


Sorry for the terrible picture quality.  My dear husband is gone for the week, and I had to make due.


I used some extra Dyneema line that we had for the tie, but any rope with do if it’s durable.


Next I did a hem on the two slanted pocket edges.  Make sure they are the opposite sides.  Again I would recommend black thread, I just used white here to show.


Next step is to stitch the pockets onto one of the rectangles.  You want to stitch them so that the pocket hems are not showing.  You will be stitching onto the fashion side of the rectangle.


Take your rope and pin it to one side of your roll.  Make sure you’re pinning the center of the rope, and directly between the two pockets. The ends should be facing in.



Then take the other rectangle and stitch it on top.  Fashion side inwards.  You will be creating a sort of pillow with three sides stitched and the pockets on the inside. Make sure not to sew that last side closed! Double back on the area where the rope has been sewn on.



Next you will be turning the whole thing inside out and top stitching around the outside. You may need to pin that unattached side.


Lastly start measuring for your tools.  I used pins to decide where the pocket dividers should go, but you could always use chalk.  You can get creative as well and do a mix of pockets and slots.  leave a good amount of room on either side of the tool.  You don’t want it to be constantly stressing the thread.


Best of luck! Use your imagination with this pattern, and let me know what you make.  :).

This is what a finished version looks like with black thread. This roll is a single pocket version I made with grommets for hanging.

If you’d like me to custom make one, or you want to see my other work please visit my canvas shop!



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