In my book, Frederick Douglass for Kids, I provide an activity to make a carpet bag using thick cotton fabric. Frederick Douglass, however, used a carpet bag for his suitcase that was made from actual pieces of carpet and leather.

If you want to try your hand at making an actual carpet bag just like they did in the era Frederick Douglass lived in, follow the directions at the site Useful Bags, and How to Make Them by John T. Humphrey.