Monthly Archives: June 2011

Kid’s (Small) Messenger Bag

When my two-year-old son decides he wants to go somewhere he picks up my purse, puts it over his shoulder, and heads for the door. As cute as that is, Daddy thought a cool boyish bag should be made for him as soon as possible! So I came up with this messenger bag that’s toddler sized. It also makes a nice smaller sized bag for an adult. For my son’s, I used pirate, treasure map and fish fabrics for the insides of the bag and pockets. The main fabric is a heavy weight brown canvas. To finish off the set, I made two little pirate bean bag guys from some fabric scraps and made a pirate hat and treasure chest applique for the outer pocket. And at JoAnns I found a 3-pack of pirate hats, perfect for the set!

So let’s get started. Here’s your materials list:

  • 2 rectangles of fabric, one each for the inside and outside of the bag, 15.5″ wide X 31.5″
  • 4 rectangles of fabric, two each for the inside and outside of the 2 pockets, 11″ wide x 6″ tall
  • A shoulder strap cut to a length that fits your or your child comfortably (my son’s is 32″)
  • My free pattern you can download here in Google Docs. The pattern just includes the bag, not the rectangles for the pockets and it’s a 5 page PDF. Print it out, line up the stars and tape it together. If you have trouble printing it, on the left side of the screen choose File, then Download. Open the downloaded PDF then print it. I’ve included a scale in the pattern so you can make sure it’s printing to the correct size.

All seam allowances are 3/8″ unless otherwise noted.

1. First let’s get the pockets ready. With right sides together, stitch all the way around the pocket but leave a 3″ opening in one of the long ends. After sewing, snip the corners then turn right side out. Iron flat with the open seam folded inside.

2. Sew the pockets to the front and back pieces. With my pocket placement, the outer pocket will be hidden under the flap and the inner pocket will be against the back of the bag. Measuring from the right side (if the bag is oriented as shown below), the inner pocket (top of photo) is sewn on 9.5″ in from the side. The exterior pocket (bottom of photo) is sewn on 1.5″ away from the left side. (You may notice in the photo below that I added an additional strip of fabric not shown in the top photo. I didn’t make it quite long enough in my initial pattern so I added the extra strip of fabric and really like the end result! My pattern uses the correct length.)

3. Now we’ll start sewing the bag. With right sides together, stitch all the way around the bag but leave a 5″ opening in the top flap. I flipped up the corner in the photo so you could see that the right sides are together and you can see part of the pocket.

4. Snip all the inner and outer corners then turn the bag right side out. Iron flat and press in the raw edges in the opening.

5. Fold over the bag as shown in the photo below so the exterior is on the inside and you’re looking at the interior. Stitch along the sides and along the flap to close up the opening.

6. Open up the corners and fold them together as shown in the photo below and stitch them closed.

7. Turn the bag right side out. Fold the bottom of the bag between the corners on both the front and back. Pin and stitch 1/8″ away from the edge.

8. Sew on the strap just inside the side seams. The woven strap I used frays at the end so I folded under the ends of each side 1/2″ and zig zag stitched them before attaching. I like to sew on straps using an X inside a square to make sure it’s extra reinforced. Now your little pirate (or princess) is ready to load up their treasures and head out on adventures! The final bag tapers slightly so the top is a little wider than the bottom.

 

Looking for the Accuquilt Giveaway?

Flickr for Crafters: Tips & Creative Photo Tools

Everyone seems to have a favorite social media site, whether that’s Twitter, Facebook or the more recent Pinterest. What Flickr offers bloggers and the handmade crowd is pretty unique, though other sites touch on aspects of its usefulness. Let’s look at some effective ways to use Flickr to network, share your crafts and find inspiration!

A Photo Community

Flickr stores photos, but it’s good for so much more. It’s essentially a community of people who meet online and converse through images.

To join Flickr, you’ll want to first select a user name. You can change your user name later, but your original will still show up in your URL. So if it’s important to you to have your business name or Etsy shop as your URL, make sure you sign up with that name as your account. Each user is also identified by a Flickr ID number, which shows up in address bar from time to time.


As friends are to Facebook, contacts are to Flickr. Add someone as your contact if you read their blog, e-mail with them or just enjoy looking at their photos. If that person wants to follow your Flickr uploads, they’ll add you as a contact, too. Each week or so, you’ll get an e-mail from Flickr with recent uploads from your contacts, though you can log in to your account to change your preferences.


Groups
are a key part of the Flickr experience. I’m a part of more than 60 groups, all of them about fabric and sewing. I’m also an administrator to the Craft Buds Flickr group, which we created for people to share their photos of crafts they make from our tutorials.

To contribute to the conversation in a Flickr group, you’ll first need to upload photos to your account. Once your photos have been uploaded and tagged, you can add them to a group. First, join the group, then click on the text link that says “Add Photos” and select photos from your photostream that are relevant to add to the group photo pool.  For instance, if you’ve sewn a quilt with Moda brand fabrics, you could add it to the Mad for Moda group. You can also participate in a discussion thread, which is active in most groups.

Just be sure that you are there to play nice and not spam the community by posting links to your shop or blog in unrelated groups. If you want to join a public group and just browse, that’s fine too! Lurkers are everywhere on Flickr, and there are still a few other ways to participate in the Flickr community, like . . .

Favorite a photo. This is similar to “pinning” a photo on Pinterest or “liking” a comment on Facebook. When you click the favorite button above a photograph (marked with the outline of a star), three things will happen. The star will turn yellow, the photo will be saved in your “favorite” images, and the owner of the photo will most likely be sent a notification e-mail saying “someone has added your photo as a favorite.” This is useful for curating a collection of interesting photos as well as forming relationships with other Flickr users.

Comment on photos. When you leave a comment on a photo, the owner will be alerted by e-mail. To make your comments and photo descriptions more interesting, you can use basic HTML to style a phrase (bold or italicize) or add a hyperlink back to your website. Don’t worry, because you can edit the comment later if the coding doesn’t work as planned. I link back to my blog post for most of my sewing projects on Flickr, which gives people another place to find me if they want more info on a certain project (like what fabric I used, how long it took me and so forth).

Organizing Your Photos

When you upload photos to Flickr, you can immediately view them in your personal photostream. From there, you might organize them into sets, such as cooking, home renovation or quilting. You can then organize the sets into collections (like “My Hobbies” or “My Family Life”). The nice thing about sets is that you can batch edit them, meaning you can give each photo in a set the same . . .

Tags. Tags are keywords or short phrases used to describe your photos. For instance, I attached the tags cricut, father’s day, dad, tie, handmade, card, and cricut magazine to my Dad Tie Card. (To tag a phrase of two or more words, surround it in quotes.) You can go crazy tagging your photos, but whatever you do, at least tag them with something. This will help people find you when performing random Flickr searches. Try words like the color of your item, the location of your photo, a website/handmade business name or any product brands you used in the item (like Caron yarn).

Membership Options

Flickr is a free service to join, although the membership has limitations on the frequency of uploads. In order to make a free membership last longer, you can upload photos that have already been resized to 600 pixels wide or smaller. By uploading larger photos, you may use up the monthly limit per month (300MB) more quickly. Flickr also processes smaller photos more easily.

Members who wish to upgrade to the Pro account can do so for $24.95 per year or $47.99 for 2 years. Once I’d used all of my free photo uploads (a limit of 200 which will show up in your photostream), I upgraded to the pro account for two years, because it’s a better deal, and I can definitely see myself using this service for the next two years as a continue blogging. Pro account members also have access to metrics, which analyze the users Flickr page views and activity.

One reason I’ve uploaded many photos to Flickr is because I like the ability to copy the HTML code directly from Flickr to my Blogger blog. The medium-size photos are perfect for the width of my blog, and they have a clearer resolution compared to the photos I’ve uploaded directly into Blogger.

There’s also a single button your can push which blogs your photo in Blogger, and another option to share your Flickr photos directly to Facebook. If you’re not interested in sharing your photos with the world, you can change the privacy settings so that only you or your contacts can see them.

Creative Photo Tools

Make the most of your photos with fun editing tools from Big Huge Labs. (You can upload photos directly from your computer or pull photos from your Flickr or Facebook albums!) You’ve probably seen a few of them used online, but we bet you haven’t tried all of them. Here’s a rundown of some of our favorites:

Mosaic  Maker: Choose from a variety of shapes and sizes in the layout pull-down menu to create a photo mosaic of multiple photos.

Picnic Collage
Hockneyizer is a cool polaroid effect for a single photo. Could use for a feature article on your blog.

Color Palette Generator: Upload a photo and this tool automatically selects colors from your photo and provides 6-character hex codes, which you can use in your graphics or text.

Captioner: Add thought or speech bubbles to your photographs before or after uploading to Flickr.


Profile Widget: Add this widget to your website to show off your personal or group profile and recent photo uploads.

Craft Buds. Get yours at bighugelabs.com
Map Maker:
Show off where you’ve been or where you want to go, and insert into your web page as a simple HTML code.

Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com
Photobooth: Create a strip of headshots, product images or family pics for your sidebar. Add black & white or an antiqued effect for nostalgia.
So, there you have it: some fun new tricks to liven up your photo-sharing experience on Flickr. One of my favorite discoveries about Flickr is the abundance of craft swaps that take place there. It’s also fun to log in and see what my contacts are working on, even before they’ve blogged about it. If you’re on Flickr, feel free to look me up or join our new Craft Buds group! What do you like about Flickr, and how do you most often use it in the craftosphere?

Fresh Picks for Wednesday, 6.29.11

Summer Sponge Bombs at A Little Tipsy

Bombs Away! Heather from Whipperberry blogs this tutorial for summer sponge bombs at A Little Tipsy, and shares her family’s tradition of staying cool in the sweltering summer heat.

Happy Birthday Bunting

Dressed Up: Make a vintage-chic Happy Birthday banner with this tutorial from Lisa! It’s part of  a series, so scroll down the page when you get there for 10 more tutorials.

Lavendar and Peppermint Foot Cream

Soothing Salve: I know this looks delicious, but just don’t eat it. Learn how to make Lavender and Peppermint Foot cream from Rebecca at Soap Deli News!

Shabby Roses Pillow @ Shannon Sews

White Jersey: It’s fresh and crisp for summer. Meet the Shabby Roses Pillow from Shannon Sews.

Indie Business Blog

Business in the Front: Have you checked out the Indie Business blog? We love this article on Marketing Your Handmade Business Online and this post called How to Increase Traffic to Your Blog. Thanks again, Rebecca!

Pippa and Rascal- A Free Softie Pattern!

The Other Pippa: Meet Pippa and Rascal, the adorable softies at Ruffles and Stuff. There’s a free sewing pattern for these cuties, which would make a great softies project for plush-sewing beginners!

Giveaway! Win an Accuquilt GO! Baby Fabric Cutter

*** This giveaway is now closed. Make sure to check out all the current handmade giveaways around the web in our Giveaway Roundup! ***

Accuquilt Go Baby Would you like to win an Accuquilt GO! Baby fabric cutter and three dies of your choice?! Yes, we thought so. Accuquilt is generously giving away a new-in-box portable fabric cutter and 3 dies to one Craft Buds reader! (Read our review of the GO! Baby here.)

To enter:

1. Follow the Craft Buds blog via Google Friend Connect, RSS, or e-mail subscription and leave a comment. (one entry)

2.  Tweet, Facebook or blog about this giveaway and leave another comment. You can copy this tweet! (one entry)

Fabric lovers rejoice! #Win an Accuquilt GO! Baby and 3 dies by entering the craft / sewing #giveaway @CraftBuds. http://tinyurl.com/6gsqx4h

That’s 2 possible entries! This giveaway will close on Monday, July 4 at 11:59 p.m. EST, and we’ll choose one winner using Random.org. Contest is open to U.S. only worldwide! (Edit: international readers can now enter!)

22 Free Patterns - Download Now If you’d like to get some free quilt patterns from Accuquilt, you can sign up for their e-mails here. And there are some sales going on at Accuquilt through next Tuesday, if you’ve been waiting to buy one for yourself or as a gift.


Already have the machine? Check out these dies that are on sale, (through 7/5) and get an extra 10% off when you purchase 4 or more!

Free Pattern Feature: Aprons

Wearing an apron always makes me feel like I’m getting ready to do something special. As an added bonus, I can look extra cute and protect my clothes all at the same time! I’ve found the following apron patterns for both kids and adults that look like they’d make cooking or gardening even more fun.

 

Maureen Cracknell Handmade shares this beautiful apron. She used 5 coordinating fabrics and the final result is so flirty and colorful!

Fabric Lover's Apron from Maureen Cracknell Handmade

 

Making it Fun shows off this cute kid’s apron and chef hat with PDF patterns to download for each. The PDF also includes measurements for an adult apron. This is a nice, basic apron pattern so you could even update it for a guy.

Kid's Apron and Chef Hat at Making it Fun

 

This fun and functional garden apron at Make it Do would make a great gift and could be perfect for some small tools or craft supplies too.

Garden Apron at Make it Do

Garden Apron at Make it Do



And lastly, if you’d like to try your hand at an authentic vintage apron, Tip Nut offers this pattern. It’s from a 1945 pattern booklet from The Spool Cotton Company and even includes a matching cap!

Vintage Apron and Cap at Tip Nut

Accuquilt GO! Baby Fabric Cutter Review


Yesterday, I got a GO! Baby fabric cutter in the mail, sent by Accuquilt for me to review! It came with three dies of my choice (hexagons, 2.5″ strips, and half-square triangles), and two cutting mats (one long for the strips, one short for the squares and hexagons).

One of the perks of this machine is the portability. Pulling it out of the box, I could totally see myself taking this with me to quilt guild meetings. It is nothing like lugging around a sewing machine, or even my heavy Cricut.

When I told my non-sewing friends I was getting a GO! Baby, I compared it to a pasta machine. The cutting dies have sharp blades stored deep in a dense layer of foam, so there is little to no chance of cutting yourself. You put the fabric on top of that, then stack the cutting mat on top like a sandwich, which weighs down your fabric if it’s a little wrinkly. When you line up the edge of the cutting die and mat to the GO! Baby and turn the crank, it rolls through like pasta, and the pressure from the machine cuts the fabric inside against the shape of your die.

My first adventure was cutting hexagons from scrap fabric. If you are using scraps, Accuquilt suggests pulling the fabric taut to find the correct grain. Even after reading the instructions thoroughly, I wasn’t sure which way to orient the fabric, so I watched this video to be sure. I cut up to 4 hexagons at a time, in less than 30 seconds. I’d say the accuracy of cuts is definitely not possible with scissors or a rotary cutter. Winner: Accuquilt!

Next, I was excited to try out the 2.5″ strip cutter. I pulled out a yard of Jennifer Paganelli fabric that I will use for quilt binding.

In order to cut strips of any length, I folded the fabric back on itself for one continuous cut. The ends of the die are open so the only cuts are lengthwise. It was true that I could cut up to 6 layers of cotton fabric at a time! If you are still not picturing how this works, here’s another great video showing how to cut fabric strips with the Accuquilt GO! (the larger machine).

From start to finish, I cut my fabric into 6″ sections, and ran them through to GO! Baby to create all of my 2.5″ strips in less than 10 minutes. Most of the time was spent with me lining up my fabric to make sure I was doing it correctly. It’s so easy to use, but I was a little nervous that I might mess up my fabric. Needless to say, this didn’t happen, and I’ve never had such accurate cuts before!

Here you can see my mountain of strips (bottom left) and the waste for an entire yard of fabric (bottom right). In person, it’s not much more than a handful, and I will probably use these for some other kind of craft, like card making.

I actually had fun ironing these strips into binding, because they was cut so perfectly straight. I could see how useful this machine will be for making strip quilts or homemade jelly rolls. The 2.5 inch die is the only strip size offered for the GO! Baby machine, however. If you want other sizes of strips (starting as small as 1 inch), you’d have to upgrade to the larger Accuquilt GO!

A tip from Accuquilt: You can use the strip die to cut 2.5 inch squares. Just turn your strips perpendicular to the die, fold the fabric back onto itself, and run through the machine to turn strips into squares. Turn the strips at an angle, and you’ve got diamonds instead.

Accuquilt Half Square Triangles Here’s are some Kona Bone scraps that I used to make half-square triangles. As you can see, the corners are already clipped or dog-eared to save you from trimming later. Although the cutter says to run a maximum of 6 layers through the machine, I cut 8 at the same time. Though the cuts came out perfect, I wouldn’t recommend any more than 6 layers because the “fabric sandwich” is so thick you can hardly get it through the Accuquilt.

My mom asked me if the dies ever need sharpened. Accuquilt says no, the die blades will never need to be sharpened, but you will need to replace your cutting mat after it has been sliced and diced enough times. I’d estimate that one mat would probably last me 6 months to a year with average use, if I used both sides (recommended). One thing I can confirm is that fabric threads do stick inside the die blades, so you should keep a pair of tweezers nearby to pick out stray threads.

Easy quilt binding with the Accuquilt GO! Baby
Can you tell I’m going to love this machine? I can see myself using the half-square triangles and strips dies all the time. I think my next die to try out will be the circles and maybe the equilateral triangles, which coordinate with the hexagons.

22 Free Patterns - Download Now Quilters and sewists can sign up for 22 free patterns when they sign up for Accuquilt’s e-mail list. Thank you Accuquilt!

Enter the Accuquilt Giveaway here! (Ended July 4, 2011)

Speaking of giveaways . . . out of 68 comments, the winner of the giveaway form Kalla’s Creations is #11 lisa, who said “I follow via email.” Congrats Lisa, and thanks Michaella for sharing the goodies from your cute shop!

The Creative Process: Q&A with Stoney Creek + Giveaway

When it comes to everyday life, what does it look like to take that jump from crafter to entrepreneur?

I am so happy to share this Q&A with Beth Shepherd, the creative mind behind Stoney Creek Shops! Besides antiquing and mastering shabby chic decor, Beth also dabbles in handmade rustic wood items like her awesome berry baskets, which are fabric-lined and perfect for storing sewing notions, beauty supplies, and more!

Beth, how did you get the idea for Stoney Creek and what kinds of crafts do you do?

The idea for Stoney Creek Mercantile was pretty simple one. We live in Stoney Creek Township (Indiana) and the Mercantiles of yesteryear sold or bartered for a variety of goods. We thought it had a nice ring to it and having the title of a Mercantile allowed us to not be tied down to one particular product or art form. We make handmade sewn goods, handmade rustic wood items, homemade baked goods, catering and we also collect vintage items and architectural salvage to sell.

Shabby Quilt Berry Baskets

Describe what you do to create and promote your work on a typical day.

The process of creating is definitely what I enjoy the most! I have a routine of finding my favorite spot with a cup of coffee and my sketchbook, when it’s time to start brainstorming a new project. Then once I have settled on an idea I usually run it past my husband and my partner (aka Grandma, aka my mom). My mom is a significant player in the process of establishing our business! The actual development of our handmade products happens in our “shop” which is actually a “shed” behind the house. It’s probably a bigger space than what you’re envisioning right now. Our homemade baked goods are made by my husband in an industrial kitchen in a nearby town.

Storage Solutions - Wooden Key Hook

What is the most time-consuming part of running the business?

Promoting is probably what I enjoy the least, but I don’t mind it as much as I thought I was going to. Promoting is actually what I have spent the most time on. You really have to put a lot of energy into promoting, if you don’t have the funds to pay someone to do it for you. So, I have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a blog and a Flickr account. Then  I plan to spend some time looking for any sites that will allow me to list my business for free or at a relatively low cost. I have also paid to advertise on Facebook. Since our main outlet for our goods is an Etsy shop, at least one item is relisted daily on Etsy.

Upcycled vintage berry basket with vintage quilt liner

What are some of the rewarding and challenging aspects of running a crafts business?

The most rewarding aspect of running your own business for me, is being able to have an outlet for my creativity. Then right under creativity is the spectacular feeling of the possibility of this business being a real success someday! We aren’t there yet though. On average it takes 1 year for an Etsy shop to get established and have return customers. The most challenging aspect is balancing my time between work and family, as I have a little one at home with me through the day. I try to make it a priority to put quality time with her before getting work done and in the evenings when the husband is home, and quality time with him is also very important. Being a stay-at-home mom is no joke! Add trying to get a small business off the ground on top of that and you have quite the challenge in front you.

Giveaway!

Beth is hosting a berry basket giveaway on her blog, and you can enter now through Sunday, July 3. Go here to enter!

A Winner and Fresh Picks for Wednesday, 6.22.11

Out of 233 comments, the winner of the Fabric Seeds giveaway is #7 Pat V. , who said:

My favorite thing on Fabric Seeds?  Wow, hard to choose.  The first thing I saw was the Love Letters BOM, just GORGEOUS!  And then there’s Lost and Found, I definitely need some of that.  AND there are Julie Herman patterns!  Oh man, this is a dangerous website to send me to.  I’m lovin’ it, tho…

Congrats Pat! If you didn’t win this time,  why not head over to the giveaway roundup and see what else is going on! Or, you could stop by Fabric Seeds and buy yourself a little treat.

Without futher ado, here are this week’s Fresh Picks!

How to Baste your Quilts!!

Stick it to Me: Baste your quilts like a pro with this course at Chasing Cottons.

Birds of a Feather: Elsie shares a unique twist on wedding attire with her DIY feather boutonnieres at A Beautiful Mess.



Vintage Vogue: Kelly at Blue Bird Sews shares photos and memories of this Vogue pattern children’s busy book.

Swimsuit Redo: Christie added a little flair to her beach gear. Check it out at A Lemon Squeezy Home!

Skillshare @ CraftyPod

Community Crafter: Skillshare is a website that networks people with crafty skills and classes with those who’d love to learn. Read more about teaching a crafting course in your community at CraftyPod. Thanks Sister Diane!

Giveaway from Kalla’s Creations

Do you love the look of custom embroidered kids clothes and baby gifts, but lack the machinery? We recently met Michaella of Kalla’s Creations, whose Etsy shop is filled with cute custom items for kids!

This is what Michaella had to say about starting her handmade business:

I am so blessed & fortunate to be a very BUSY stay at home mom. My husband is a full-time student. That is why I took up sewing to help with some of our income & to hopefully support my new crafting & sewing addiction.


I had no idea that I would fall in love with it! My mom bought me my first sewing machine just after Christmas last year. I have to admit the only reason why I even tried sewing was out of guilt (I couldn’t just leave the machine up in the closet without at least using it).

I quickly decided I needed an embroidery machine & the rest is history. I’m always looking for some fun new projects to try out. I always enjoy making something for my children & nieces & nephews.

Thanks Michaella! We love your personalized shirts and burp cloths.


Michaella is generously giving one lucky Craft Buds reader an applique shirt of their choice!

Enter to win:

1. Visit Kalla’s Creations on Etsy and tell us the name of your favorite item in her shop.

2. If you follow the Craft Buds blog, leave us another comment for a bonus entry.

Giveaway open in the U.S. and Canada. One winner will be announced on Friday, June 24 at 8pm (EST). Thanks Michaella!

Reusable Sandwich Bags

Get ready for a delightful summer picnic in the park with these reusable sandwich bags! Made from oilcloth, these bags are easy and fun to whip up in a variety of fun, summery prints.


Finding your oilcloth

Oilcloth is also called woven PUL fabric (polyurethane laminated fabric). Though it looks like a thick vinyl, you’ll notice that the back side of oilcloth fabric is woven rather than having the smooth feel of the front.

My local quilt shop sells large bolts of oilcloth for around $9 per yard, and I’ve also purchased it from Oilcloth Addict on Etsy. Fabric designers have really jumped on board with the oilcloth trend, so you’ll find laminated fabrics from Anna Maria Horner (including the new LouLouThi collection) as well as designer prints by Amy Butler, Jennifer Paganelli and others, though the prices are higher. If you shop online for project materials, just make sure you don’t order flannel-backed fabric, which is harder to clean.

For this tutorial, you can make 6 sandwich bags from a half-yard of oilcloth, making your cost as low as 75 cents per bag. Just think of how much money you could save on plastic baggies over time! Once sewn, these durable snack bags are easy to rinse out in the sink and air dry.

Oilcloth Sandwich Bags Tutorial

Finished size: 6.5″ x 7″ folded

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 yard of oilcloth (makes 6 bags) or a fat quarter (makes 3 bags)
  • Velcro, .75″ wide
  • White or coordinating thread
  • Glue stick
  • Ruler and scissors or rotary cutter
  • Sewing Machine with zig-zag and blanket stitches

Steps:

1. Each bag is made from a cut of oilcloth that is 16.25 inches x 7 inches. Using your rotary cutter and ruler, measure and cut your six pieces as shown in the diagram. The scraps can be saved for decoration or a 5-inch wide snack bag.

This is what your bag will look like unfolded, along with measurements.


2. Take your oilcloth rectangle, and place it in front of you with the pattern facing down. Fold up the bottom 6.5″ and crease with your fingers. (When folded, the bag is 9.5″ tall, including the opened flap, which is 3″.) Now, fold down the top flap like an envelope and crease.


3. Cut a 3-inch strip of velcro, and separate the fuzzy and scratchy sides. Lightly apply glue stick to adhere each velcro strip in place.

  • Attach the rough velcro .5″ down from what is now the top of the flap (attach to WRONG side of oilcloth).
  • Attach the fuzzy velcro strip 1.75″ from top of opened pocket (RIGHT side of oilcloth) with glue stick. (Refer to above diagrams above for velcro placement.)


4. Open up the folded flap and straight stitch both velcro strips on with your sewing machine, turning at the corners and sewing all the way around. Since the velcro may slip, hold with your fingers and tackle the patterned side of the oilcloth first.


5. To add a monogram, simply create a large letter in a Word document, choose your font, and print. (For the “S” and “J,” I used Arial Black, size 320, and applied an outline to the font to waste less ink.) Place your printout on top of oilcloth and cut through both layers using sharp scissors. Use a craft knife if you have a letter with small circles.


6.  Apply monogram to outside of bag with a glue stick (use sparingly). Zig-zag stitch the letter applique to what will become the outside of your bag, to either the front or the back. The applique will slide out of place on the patterned side, so stitch this piece first and hold it in place while sewing. I added long strips of oilcloth as accents.

7. Refold the sandwich bag using the creases from earlier (top flap remains open for now), and hold in place with a paper clip on the fold.


8. With the monogram and velcro now attached, it’s time to turn your oilcloth into a sandwich pouch. Set your sewing machine to a wide blanket stitch and test out on a scrap piece of fabric or paper. (If you need a guide, aim for stitches that are about 1/4″ long and 3/8″ apart. I used my sewing machine’s widest stitch.)

Begin to blanket stitch the bag together, starting where the wrong sides meet on the right side. You’ll want to stitch so close to the edge that your stitches actually fall off the side of the bag and wrap around  the raw edges. If your stitches catch on the oilcloth, adjust your needle position a bit to the right. Continue the blanket stitch around all four sides of the bag, including the opened flap. (For the flap, you’ll be sewing through a single layer of oilcloth, so this is merely decorative).


Note: If you are planning to spend all day in the sun with your picnic fare, keep your sandwich bags in the shade to avoid emitting any non-safe chemicals into your food. As a general rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t want to heat it up in a microwave, don’t let it bake in the sun. This sandwich sized bag fits pretty large slices of bread, though you can make reusable snack bags that are slightly smaller or larger, depending on your needs.

Is oilcloth food-safe?
There is a lot of discussion about oilcloth and food, and you can find more resources and a lengthy discussion on the topic at CraftStylish and Mothering. One alternative is to cover regular fabric in layers of natural beeswax. Another idea is to line fabric with thick, resealable Ziploc bags.


If you’ve enjoyed this sandwich pouch tutorial, why not whip up some bags as gifts? They are great for lunches at school, work or a summertime picnic at the park. If you make some of these reusable snack bags, please let us know with a comment. You are also welcome to add your project photos to the Craft Buds Flickr group!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...