Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How to make an activity bag for the car

Yesterday I showed you this magnet chalkboard. Today I will show you how to make an activity bag to go along with it!

I used to receiving blankets that I don't need anymore (I love recycling!) Each blanket was about 1/2 a yard.
For the outside I used my cookie sheet as a guide to help me decide how big to cut it. I cut it a couple inches bigger on each side. I cut the fabric folded in half. (it ended up being 18 X18 inches ON THE FOLD.. so that is 18 X 36 not folded)

For the chalk/crayon/marker pockets I cut 2 strips that were 18 X 3.5 On the fold (18X 7 not folded)
*note the strips are folded in half in this picture*
Cut 2 inch squares out of each corner

Now to make the pockets.
ironed 1/4 an inch fold on ONE side, then fold it in half an iron it.

Open it up and mark where you want you stitches to go for the crayon slots (I also added bigger slots for an eraser)
The crayon slots are 1 inch apart (with 1.5 inch spot one each end) and the eraser spots are 4 inches.

Pin the pocket with it open onto the bag a little bit above where you cut out the corners. Then stitch a straight line on each mark. Make sure you are sewing through only ONE LAYER of your outer side!

flip it back over so that the finished edges is on the bottom and stitch across. repeat for the second row of pockets. (Again- make sure you are only sewing through ONE layer!)

sew the sides of the bag together (with RIGHT sides together)

square off each of the corners by pulling on the squares on the corner diagonally and stitching across.

Now for the liner:
For the pockets I cut out 2 pieces that were about 10 X 20 inches. Fold them in half with RIGHT sides together so that it makes a 10X10 inch square. Sewed the 3 open sides together leaving a 3-4 inch opening to flip it right side out.

Flip it right side out and pin it to you liner fabric (You will notice that I also cut our 2 inch squares out the the bottom corners for the liner too) Make sure you are pinning through ONLY ONE layer. You want you pockets to be facing the TOP of the bag so make sure you are positioning them the right direction.

Sew your pocket on... leaving the top open.

Sew you liner's sides together like you did for the outer side. Leave ONE corner open so that we can flip out bag right side out when we sew the liner to the outer side.

Now for the straps!
Cut out 2 strips that are about 18X3 (you can make them longer if you want)
Iron the edges in about 1/4 of an inch. then fold in half an iron.
top sew to finish off the edge of the strap.

Now let's put the bag together!
Put your liner into your outter side with RIGHT SIDES together.
Put your straps on the inside of the bag... my straps are about 4 inches from each side. Pin around the edge
Sew around the top of your bag... you can sew all the way around because we left the corner open to flip it right side out!
Pull your bag through the open corner.
Fold the unfinished edges of the corner inside and top sew it closed
Push the liner inside of the bag and you are done!
Here are some of the activities that I packed in my bag:

magnet gears and alphabet letters
drawing on paper (held on by a magnet clip) and drawing with chalk
Here is the bag all loaded up and ready to go! :)
The outside pockts hold all the markers, chalk and crayons! The inside pockets hold all the magnets. The bag is big enough for the cookie sheet and extra paper.
I also add a few coloring books to the bag.

There are lots of possibilies with this bag and it can grow with the child!

I am linking to these parties!


Sunshine of Seven said...

I love the whole idea for this bag & how creative you are for using old receiving blankets! AWESOME!
Cool Magnet/Chalkboard too!

Donna said...

Wow, Fawnda! This is terrific! Great job!

Misty @Creative Itch said...

How fun!! Love that you used receiving blankets!! Thanks for linking @Creative Itch's "Sew Cute Tuesday"!!

Bare Sock Studio said...

This is a great idea! I am going to make one too!! :)

Beth@The Stories of A to Z said...

Such a cute idea!

Amy said...

I have been a longtime reader (ahem...lurker...sorry!) here and LOVE all of your amazing projects! And I finally get to participate in your Show Off Your Stuff Party! So excited. Can't take credit for the idea but I'm still excited to show off what I made with a great tutorial. :)

I'm definitely going to make one of these magnetic chalkboards for my son this weekend. Thanks for sharing!!!

Amy said...

P.S. Where did you find those magnet gears? They look like a lot of fun!

Fawnda@Fireflies and Jellybeans said...

Amy-I got the magnet gears at a store called Lakeshore Learning. They have an online site: http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/home/home.jsp
my son LOVES them! We got them for him for chirstmas. They were $19.99 and came with a ton of gears.


Nishant said...

This is terrific! Great job!
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Laura said...

What a cute idea. I love the fabric.

I would love it if you joined my "Saturday is Crafty Day" party on April 24th! Stop by my blog for details.

Mary Beth @ Live. Laugh. Make Something said...

absolutely delightful! very well done! I especially love that it was made from cute littlt blankrts. very clever!

Sharon said...

lovely and so useful!

Anonymous said...

Great tutorial. Thank you for linking to the Boardwalk Bragfest

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

Oh wow!! What a problem solver you are!! I cannot wait to find a pan to do this to!! Thanks for linking up this week and come on over and grab a button, we featured you!!!

Jillian said...

What a great idea! We have a roadtrip with our four-year-old triplets coming up, and these bags would be perfect! And, I have *plenty* of left over receiving blankets.

Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming said...

What a fabulous idea! I so need one of these! Stop by the Sunday Showcase Party if you get a chance! Thanks so much for this tutorial - This is going on my to-do!!

made at greenlodge said...

love it, you are so rustic, down to earth and practical. I made a bag similar but longer, it was for wrapping paper with pockets for ribbon etc. Will watch your blog without fail. Fantastic

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am new to this blog and love the travel bag! Any suggestions for easy printing of projects?

KatrinkaJane said...

Do you just keep this in the car for stops or is it accessible to the kids while you're driving?

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