The nerdy sensation that's sweeping the nation: Ita Bags!
An ita bag has a see-through window built into it so you can see the owner's collection of pins, charms, or even small plushies! The bonus is, your stuff doesn't get easily damaged and isn't in danger of getting lost if it falls off.
Some people theme their ita bag to their favorite genre, show, or even a specific character! Like here, this my own personal light blue ita backpack. It's themed to my favorite video game, Kingdom Hearts! Some of my friends let me use pictures of their bags from horror themes to the hit anime My Hero Academia, you can see everyone's interests and how they choose to show them on their ita bags!
Ita bag (ee-ta) stems from the Japanese word for pain, 痛い read as itai (ee-tie). In this case, it's used a little sarcastically as a reflex when the person sees something gaudy or excessive. That's okay, we know it and we loved it any way! It's come from the counter culture in Japan to make things cute - or kawaii (kuh-wai-ee) - and not have everything be identical or boring. Ita bags are a great way to show your love and how you're an individual with unique taste! It's the equivalent of putting a bumper sticker or two - or fifty - on your car.
You can also make your own ita bag if you're a little crafty! There's sewing patterns available, as well as a tutorial on how to convert a clear plastic bag into an ita bag.
"How do I use an ita bag?"
Well, you can stick your pins directly into the bag, but that causes holes and can wear your bag out early. So I suggest making a board to stick them on!
I used foam board here, but I've seen people use craft foam and heavy felt as well.
This took some trial and error on my part - I just cut and tried it to see if it fit until it did. (And if you're planning on making multiple boards for easy swap out, make a paper pattern piece of the size that fits!) Each bag has it's own size and style, so you'll have to customize to your bag.
2 - Cover the foam board with a fabric you like. I decided to do this so
A, it looks prettier;
B, it hides any pin holes from me moving pins around;
and C, I can sew patches or charms to it.
More opportunity to show off my stuff!
I put lots of pins on this board, but sewed two charms to it as well (their chains had broken off, and I hate throwing things away!)
This one I decided to put all my Nintendo video game stuff on - Pokemon, Animal Crossing, The World Ends With You, and Legend of Zelda!
This is also a great way to show off those Disney pin collections.
If you want to make your own, keep an eye out for when our Makerspace Sewing Space program is up and running again and I'll be happy to help you get started! In the meantime, check out our Kawaii crafting books for more ideas.