Busy Bag Tutorial

So I know this week we have showed you how to do some pretty in depth sewing tutorials with the child’s backpack, mega card holder wallet and the hanging toiletry bag.  I will say we saved the easiest sewing project for last.  This little “busy bag” is the perfect way to keep your kids occupied on long car rides, in restaurants, or waiting in the doctor’s office.  It is a pack filled with 6 quart bags.  Inside those you can put crayons, markers, stickers, wiki stix, little books, etc.  This is the last sewing tutorial of the week with fabric featured from Online Fabric Store.  Stayed tuned tomorrow for a $200 fabric giveaway.

busy bag sewing pattern

Supplies:

6 Durable quart sized baggies

21 inches of webbing

2 fat quarters (I used Michael Millers Bicycles Gray, Michael Miller Bicycle Citron on one and Amy Butler Dancing Paisley LemonAmy Butler Temple Door Fresh Mint on the other)

Fusible fleece (enough for a piece 8 ½ x 20 inches)

2 inch piece of Velcro (½ inch wide)

lighter for sealing edge of webbing

 

1. Cut out 2 pieces measuring 8 ½” x 20” for main and lining pieces from the fat quarter and one piece  7 1/2” x 19 1/2” from the fusible fleece.

childrens busy bags

2. Iron on fusible fleece to wrong side of main fabric following manufacturer’s instructions.

3. Cut the webbing into two 9” pieces (handles) and one 3” piece (closure strap).

4. Measure in 2 inches from each side along the short edge of the front of your main piece and place edge of each handle at the 2” mark, with raw edges of strap and main pieces lined up, and baste in place. Repeat with the other strap at the opposite end of main piece.

5. Sew Velcro to the 3” closure strap piece of the webbing (finish one short end by singeing it with a flame or folding under and sewing across the edge so it doesn’t unravel. Don’t worry about the other end, it will be tucked into the seam of the bag.)

sewing tutorial for busy bags

6. With Velcro side up on the closure strap piece, place in the center of the handle pieces on one end of the main piece and baste in place.

how to sew busy bag 

7. Sew the other piece of the Velcro onto the opposite end of the front of the main piece in the center of the other handle piece about ¼” from the edge.

busy bag tutorials

8. Now take the lining piece, fold in half (lining up short edges) and cut it into 2 pieces.

busy bag tutorials

9. Stack all the quart baggies, lining up the bottom edges of baggies and sandwich the ends of the baggies in between the cut edges of the lining piece (right sides together). Sew across using ¼ inch seam allowance. 

busy bag tutorials

busy bag tutorial

10. Now with right sides together, pin main piece to lining piece and sew around the perimeter leaving a small hole for turning. (Careful when sewing around the edge where the baggies are by moving them to the opposite side so they don’t get caught in the seam) **Yes the lining is now ¼ inch shorter than the main piece but not enough to affect anything so just gently stretch lining to line up with the main piece**

busy-bag-tutorials (7) 

11. Turn right side out and press (careful not to iron the baggies!)

busy-bag-tutorials (6)

12. Finish everything off by topstitching around entire bag.

Then go raid your kids playroom and fill the baggies with fun activities your child loves to do.  Here is a great list of busy bag activities from Money Saving Mom.

busy bag tutorials

car ride boredom busters

Obviously we are dealing with baggies here so avoid sharp objects.  Then fold and Velcro it up and take it with you whenever you need a healthy distraction for your kiddos.

busy bag DIY

busy bag tutorial

busy bag tutorials (8)

busy-bag-tutorials (9)

busy-bag-tutorials (10)

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  • http://hopefulthreads.blogspot.com/ Kristy

    Very clever!

  • Tammy

    What great tutorials. Really enjoyed reading all of these.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Thanks so much for reading each day, Tammy!

  • Amy

    Do you think interfacing would work as well as the fusible fleece? Really wanting to start this one for my two daughters!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      As long as it is heavy duty, it should be fine.

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  • Jenny

    Any idea about how the ziploc bags hold up over time?

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      I had a similar bag that I used to use for my toiletries that held up for 2+ years. I guess it depends on how rough your kids are on them. You can always resew bags to the center if some get ruined.

  • http://denverista.com Misty

    These are so clever! I was looking for something very close to this. I think I might forgo looking and use your design. Thank You for sharing it!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      If you do give them a try, please let me know how they come out. Best of luck!

  • http://itsamixofthose.wordpress.com jave

    I love these!!! I hope you don’t mind me re-blogging this post. I will definitely do something like this for my kids too.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Hi Jave, I don’t mind you sharing my bags with one pic and a link back. Thanks so much for reading and sharing!

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  • Ana L.

    You could pick up a few cheap pencil pouches during back to school season and sew those in, instead of ziplocks for a more durable but still quick and easy busy book.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Love it!!!

  • Rebecca

    I’m very new to being creative and learning to see! I have made it through the first few steps of this and am completely confused about how to sew the two pieces together and then turn it right side in…please help!

    This is such an awesome bag!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Okay, so you cut the piece in half. Then sandwich the bags between the two pieces with the correct sides facing the bags. After you have that sewn, you take the first piece and then this new piece with the bags sewn in and face those correct sides together. Sew all the way around leaving a small opening for turning. Then flip it right side out. Then sew that hole closed. If that doesn’t help call me, and I can walk your through it. 317-215-5551

  • Nicole S.

    I just made two bags for my kids, to take in the car on a road trip. Perfect item to bring with us to keep them entertained in the car as well as camping. Great tutorial!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Awesome! Thanks, Nicole!

  • Ann

    Made some of these today and they came out great! i can’t wait to fill them and give them as gifts. Great tutorial, very easy to understand. I did use a couple small binder clips to keep the baggies lined up as I sewed them to the lining. Worked great. Thanks!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Awesome, Ann. Thanks for sharing. Hope the kiddos love them!

  • Tina Lee

    I just made the first one as a test. Thinking about making this as my son’s coming up birthday party’s party favor! The only down side was the zip lock bags kept slipping out from either side. So, I thought may be I should add one Velcros on each side. Then, I realized when I don’t put anything in the bags, due to the ziplock part is heavier that the bags all crumble down. Therefore, I tried out another one. I sewed the bags at the top instead of the middle. It turned out great! No slipping out from the sides. No need to add extra Velcros on the side. The only downside is when I fill the bags with goodies, it doesn’t stand up as in the picture above. I guess I will just have to display them lying down. :-) Thank you very much for the great tutorial and the idea!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Hi Tina,
      So glad you tried out the tutorial. That’s weird about the bags. I am glad you were able to make them work in the end. Great idea to use them as party favor bags!

      • Tina Lee

        It didn’t happened to you? The ziplock portion is heavier that if I don’t put anything in, it all crumbles down and slipped to the sides. When I put stuff in them, depends how it stands in the bags, it falls out from the sides too! It is weird that it only happens to me! Not sure what I did different? :(

        • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

          The fuller you fill them the better in place the bags will stay.

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  • Kathleen

    This is a really cute project! A couple questions though: did you use a particular stitch length when sewing the baggies together with the lining pieces? When leaving a space for turning the project right side out, where do you feel the best place is to leave the opening for turning? Lastly, after #11 you show a picture of a piece being trimmed but you don’t mention anything about trimming. Thank you for your help!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Hi Kathleen, I did not use a particular stitch length. I just set it to the default. I leave the space on the side for turning. Yes, if any of the edges is more than say 1/4″, I would probably trim. I hope that helps. Good luck!

  • sansuey

    This is something that could be useful for many different uses depending on what one puts into the bags. Thanks much for sharing!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      You are welcome. :-)

  • Angela King

    I’m having a really hard time sewing through the baggies. Any tips? Did others have this problem?

  • Pingback: Busy Bags @Love-To-Sew.com | Love to Sew

  • mykaholly

    You are a genius. I made one of these for a gift this morning and it was easy and fast. Now to make one more for the sister of the recipient!! Thanks so much!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Yay, I am thrilled you could use the tutorial. I hope the kiddos love their new bags!

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  • Laurie Miles

    I am going to make one of these for some American Girl shoes and socks I’m taking to a birthday party this weekend. I think it will work out very well! Thanks,

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Laurie, I am so glad you are able to use the tutorial and think it’s a great idea to use it as a gift bag. I hope the birthday girl loves it! :)

  • Sharon Hughson

    Thanks for the link. These might become Christmas gifts!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      They would definitely make great gifts, especially stuffed with a few goodies. :-)