Animal Jam Utility Belt Tutorial!

Thank you to National Geographic Kids’ Animal Jam for sponsoring this post!


In case you missed my previous post about National Geographic Kids’ Animal Jam, it’s an online playground where kids can create a character, play games, and have adventures, all while learning about the natural world. When you first start your Animal Jam adventure, you’ll meet Liza, the Panda Alpha. Liza welcomes new players and helps show them the ropes around the land of Jamaa. I wanted to create a project that would help bring some of Liza’s fun accessories offline and into real life pretend play, so I made her walking stick and that cool utility belt that she wears around her waist.

animal jam utility belt

See the full tutorial for Liza’s Utility Belt after the jump.

Pouch template (PDF)
1/3 yd. leather-look upholstery vinyl
Green buttons

Self-adhesive Velcro rounds
Parachute buckle for 1″ belting
1″ belting


All seam allowances are 1/8″.

Print and cut out the pouch template. Trace the template onto the back of the leather-look upholstery vinyl (hint: Check the remnants bin at your fabric store!). Cut out the main pouch and the small rectangle of fabric that will help make the loop for the belt to slip through.


Place the loop piece on the main pouch piece, placement indicated on the template, with right sides facing up. Starting and ending with backstitches, top stitch the loop to the pouch.


Fold the pouch at a 45-degree angle so that the bottom of the flap lines up with the edge of the pouch, as pictured. Starting and ending with backstitches, sew along the edge of the bottom flap, stopping 1/8″ before you get to the end.


Repeat on the opposite side. It should look like the picture above.


Now, fold the flap that is sticking out up. The side of the flap should line up with the edge that you folded up, and the top edges should line up, too.


Sew along that edge and again on the opposite side.


Pinch the sides out, and about 1/4″ in from the fold, sew 4-5 stitches down to make a pleat in the sides of the pouch. Stitch back and forth several times.


Turn the pouch right side out. Now, if you like, you can sew a button onto the front of the pouch and make a button hole on the flap. My kids have a much easier time with Velcro closures, so I made a faux button by first handsewing the button onto the outside of the flap and then using self-adhesive Velcro circles to actually close the pouch.


This is what the finished pouch looks like. Now make three more!

You can slip the pouches onto a belt, or make a simple belt using a parachute buckle and 1″ belting. If you’ve never made a belt like this before, it’s very simple and the instructions should be on the package for the buckle.

Did you catch the walking stick tutorial? It’s also inspired by Liza! And if you, haven’t already, be sure to check out Animal Jam!


This is a sponsored post for National Geographic Kids’ Animal Jam. I was compensated to provide my opinion and develop a project for the sponsor. For more info about advertising on this blog, please see my Disclosure Policy in the footer at the bottom of the page.

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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