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fabric bag - feature

How to Make Cute Fabric Bags with See-through Windows

These cute fabric bags are a great way to keep your collections together and make it simple to see what’s inside! They are a quick project, just perfect for toys and nearly anything else! 

fabric bag

January is ALL about organizing. Every year, I pick one or two areas to tackle. This year, it’s all about toys!

I’m OCD about Toys

When it comes to toy organization, I like organized sets and have been known to sort toys by the hour, on a bi-monthly basis, all the while muttering “I’m never going to let it get this disorganized again!” It’s a sickness really, given that it ends up just as disorganized by the end of the day! To me, there is nothing worse than going to play with a farm set and only having a pig, one piece of the fence, and perhaps a farmer’s hat – without the farmer.

As a result, I’m always looking for easy ways to keep collections together. Once together, I want those toys stored in ways that make them easy to identify, without having to dump the entire container out – a favorite pastime of my youngest.

These cute little bags are a score on both counts and are so, so easy to make. Although I’ve used them to store toys, the uses for them are endless. Don’t you believe me? Just watch. You’ll see!

How to Make Fabric Bags with a Peek-a-Boo Window

For this project you will need:
Fabric of your choice
Contrasting fabric for drawstring pocket
twine or twill tape for drawstring
Sewing Machine
Matching Thread
Clear Vinyl

 Cut out the bag

My finished bag size is approximately 14″ x 14″. I began by cutting two pieces of fabric, with right sides together, approximately 16″ x 16″.
fabric bags - measure length
Cut two pieces, in a coordinating fabric, measuring 14.5″ wide x 4″ long to be used as the drawstring pocket. Also, cut two pieces of cord (to be used as the drawstring pulley) at 18″ long each. Put these aside. Ignore my nasty, dry hand.

fabric bags - measure seem allowance

Fold one of the fabric pieces in half width-wise (from top to bottom) and cut a “window” on the fold of your fabric, ensuring there are at least 3″ on all outside edges.

fabric bags - cut window

Using this cut out as your guide, cut one piece of vinyl at least 1.5″ larger on all sides. Put aside.

fabric bags - add vinyl

On each of the four corners of your “window,” cut into the corner diagonally by 1/2″.

fabric bags - add vinyl - cut for finished corner

Press edges and Pin vinyl Window

 Press the top edge down  1″, on both the front and back pieces of the bag. Turn the front piece (the one with the window) over and press the 1/2″ edge of the window sides flat on all four edges.

fabric bags - add vinyl - hem edge of window

On each end of the drawstring pocket, press the side edges in by 1/4″ on each end, and the long edges in by 1/2″ on each side.

fabric bags - make drawstring 1

fabric bags - make drawstring 2

Pin the vinyl to the pressed edge of the window, on the backside of the front piece, ensuring the vinyl overhangs evenly on all four sides. Turn over the front piece.

fabric bags - pin vinyl

 Pin the right side of the drawstring pocket approximately 1/2″ from the top. Repeat for the back.

fabric bags - window-front side

 Assemble Bag

Stitch close to the edge on the top of the bag and the vinyl on the front side of the fabric.

fabric bags - sew edges

For the back, stitch close to the top edge.
On drawstring pocket, stitch close to both top and bottom edges, leaving a minimum 1″ pocket on both the front and back of the bag.
With right sides together, stitch the front of the bag to the back on three sides, leaving the top open. Turn and press.

fabric bags - add drawstring pocket

Thread one of the drawstring cords through each drawstring pocket, and secure each edge with a knot.

fabric bags - tie off drawstring

You have a completed bag!

fabric bags - finished bag

There are a million uses for these. I hope you can find a place for one!

 

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storage container - feature

How to Make a Decorative Storage Container

On the lookout for decorative storage container ideas? This tutorial will show you how to turn a cheap file box into an adorable storage container!

decorative storage container bin

As work continues on the Homeschool/Media/Everything Room it’s glaringly apparent that we have a desperate need for a storage container solution. Let me rephrase – we need a cheap, attractive storage solution – emphasis on the cheap!

Simply put, I have a lot of craft stuff. And, it had three different homes – I was hoping to corral it into one space with this room. One of these days I’ll get around to organizing all of it and will build a permanent craft supply home, but today I’m using these inexpensive plastic file boxes to store the craft supplies.

storage container - plain plastic file box

Don’t get me wrong; the file boxes work well – they are large enough and cheap, but they are kinda ugly and hide nothing with all of their hole-e-ness. Can you say add-to-the-clutter?

storage container - plain plastic file boxes
Ugly will never do! I came up with an easy fix, using scrapbook paper and jute.

How to Make a Cheap File Box into Decorative Storage Container

* Affiliate links included for your convenience

You will need:

File Box 

Patterned cardstock (similar)

Jute Twine

Scrap paper

Hot glue and Glue gun

Label Pattern

Label Printer Sticker paper (optional)

Spray Adhesive (optional)

Here is what I did:

1. Create a pattern out of scrap paper by placing it against the side of the file box and loosely tracing the edge with a pencil. Cut out the pattern.

2. Trace the pattern onto the cardstock and cut out. Check the fit against the file box, trimming where needed.

storage container - cut out cardstock pattern

3. Attach the cardstock cut-out to the file box using hot glue, as shown. The holes have a raised edge that allows the adhesive to adhere to the cardstock nicely.

decorative storage bin makeover

decorative craft storage bin
4. To add interest, braid three pieces of jute twine (each about 10″ long) together, knotting at each end of the braid. Attach the twist under and around the handles, using hot glue.

decorative storage bin with handle

decorative office storage bins

storage box jute handle
The labels are available for free download to my subscribers – You can download them here.

5. Print off the stickers to a sticky label paper and adhere, or print them to regular printer paper affix them to the boxes using spray adhesive.

And that’s it!

In just a few minutes you’ll have the cute decorative storage you’re searching for. It’s funny how much of a difference something so simple can make. Quick, simple, and cheap. Just the way I like my crafts!

storage container

diy decorative storage container

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