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Native American Arts: Cell Phone Bandolier Bag Workshop

Native American made Bandolier bags are based on bags once worn by European soldiers and used to store ammunition. Similar to contemporary messenger bags, early bandoliers were utilitarian bags, while later examples exemplified the art form over function. The art of the Bandolier bag undergoes continuous reinvention by different tribes and First Nations across the Great Lakes and Prairie regions. The bags differ in appearance according to tribal and familial designs, as well as access to materials such as beads, metal, and cloth.

Your Cell Phone Bandolier Bag project will be inspired by the engineering of the bandolier as a mixed media object. You will begin by creating a template to accommodate your own personal cell phone. Learn techniques such as free-form bead applique, lazy stitch, daisy chaining, and edging methods. Fibers including felt, yarn, and ribbon will be hand sewn to construct and adorn the bag.

Weekly Class Schedule

  • Saturdays from 3-7 pm PST

Find the full schedule here.

Meet Your Faculty

Melanie Tallmadge Sainz is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin. As a cultural arts educator and artist, her life is devoted to building bridges through the arts. Her art career is a blend of creating, exhibiting, and teaching art with her role as founding Director of Little Eagle Arts Foundation. She credits her uncle Chief Michael Winneshiek and mother Bernadine Tallmadge for her passion for porcupine quill art. Traditional and adapted techniques and materials have been discovered, collected, and integrated into her work.

What You Will Need

  • Good internet connection 
  • Any electronic device that has access to the internet (phone, tablet, computer, iPod, etc.) 
  • Make sure your device is charged before class begins
  • Sketchbook/art journal
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Tape

If you have never used Zoom, check out this Zoom tutorial.

Lab Fee Kit Includes…

  • Felt
  • Calico cloth
  • Ribbon
  • Yarn
  • Pellon interfacing
  • Pins
  • Beads
  • Needles
  • Thread
  • Beeswax
  • Beading mat

Age: 14+

February 13 – 27
3-week session

Tuition: $575

Lab Fee: $25

Enrollment limited to 12 students.

Skill Level:
All levels

Melanie Tallmadge Sainz (Ho-Chunk)

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