I’m addicted to tarot bags.
If I could sew, I’d probably start making my own. But since I can’t, I have to rely on others to create what I can’t.
I haven’t yet found The Perfect Bag™, but I’m definitely giving it the old college try. I’ve discovered a few things about my preferences as my bag collection grows. I’ve discovered that I don’t like duplicate bags — I only have (and want) one of any size/pattern/colour/style bag; I prefer padding, coordinated linings, and double drawstrings; I really love charms, beads, and other dangling doodads on bags and drawstrings, provided they are well considered and securely attached (some of the early bags I got were factory-made and the beads fall off at the least provocation); and I prefer patterns rather than pictures.
Even though I’m constantly on the lookout for new bags, I do have some favourite bag makers that I keep going back to whenever the urge hits.
My top three favourite bag creators are:
1. Little Moon Originals
Kerri Walters is hands-down my favourite bag creator. Her velveteen tarot bags are not cheap (at about $28 US each, they’re in the same range as Baba Studio’s bags), but they are well worth the price. They are large, padded, double-drawstringed, and feature lovely appliqués, beads and charms, and decorative fairy stitches. She doesn’t always have bags in stock in her Etsy store, but she takes custom orders. Have a look through her sold items to see some of the bags she’s made and sold previously to get an idea of what she does. (Her patchwork bags are well worth it, as well.)
(The image above shows four of the bags. The mandala on the front of the blue velvet one on the left perfectly matches the Deviant Moon cup court cards so that’s the deck it holds; the brown velvet bag in the middle holds my Faeries Oracle; the purple on black velvet one on the right holds my Tarot of Dreams; and the green velvet one at the bottom holds my Druid Animal and Plant Oracles.)
Nancy Towne makes lined and unlined bags in a variety of sizes from a wide range of interesting cotton fabrics. My favourites are the lined, double-drawstring tarot bags, which are approximately 5″ X 7″, large enough to hold the Tree Affirmation Cards deck and book without the box (that’s what’s in the autumn leaves bag on the left). They are very simple bags, but are extremely solidly crafted. And some of the fabrics she finds are among my favourite fabric patterns of all-time. (The sparkly purple bag on its side at the front, which contains a matching tarot spread cloth, is a particular favourite.) Her bags feature side seams so prints that have a up side and a down side (like animal images) are going to be upside down on one side of the bag, but that only detracts slightly from those bags.
She also offers free shipping if you buy $25 or more worth of stuff, which is very easy to do. (I just bought a number of bags from her and I could easily find another batch to order.) And she ships really quickly. You can probably find other lined bags elsewhere for $5 or less but they tend to be factory-made and I doubt they’re as well-made as these.
3. Baba Studio
This is the brainchild of Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov at Magic Realist Press in Prague. My addiction to Baba Studio bags began when I bought the Baroque Bohemian Cats Tarot gold edition from them last year. With the gold edition, you could buy a special bag that featured your choice of card image, a special cat charm, and metallic cording for the drawstrings. It was so beautiful that it hooked me on Baba Studio/Magic Realist Press in general and on their bags specifically.
I’ve wanted to buy additional bags featuring images of their BBC and Bohemian Gothic tarots for ages, but instead I’ve been sidetracked by their Art Nouveau prints (some based on vintage Liberty of London prints) and the bags featuring gorgeous paintings by Arthur Rackham and John William Waterhouse. The bags are impeccably crafted, the silk fabrics they use are sumptuous, and the print images are gorgeous. The only minor annoyance for me personally is the tag sewn into the bottom of the lining, but it’s easily cut off without damaging the bag itself.
(In the image above, the purple bag on the left holds my Reincarnation Cards deck, the coppery gold one in the middle holds my Legacy of the Divine Tarot, the one on the right holds my daily-use Bohemian Cats, and the Arthur Rackham one on its side on the right holds my Mystic Faerie Tarot. The other two bags are awaiting appropriate tenants.)