I used the black holder that came with my yoga mat (from Target) as sort of a guide when designing my mat holder. The way the strap loops around itself inspired me to produce something similar with a more aesthetically pleasing piece of fabric.
A scarf is the perfect piece of long piece of finished fabric that you can use for this project, and you can usually find scarves in an array of colors and patterns at your local thrift store or your closet. Mine was from St. Vincent de Paul. If you wanted to use other fabric, simply stitch up the edges and then follow the steps below for the looping effect.
You'll need a scarf, sewing machine (you could do this by hand), and thread that matches your scarf.
1. First, you'll want to loop one end of your scarf around itself the way this black strap does.
First loop one end under the rest of the scarf:
Then, loop the end back over on top of the fabric and pin the short end in place.
Do the same with the other end and pin in place.
Then, sew along the edge where you pinned the scarf together. Be sure that the wrong sides of the fabric are facing each other when you sew. Repeat on both ends. You could definitely do this simple sewing by hand.
That's all you have to do, and you have a handy little carrying strap for your mat. Pretty easy, right?
I do think I would've liked a little bit longer scarf to create a longer shoulder strip. I can fit this one around my arm, but it really is more the length of a hand strap. I will surely take a trip back to the thrift store for some more scarves. This makes a great gift for the health nut or yoga enthusiast on your list. And it literally takes only a few minutes to put together, once you get that looping thing down.
I'm thinking about doing a giveaway with one of these. Let me know what you think in the comments. If you do use this tutorial, leave a link for me so I can see what you made. Happy sewing!