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Free, Downloadable Templates for your Sweet Spiked Tote

Faux leather bag from the article "Sweet Spiked Tote" (SewStylish Spring 2014).

In our Spring 2014 issue of SewStylish, Threads assistant editor Dana Finkle demonstrates how to sew a chic faux leather handbag and attach spikes in various patterns in the article “Sweet Spiked Tote.” Here are some FREE downloadable spike placement templates, pointers on how to make your own designs, and instructions for attaching these fun fluorescent spikes from KandiCorp to any garment or accessory.

Close-up of finished bag

(Close-up of the finished bag.)

To attach spikes to any garment or accessory, you will need the following:

  • An awl (HomeDepot.com)
  • Graph paper
  • 9.5-mm-wide spikes (KandiCorp.com)
  • A spike placement template
  • A temporary spray adhesive (or removable tape)
  • Metal washers for the back of the spikes (optional)

(Note: You can also use your fabric’s pattern as a spike placement guide, as shown in the bag above.)

1. To create your own spike placement template, find (or draw) a basic image that you believe will be distinguishable when constructed with spikes. Trace the image with a thick, dark marker. Then, place a piece of graph paper over the image, and draw small dots at the image’s most defining points-this may include edges, angles, curves, etc. Fill in the rest of the design by drawing dots approximately 1/2-inch apart. (This measurement can vary, as long as the 9.5-mm-wide spikes will not end up too close together.)

2. Once the template is done, cover each dot on the graph paper with a spike to double check that the design is clear and the spikes are evenly spaced. Make any necessary changes to the template.

3. Once the bag exterior has been constructed, and before the lining is attached, determine where you want the design to go. It is a good idea to apply spikes only to the front of the bag for wearing comfort. Lightly spray the paper’s wrong side with a temporary spray adhesive (or use removable tape), and stick the design to the bag’s surface in the intended position.

Spike template

4. Punch holes with an awl through both the paper and fabric. Test this on scrap fabric first to be sure the holes are the correct size for the spikes. Also, avoid puncturing a hole through the bag’s back by mistake. Gently remove the paper after all holes have been punched.

Punch hole with an awl

5. Next, place a washer (if using a lightweight fabric) on the back of the screw end of the spike and thread the screw through a hole from the wrong side of the fabric.

Back side of spike 

6. From the fabric’s right side, screw on the spike end. Repeat as many times as necessary, to complete your spike design. That’s all there is to it.

Attach spike

In case you rather use a ready-made template, below are some FREE downloadable options. Feel free to enlarge the template sizes as you please, and play with the color options to achieve fresh results.

Click on each image to download the templates. (Requires free Adobe Reader software)

Eiffel tower design free templateSunglasses design free template

Star design free template
Have you ever used applied spikes to a garment or accessory? If not, now that you know how, what do you plan to add them to? Once you’re done, we’d love to see your finished product. Leave a comment below, and post your masterpiece in our reader’s closet gallery.


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  1. user-2408404 | | #1

    I can see many possibilities with this method. Any simple line drawing could become a spiked work of art on a tote, laptop case, lunch bag, lampshades, maybe shoes! Hmm, wonder what else......

  2. sewfrustratedsam | | #2

    Looks awesome!!! I think I'll make them next christmas with little elves on it. So many possibilities and color combinations. Oh boy

  3. User avater
    MollieJ | | #3

    This is something we can go absolutely creative about. Be careful not to make it too shiny, it would be hard for me.

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