Doodle Toy Bag Tutorial

Today we’re welcoming Stephanie from The Crafty Kitty to the Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! creative team! Stephanie has an amazing eye for incorporating her kids’ artwork into her projects. When I saw her tutorial for making fabric prints from your kids art, I knew I had to have her join us over here. Her first post for us is another fun way to collaborate with your kids, show off their art, and get them involved in making. I know you’ll love it! Here’s Stephanie:

Hi and hello! I am soooo excited (squeeee!!) and a little bit nervous to be sharing my first tutorial here on Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky!Usually, you will find me hanging out over at The Crafty Kitty, sharing my latest eco-craft, play ideas or [vegan] recipes, or preparing orders for my online organic fabric store and haberdashery, Stitch Organics. In particular, at the moment, I am really interested in experimenting with natural dyes and sewing with my kids.

storage bag, decorated using fabric crayons to make a useful play prompt as well as place to store toys
It may come as no surprise then, that today’s tutorial is a project that my kids helped with as well! This little storage bag [directions given, for finished size bag of, approximately 10″ width x 7″ height x 4″ depth], could just as easily be made up in a fabulous print and used to organise your crafting supplies, but this version, made from an organic cotton/organic linen blend poplin and sewn up with organic cotton sewing thread, works perfectly as personalised toy storage and play prompt.

  • about half a metre (depending on width) medium to heavyweight plain fabric
  • about half a metre (depending on width) medium weight iron on interfacing
  • heavy weight sew-in interfacing
  • vinyl or scrap plastic wallet (optional)
  • bias binding (if you aren’t making your own)
  • fabric crayons/fabric markers

The first thing you want to do is to cut out your fabric and interfacing. You will need 4 pieces of plain fabric and interfacing 15″ (width) x 11 (height)”. Cut a 10″ (w) x 4″ (h) piece of the heavy weight sew-in interfacing and if you are going to have a window in your toy bag then also cut an 8″ (w) x 4″ (h) piece of vinyl or see through plastic scrap from a zippered document wallet. You also need to cut 2 strips of 22″ (w) x 2″, unless you are using pre-made bias tape.

Attach interfacing to the 4 main bag pieces. Set two aside and with the remaining 2, mark out a square 6.5″ (w) x 2.5″ (h) centred and 5″.5″ up from bottom edge.
Cut out squares and set to one side, to use as the straps
Next, let the kids loose with fabric crayons or fabric markers! We chose a dinosaur theme, as we knew our bag was going to be used to store our dinosaur toys. I taped down the fabric to some board and also taped off sections, to make sure that the drawings would all be in the right place and also, so that it was easier for the kids to actually draw on the fabric! My son is only 2, so he pretty much just scribbles, so I left the main drawing up to my daughter, who is 4. She drew a volcano and some trees and we let my son add in the lava and the leaves with his scribbles. He also coloured in the fabric for the straps, and my daughter made some stripy bias tape as well as using observational drawing to mark out her dinosaur! We have been focusing on learning letters during this summer holiday, so I wasn’t about to let this opportunity pass by, so I sneaked in a little letter formation practise as well.
Make the strap by folding in half, lengthwise, tucking under the raw edges by 1/4″ and then top stitching down either side of the strap. Repeat for second strap. If you aren’t making a window in your bag then feel free to just skip on down to the next set of instructions. Attach the bias binding to both front pieces of the bag (the pieces with the cut outs). Create a vinyl sandwich by placing it between the two front pieces (right sides facing away from vinyl), lining up the bias binding on the two pieces. Pin in place and top stitch close to opening as well as ‘in the ditch’ (following the edge of the bias binding). I’m a little bit obsessed with making windows in bags, since I created my nature explorer bag tutorial.
Now you get to start putting the bag together! Sew the back pieces of the bag to each of the front pieces right sides facing using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Make sure you don’t catch the other bag when you are sewing these seams! You should end up with 2 inside out bag shapes, which are attached at that window piece (if you made a window!).
To give the bag a more boxy shape, you need to fold each corner shape so that the side and bottom seam are on top of each other and the bag makes a sort of triangle shape, then measure about 2″ down from the apex, to draw a 4″ line, perpendicular to the seam. Sew along this line and trim the seam to 1/4″. Repeat this until the bottom two corners of both bags are done. Sandwich the piece of heavy sew-in interfacing between the two bag bases and go over the seams you just made.
Turn your bag the right way, fold the remaining raw edges under by about 1/2″ and pin. Now take the bag straps and insert them 1/2″ between the inner and outer bags on the sides. Top stitch in place, close to the edge and if you desire, you can also add a second line of top stitching, parallel to the first about 1/2″ away.
storage bag, decorated using fabric crayons to make a useful play prompt as well as place to store toys
The handles, make it really easy for little hands to grab the toy bag and go!
storage bag, decorated using fabric crayons to make a useful play prompt as well as place to store toys
The construction method, means the bag is actually reversible, and if you draw “backgrounds” on the back of both the inside and outside of the bag, then you can use them as backdrops for play. If you were playing with ocean themed animals, then the window, could serve as the tank of an aquarium. These bags are going to make a great addition to our ‘summer of small world play‘ series!
storage bag, decorated using fabric crayons to make a useful play prompt as well as place to store toys
So, what are you waiting for? Go sew up a toy bag and more importantly… GO PLAY!
Looking to make something a bit smaller? Why not try my travel size toy wallet tutorial
This post was brought to you by Stephanie!

Read the latest from Stephanie on The Crafty Kitty:

2 Responses to Doodle Toy Bag Tutorial

  1. I think incorporating your child’s artwork into something that you use everyday is really something that is a form of motivation for your child. It goes to show that you are proud of their work and appreciate the little things that they do. Furthermore, the end result of their artwork like embedded on this canvas storage bags, can easily be shown to guests to show further support to the children.

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Marigold Haske

I'm Marigold and I like to make stuff. Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! is a place where I share my love of DIY and working with my hands. You'll find projects for kids and adults that are quirky, fun, artful and functional.You can email me at