A tutorial for an easy-to-make canvas log carrier to keep for yourself or give as a great DIY gift. Using a log carrier makes it so much easier to bring wood into the house and making your own is quick and inexpensive.
You can find more easy gift ideas on the handmade gifts page.
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When we moved to our ranch-turned-cottage with a fireplace insert, finding an easy way to bring wood into the house became an issue we’d never had before.
Well, bringing in wood without leaving a trail of bark and wood shavings, that is.
When I saw a canvas log carrier advertised one fall made out of canvas that sold for $25.00 (not a bad price, by the way), it realized it could solve our problem and actually was a pretty easy DIY project that could save us money.
Not only did I make a carrier for less, but I found making one was even easier than I thought! The project only requires a few materials, a basic rectangle “pattern,” and simple straight stitch sewing.
After making a carrier for us, I made a few more as gifts for our family and friends that heat with wood. And while anyone can use a log carrier, I found them to be a wonderful useful gift for men who are often harder to buy for.
So, since the example I found was only $25 – are you curious how much my version ended up costing? About $6.00 and an hour of time!
How to Make a Canvas Log Carrier
DIY Log Carrier Materials Needed:
- 1 yard of 58-60″ wide khaki colored cotton canvas (this color hides dirt more than the natural canvas – there are lots of colors, though, at that link). You could also go with waterproof canvas that’s made of polyester and is mold-proof as well, or even a camo colored waterproof canvas for fun.
Fabric Note: this yardage amount makes two carriers – it’s cheapest and easiest to make two, as you just cut the yard in half to get the pattern size. If you can only think of one person who’d like this, you will need 3/4 yard of canvas, but you will have some leftover and it will be more expensive. UNLESS you don’t mind a seam in the bottom, then buy 1/2 yard, cut in half and sew together to create the 36″x 26″ piece needed.
- 3 yards of 1-inch strap style webbing (for each carrier, so 6 yards to make 2 carriers), the type used for tote bags and such. I used poly (vs. cotton) to hold up to the rough handling it will get when full of wood. The link for the webbing lists many different colors – choose one to go with your fabric and not show too much dirt.
- 2 craft dowels (3/8″ x 36″) for each carrier. You can also use 1/4″ thickness, but the thicker the better with this project.
- Matching polyester outdoor thread.
DIY Log Carrier Directions:
Note: The following directions are broken down into small visual steps, so there are a lot of pictures, but that doesn’t mean these are hard to make! As long as you have basic skills (and I’m serious, just basic, straight-stitch sewing is all you need here), you will be able to make these.
1. Cut the yard of canvas in half.
You will have a 36″ x 26″ piece for each carrier (approximately, depending on the initial width of fabric). Or cut to the finished size if making one with 3/4 yard fabric, or cut in half and sew together if using 1/2 yard.
2. Make side hems.
Fold over the long 36″ sides 1/4-inch, press with a hot iron, and then turn another 1/4-inch to enclose the raw edge. Press again with iron to hold seams for sewing.
Sew close to inside edge of side hem, remembering to bar tack (go back and forth in the first few stitches) at the beginning and the end to lock in the stitching. Repeat sewing for other side hem.
I like to use the presser foot as my guide, as pictured above.
3. Make the casing (pockets) for dowels.
Once both side hems are complete, turn over a 1/4-inch on each shorter, unfinished end and press with iron to hold. Measure the width needed for the casing by holding the dowel in place and folding the fabric over the dowel.
Measure the amount needed for dowel casing. You want enough room to easily slide the dowel in (and out for cleaning, if needed), but not so much that it will fall out on its own.
I found that a 3/4″ hem was sufficient for the 3/8″ sized dowels I used.
Remove the dowel and pin the fold at the measurement you have before sewing in place close to the inner edge, creating the pocket for the dowel.
4. Make the Straps.
Measure the placement of the webbing for the strap of the carrier. Start in the middle of the canvas, as shown, so that the webbing seam will be on the bottom of the carrier.
This is somewhat arbitrary, but I found that placing the webbing at 6″ in from the sides created the best balance. I then distributed the 3 yards of webbing around the canvas, (pinning as I went) making sure that each handle was the same length and ended by folding 1/4″ of the end over the beginning of the webbing to join the ends.
Leave about 6″ from the top edge to the center of the handle. If you’d like a longer handle, increase the inches.
Test that both handles are the same by holding them together to be sure they will carry correctly. I did have to adjust sometimes to make them even.
It should look like the photo above when all the webbing for the straps is pinned in place.
5. Sew the webbing.
Start at the top of one side of the webbing and then sew across the webbing just underneath, or right on top of the top edge seam (to leave pocket free for the dowel). Sew back and forth a couple of times to reinforce these top edges, as they will get a lot of pressure when carrying wood.
Turn the carrier and sew close to the edge of the webbing all the way to the other side, turn again and go across just like the other end (again reinforcing a couple of times), and then turn and continue up the other side, again close to the edge.
Repeat for the other side of the webbing.
When you come to where the webbing joins, sew over the joint like normal, but come back when you’re finished and sew across the joining seam to secure.
To help the handles lay better where the webbing meets the tops of the holder, sew a little bit of the webbing together for the handle as shown in the photo above. Start about an inch up from where you sewed the handle to the carrier, and fold the webbing in half towards the inside.
Pin at the 1-inch mark and the 3-inch mark and sew between these pins, tacking back and forth at the beginning and the end to hold the thread.
TIP: On the first carrier I made, I folded the entire handle over but found it made the handle too narrow, making it uncomfortable to carry when loaded with wood. The wider webbing is much easier to hold.
6. Cut the dowels.
The last step is to cut the dowels to the length needed to fit inside your dowel pocket without showing on either end. I used a miter saw, but a hand saw and miter box would work as well.
The ends don’t have to be pretty, thank goodness- nobody will see them.
Insert the dowels and you’re done.
See? That really was easy!
Since using our canvas log carrier, we’ve found that it not only has kept a lot of wood debris off the rug leading to the stove, it’s easier on our clothes, too – less dirt stains and bark on our shirts.
Plus it’s a lot easier to haul more wood than just in your hands.
What do you think? Is this something you’d like to try?
This tutorial has been updated – it was originally published in April of 2011.
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