Toddler Moms, What’s In Your Bag? Backpack Essentials + Zipper Pouch Tutorial

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BeHealthyForEveryPartofLife #CollectiveBias

Toddler Mom Purse Essentials

Leaving the house with a toddler is a little easier than packing up for a day out and about with an infant. These days, I’ve ditched my diaper bag for a backpack, which I can easily throw on my back, leaving my hands free to wriggle my 22-month son in or out of his car seat.

I thought it would be fun to share my go-to purse essentials that we take with us all the time, and see what’s in your bag that helps make running errands with a toddler more enjoyable. Then, I’ll share a free tutorial with you to show you how to make a cute quilted, zipper pouch to carry those little bag essentials!

Toddler Mom Purse Essentials

Here’s what’s in my backpack at the moment:

  1. A diaper and wipes, because we don’t want to be caught without them
  2. Trail mix, an energy-boosting snack that works for me and my son (he eats the peanuts and saves me the chocolate)
  3. New Centrum VitaMints are adult multivitamins with a refreshingly minty taste you can take/enjoy any time of day with or without food or water
  4. Emergen-C Immune+ Chewables for extra Immune support during cold and flu season because… who has time to deal with that?
  5. Travel-sized Advil Tablet Vial, in case my husband or I do catch a cold/flu bug! You can use Advil tablets for headaches, minor arthritis and other joint pain, muscle aches and pains of the common cold
  6. Infant’s Advil quickly soothes teething pain and fever, and it’s a must in our bag
  7. ChapStick Total Hydration instantly smoothes and moisturizes chapped lips
  8. An applesauce pouch, my son’s go-to snack
  9. Prescription sunglasses, because we still get some sunny days in the south, even during the fall and winter
  10. A water bottle with a straw, which works for my son and me
  11. Toys, books and other distractions!
  12. My cell phone, keys and wallet


Purse Pouch | Craft Buds
Zipper Pouch Tutorial

Do you want to learn how to sew a quilted zipper pouch like the one I use in my everyday bag? I’d love to share a quick and easy tutorial with you!

  • Outer fabric, lining fabric, and batting: 15 1/2″ x 15″ of each
  • 1 All-purpose zipper, 14″


Make a quilt sandwich

1. The first thing you’ll need to do is make what is called a “quilt sandwich.” This means you will layer the batting between the main fabric and lining fabric, so the pretty sides are showing outward. Take this to your sewing machine and quilt the layers together in any design you’d like, then trim the quilted panel to 14 1/2″ x 14″.

Place the zipper right side down

2. Next, position the zipper face down on one 14 1/2″ side of the main fabric (floral), with the lining fabric (pink) face down.

Stitch the zipper to the quilted fabric panel

3. Using a zipper foot, stitch the zipper to the quilted fabric panel along the left side. Fold the fabric in half so the unstitched edge of the zipper is face down on the right edge of the main fabric. Stitch the zipper in place along the right edge to make the fabric panel into a tube.

tube after zipper is sewn

4. After you’ve sewn the zipper down, this is what the tube will look like

Topstitch zipper

5. Next, turn the tube right side out and topstitch along both sides of the zipper to make it secure and to keep it from flapping around!

Stitch 1/2 from each side

6. The next step is to turn the tube wrong side out again and unzip the zipper halfway. This is very important! Position the zipper in the center of the flattened tube. Close the tube by stitching 1/2″ from each open end, right across the zipper ends to make your pouch.


Flatten corners

7. Now it’s time to box those corners! Flatten and pin each corner as shown, with the seam pressed open.

draw a line 2 1/2" long across this corner where your pin is

9. Draw a line 2 1/2″ long across this corner where your pin is, and stitch across each corner of that line.

Trim off the corners

10. Trim off the corners with pinking shears, or use regular scissors and finish with a zigzag stitch. Also, trim off any excess zipper ends inside the pouch. That’s it! Wasn’t this easy? If you’d prefer, I’ve also saved the instructions to a free 6-page PDF pattern, which you can download and save to your computer!

Purse Essentials at Walmart

The next time you are at Walmart, you can look for ChapStick Total Hydration and Emergen-C Immune+ Chewables in the same aisle, with the other immune support products (Top Left). Look for Infant’s Advil near in the same aisle (Bottom Left). Travel Advil for adults can be found with the other travel-sized toiletries (Top Right), and you will find Centrum VitaMints with the other adult vitamins, or in their own special display!

Purse Essentials

As a mom who strives to be frugal, I can often forget about the importance of stocking up on vitamins and immune boosters. But then when one person in the family gets sick, we’re spending even more money on doctor’s visits and medicine. Plus, it throws off our whole weekly routine, with playdates or daycare. That’s why I’m so glad I’ve stocked my purse essentials zipper pouch with things to make life just a little bit easier!

I’d love to know…. what’s in your purse or everyday bag? Check out more favorite products for every part of life!

Football OREO Cookie Balls

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #OREOCookieBalls #CollectiveBias


When a friend has a party I always like to bring a special homemade treat. If I can come up with something that fits in with the theme of the party, even better! I thought these football shaped OREO cookie balls would be perfect to snack on while watching the game.

2015-10-29 16.44.22

I stopped by my local Walmart to pick up ingredients. In the photo above you can see they have tons of flavors of OREOs in the cookie aisle. You can use any flavor OREOs in this recipe as long as it’s not OREO Double Stuf. I love peanut butter and chocolate so I went with the peanut butter flavor.


OREO cookie balls just require a few ingredients and are pretty easy to make. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 pkg (8 oz.) brick cream cheese, softened
    • 36 OREO Cookies, finely crushed (about 3 cups)
    • 4 pkg. (4 oz. each) semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
  • Make it!
    • MIX cream cheese and cookie crumbs until blended.
    • SHAPE into 48 (1-inch) balls. Freeze 10 min. Dip balls in melted chocolate; place in single layer in shallow waxed paper-lined pan.
    • CUSTOMIZE it with your own ingredient additions or decorative skills.
    • REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm.
  • Optional ingredient: White chocolate for the football laces decoration.

Oreo Process

I put the OREOs in my food processor to chop them up into fine crumbs, then mixed in the cream cheese. After mixing I made the football shapes and froze them for 10 minutes. I melted my chocolate in a tall narrow cup in the microwave, then used a cake tester to skewer each football and dunk it into the chocolate. I used the tip of a knife to gently pull the football off of the cake tester after dunking. After the chocolate hardened I used a frosting bag filled with melted white chocolate and a round tip to pipe on the design.


These were a big hit at the party I took them to! Guests were wondering if they came from the fancy local chocolate shop. There are tons of different flavor combinations or shapes that you can make to customize these for any holiday or party. For more holiday OREO Cookie balls recipes, check out this link and let us know if you have any favorite OREO cookie and chocolate combinations!


kraft·tex™ Monogram Pet Stockings + Gift Tags

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #ClausAndPaws #CollectiveBias

I know you’ve all started thinking about your holiday shopping list, and jotted down a few gifts ideas for your friends and family. But let’s not forget those very special friends with four legs!

Monogram Pet Stockings | Craft Buds

Pets are a big part of our family holiday celebration. Our cats Murph and Chloe have stockings that hang right with the rest of ours, and we have two mini schnauzers, Zoey and Moses, in my family who always look forward to dinner gatherings and food that might drop to the floor!

My husband’s favorite treat to buy our cats is a big 16 oz. tub of TEMPTATIONS® Treats. He likes to top off their regular food with the treats every morning, so we easily go through at least one of these containers a month.

TEMPTATIONS Cat Treat Stocking Stuffer | Craft Buds

For the holidays, I thought it would be fun to take this treat and make it a little more special, and wrap it up as a stocking stuffer for the kitties. Since our house has been invaded by a toddler, the cats get less attention from me. If it were just up to me, I might forget to feed them… thank goodness for my husband and his attentiveness to the cats!

Looking for an easy stocking pattern for beginners? I sewed the Holly Jolly Stocking pattern to make these pet stockings, but you can also start with any store-bought stocking to make your project even quicker.

TEMPATIONS Cat Treat Stocking Stuffer | Craft Buds

Using kraft·tex™ (it’s a new product that comes in a roll and it acts like both paper and fabric), I cut out some simple monograms for my cat’s initials to put on top of the stockings. After cutting them out with scissors or a rotary cutter, you can take the kraft·tex™ right to the sewing machine and accent with a single line of stitching. Widen your stitch length to 3.5 for the best results.

Kraft-tex Pet Monograms

Sew or hot glue the monograms to any standard stocking to personalize it for your pet. You can also cut out a fish shape or a dog bone to add a cute accent. Kraft·tex is easy to write on, stamp on, print on… you can really use your creativity!

Pet Stocking Stuffer Kraft-Tex Name Tag | Craft Buds

For the dogs in my family, I put together a little gift with the PEDIGREE® Jumbone. I cut out a little dog bone gift tag from kraft·tex™ and stitched a border on it using my sewing machine. I added the pet’s name with a fine tip Sharpie, and slipped it under the ribbon.

Pet Treats at Walmart

If you’re looking for the best pet stocking stuffers for your cat or dog, check out Walmart in the cat and dog food aisles. This is where I can always find the big TEMPTATIONS® Treats 16oz in the plastic tubs for our kitties and a PEDIGREE® Jumbone (to keep those puppies busy while everyone is opening gifts) or Pedigree DENTASTIX® (great for canine chompers!) for the dogs in our family.

Cat Treats Stocking Stuffer | Craft Buds

So, there you have it! I hope you enjoyed these easy gifts for the cats and dogs in your life. Be sure to check out more great gift ideas for pets.

Christmas Pet Stockings for Cats and Dogs

Do you have any furry friends you’ll be buying gifts for this holiday season?

Park Blanket Revamp in Four Corners Fabric

Welcome to visitors from the Simple Simon & Co. Four Corners fabric tour! I had a blast sewing with the new collection designed by my friends Liz and Liz for Riley Blake Designs.

For my project, I started with a fat quarter bundle of Four Corners fabric, plus solid white fabric and black Essex Linen from my stash.

"Park Blanket" Pattern Revamp in Four Corners Fabric | Craft Buds
The pattern is called “The Park Blanket” and it’s from my new book On the Go Bags: 15 Handmade Purses, Totes, and Organizers that I co-wrote with Janelle MacKay (Stash Books, Dec. ’15). Janelle designed this clever blanket that folds into a tote with a flap and carrying strap, which is perfect for the on-the-go lifestyle!

The original is sewn with Cuddle fabric and laminated cotton (pictured left), and I’ve always wondered how it would look as an actual quilt. While sewing the flap, I chose a few of my favorite prints and pieced small flying geese up the center, adding straight-line quilting up the sides.

"Park Blanket" Pattern Revamp in Four Corners Fabric | Craft Buds

I improv pieced some strips of various widths for a colorful border. My favorite part of this quilt, aside from the awesome colors and prints in this fabric, is the random white strips that peek through the border. The quilt finishes at about 51″ square, and I backed and bound it in black Essex linen.

"Park Blanket" Pattern Revamp in Four Corners Fabric | Craft Buds

I went into this quilt with a totally different plan. I wanted flying geese… everywhere! I started by sewing lots of really large flying geese (10″ x 5″ finished), which left me with some bonus half-square triangles.  I ended up moving away from the flying geese all together, because I really liked what was going on with this center medallion.

"Park Blanket" Pattern Revamp in Four Corners Fabric | Craft Buds

Picnics, outdoor concerts, baseball games… I can picture lots of future family memories being made on this Park Blanket revamp! I’m so glad I tried out this pattern as a quilt, and I’d encourage you quilters out there… even if you do not consider yourself a bag maker, there’s something for you in the new book! We start with advanced beginner projects and move onto more advanced bags and organizers.

On the Go Bags (Dec. 2015, Stash Books)

On the Go Bags: 15 Handmade Purses, Totes, and Organizers is now available for pre-order at Amazon and Janelle and I are so proud of this book and excited to finally share it with the world!

I’d like to thank Riley Blake Designs and Simple Simon & Company for inviting us to be a part of this fun Four Corners Fabric blog tour. Be sure to follow along to check out all of the inspiring projects!


Win a Baby Lock Rachel Sewing Machine ($799 value!)

Janelle MacKay of Emmaline Bags and and I are so excited about the release of our new book, arriving just before Christmas, that we wanted to celebrate with a HUGE giveaway!

"On the Go Bags" + Baby Lock Rachel Giveaway!

Enter to win a Baby Lock Rachel sewing machine ($799 value), a signed copy of “On the Go Bags” by Lindsay Conner and Janelle MacKay, or one of the other SURPRISE prizes! We have some really fun secret giveaways we can’t wait to share with you…

1 Winner: The Baby Lock Rachel (retail value $799) is a computerized sewing machine that will help you take your sewing to the next level. You’ll love the features like built-in 50 stitches including many decorative options to jazz up your projects, a needle threader (squeal!) and one-step buttonhole. There’s also an easy top-load bobbin with a clear panel over top, so you can see how much thread is left. Hallelujah!

What I simply love about Baby Lock is that whatever your sewing experience or interests, there’s an option for you. From a basic, high-quality sewing machine that will guide you through sewing basic bags to high-tech computerized embroidery machines and longarms, it’s all there, so your Baby Lock can grow with you!

On the Go Bags (Dec. 2015, Stash Books)

5 Winners: The book is almost here, and we’re excited to provide signed copies to 5 winners as soon as it releases! This project is nearly two years in the making, and is near and dear to our hearts. We’ve included a variety of 15 bag and organizer patterns from your favorite designers, all designed to make life easier when you’re “on the go.”

With loads of professional bag-making techniques, this book will guide you through making beginner to intermediate and more advanced bags. There’s something for everybody here, and most of all, we want you to feel empowered by the creative process, customizing each bag to suit your style.

Pre-order “On the Go Bags” now at and Amazon!

5 Winners: We can’t wait to surprise you with super-awesome goodies from our sponsors! We can’t tell you what to expect, but it’s going to be fun!

Official Rules:

Contest begins Wednesday, October 21st and ends Saturday, October 31st, 2015 at 11:59pm EST. All winners will be selected using a random number generator. A valid e-mail address is required so we can contact winners. By filling out the Google form below, you will automatically be entered to win all giveaways, plus you will agree to receive exciting updates from our sponsors: Baby Lock, Stash Books, Emmaline Bags, and Lindsay Sews/Craft Buds.

Bags Winners

Good luck! We will contact all winners and publish results after the contest ends on October 31, 2015!

Nix Bath Toy Clutter with DIY Shower Pockets

I was invited to create a Crafted Experience to make my bathroom a more clean, inviting space! This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CraftedExperience #CollectiveBias

Sew DIY Shower Curtain Pockets - Craft Buds

Are you tired of tub toys taking over your bathroom? My son loves to play with all of the trains and all of his bath books at the end of the day. But trying to clean up a sudsy tub full of toys after each bath was not very fun.

Bathroom Curtain

I like to keep my bathroom kind of tranquil and clutter-free! We keep extra rolls of toilet paper in my favorite basket so company doesn’t have to go searching. Other than that, we like to keep the counter surfaces clean. Ideally, I wanted to keep all of the kiddie toys inside that pretty shower curtain.

Bath Toys in Mixing Bowl

Our previous toy storage system was a kitchen mixing bowl. Not only did it not hold all of the toys, but my son would inevitably dump it from the ledge of the tub onto the floor, dripping leftover toy water all over the rug. Gross!

I needed to come up with an easy way to drain the bath toys and a larger place to store them. I sometimes have a hard time getting suction cups to stay put on our tub and tile, so the typical bath toy holders were out.

If you’d like to try my toy storage solution, I think you’ll enjoy the possibilities! I know I am going to love using these DIY shower pockets for a long, long time. It’s an inexpensive project, and you can customize the pocket size to fit your needs.

Shower Curtain Pockets Supplies


  • Mesh laundry bag (I picked mine up on clearance for $0.99.)
  • Heavy duty shower curtain (mine was $8)
  • Glue stick (optional)
  • Wrights X-wide double fold bias tape – 3 yards, 1/2″ wide ($2.49)
    • Note: One pack will make 2 pockets, and you’ll have a bit leftover. Pick up another pack or make your own. You’ll need about 42″ of 1/2″-wide bias tape for each pocket.

Shower Curtain Pockets Tutorial

How to Sew the Shower Curtain Pockets:

  1. Cut a rectangle 11″ wide x 16″ tall from the mesh laundry bag. Sandwich just one 11″ edge of the mesh between the double-fold bias tape and stitch close to the edge to secure. Check out this tutorial to learn how to make your own bias tape.
  2. If you’d like, you can unfold the bias tape, then press your raw edges of the bias tape under for a smoother finish. If not, just skip this step! This project is meant to be quick and functional… I’m sure you won’t mind any raw edges once it’s sewn up. (Note: The edges from step 1 won’t need this treatment anyway, since they’ll be covered up.)
  3. Fold the short finished edge up by 6″ to form the shape of the pocket.
  4. Sew bias tape on the left and right sides of the pocket, making sure the pocket placement does not shift. Pins or a glue stick works great here!
  5. Sew bias tape along the top edge of the pocket. The finished pocket measures 11″ wide x 10″ tall.

Shower Curtain Pockets Tutorial

6. Place the pockets on the shower curtain liner in the position you desire. To determine placement, I held up the shower curtain to my tub, and noted the natural folds of the curtain. Use a dab of glue stick or small pencil mark to note where the top corners of each pocket will be sewn.

Shower Curtain Pockets Tutorial

7. Take the curtain to your sewing machine, and use a wide zig-zag stitch to sew the top border only to the shower curtain. The rest of the pocket will hang loosely from the shower curtain liner.

DIY Shower Curtain Pockets - Craft Buds

The next time you change your shower curtain liner, simply use a seam ripper and remove the zig zag stitches. Your pockets are ready to place on the next liner!

Quilted Northern

I had so much fun sewing this project, thanks to the challenge from Quilted Northern Ultra Soft & Strong! I love that it’s sewer and septic safe, and I can always pick it up for a good price at my local Wal-Mart.

Keep an eye out for more crafted bathroom experiences inspired by Quilted Northern! I’d love to know… What’s your favorite organizational tip to get rid of toy clutter?

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