Monday, December 6, 2010

Art Supplies Bag

For my niece for Christmas I made an Art Supplies Tote Bag! It turned out so great, and my oldest son really wants one now too!

Take a reusable tote bag.

Lay it flat and then open the side.

Cut down the center all the way to the bottom seam.

Repeat to the other side.

You can now open the bag.

Then cut down the bottom seams.
Repeat on both sides.

Take double fold bias tape and pin it to the outer edge of the sides that you just cut open.

Start at the edge and go up to the corner.

TO go around the corner just simply use a pin to hold it in place and angle it to other direction.

Then go up to the top of the bag.

Do this on all four sides. Trim off the excess bias tape.

Head to the sewing machine and straight stitch it close the the edge. Then if you desire sew a decorative stitch. I added a simple zig zag.

Repeat with all four sides. Also sew the same stitch down the sides of the bottom of the bag.

Now take a 22 inch zipper and pin it to one of the sides starting at the top of the bag. You want the bias tape to go on top of the zipper.

Now unzip the zipper.

And pin the other side of the zipper on the other side of the bag.
Fold the top of the zipper under.

And then sew the zipper on using a straight stitch as close to the edge as you can.

Once you sew on both sides of the zipper you will lay the bag flat open and with the zipper still open lay the rest of the zipper in the bottom of the bag down the center.

Pin it in place.

And sew around the outer edge.

Repeat this with the other side of the bag. Now you will need to get plastic canvas and cut it to fit the bottom of the bag.

Also get one for both the front and back of the bag.

Take the piece on the bottom of the bag and lay it on top of the fabric of your choice. Then fold over the edges and sew it down.

When you flip it over you have this.

Now is the time to add a printed on iron on on the front of the bag if you desire. I just used AVERY print paper at Walmart. Follow the directions included. And please note. The clear turns a little darker on muslin. It doesn't do this on other fabrics.

Then take the bottom piece that you covered and sew it around the outer edges and in an x through the center on the bottom of the bag.

Then cover the large side piece of canvas the same way you did the bottom piece.

Here is the back view.

Now cut a piece of fabric that is two times the height of your markers.

Fold it in half. You also want it to be twice the width of the tote bag.

Place it underneath the side piece on the bottom. The fold is to the top.

Fold over the side.

And sew it in place. Then you can flip the canvas piece over.

Place your marker all the way along this edge. Then pin a line down next to the marker. Then put the next marker in and repeat until all the markers have been laid down and pinned next to.

Then tuck the other edge underneath the other side of the canvas like I did below. But you will have the markers and the pin lines down it won't just be looped like this one.

Do the same thing to the colored pencils on the other edge of this canvas piece.

When you place the colored pencils down you won't quite make it to the end of the canvas.

So take the fabric and just turn the edge under and pin it in place.

Then head on over after you take the markers and the colored pencils out and sew up all of those pin lines. And next to the edge of the colored pencils sew a rectangle.

Then tuck the edges underneath the plastic canvas and sew it down. It will be puckered and gathered in no rhyme or reason.
So here is the marker and the colored pencils slots that you have just sewn.

Then fold a piece of fabric in half that is as tall as the colored pencil slot and make a little pouch next to it where there is the remaining space. Sew it on the same way. Just tuck the edges under and sew rectangles. This is where you will slip in scissors.

Take the plastic piece and sew pin it to the inside of the tote. You want the marker slots the ones that end up upside down when the bag is zipped. Sew all the way around the edge.

Then on the inside of the side by the zipper and by the scissors pouch sew to little elastic strips so glue sticks can fit right inside.

And on the other side, do it for a ruler.
And on the other side of the tote I added three pencils and an eraser on one side.

And two pens on the other.

Now here is the completed side.
For the other side cover the large plastic canvas piece the same way. Then cut a piece of fabric that is twice the width of the watercolors you are going to be using.

Fold it in half and sew it into a strip by sewing up both sides.

Tuck one of the edges under the plastic canvas and pin in place. Then loop it up over the watercolors and tuck the edge under and pin in place.
Do this to both sides of the watercolor set. This is on the bottom of the plastic canvas.
Then make a row for the crayons.

To do this cut a piece of fabric that is twice the height of the crayons. Fold it in half and then pin the edge underneath the plastic canvas on the side.

Slide in a crayon and pin next to it. Repeat until you have done half of the crayons. You are going to make two rows of crayons this exact same way.

When you get to the edge fold it underneath the other side of the plastic canvas and pin in place.

Fold the bottom raw edge underneath and make a little pleate in the fabric to have it lay flat with each crayon loop.

It will look something like this. There will be a flat pocket at the end when you run out of crayons.

Sew around the outer edges of the two rows. Do not sew the top down.

Then sew down the lines seperating the crayons.

Take this piece and sew it to the inside of the other tote side just by sewing around the outside just like you did with the other side. Then you can fill it with all of your supplies.

When the bag is unzipped and opened you have easy access to all the art stuff your little six year old heart desires.

znd when you are done just Zip up the sides and there you have it! A fabulous tote bag for your little artist niece!

And I just love the inside. Slide in your sketch book and It looks so organized and so artistic. Creativity is just waiting to happen!
Let me know if you give it a try! And please let me know if you have any questions, this might be a bit confusing!!! It was hard to explain some steps!


  1. You are a genius! This is so doable. I usually have trouble with sewing instruction, but I understand this easily. I now have a use for some of my zipper collection! Not for the kids, though. I need one for traveling.

    I always grab a few art supplies when I go on vacation and stuff them in my bags. This will keep them all together and easily accessible. AND I could do one my the hand sewing I take when I travel. It would be so nice to just open up the whole bag to see things rather than rummaging blindly amongst the pins and needle.

    I just might do something with this for my daughter's crocheting and my future daughter-in-laws new knitting adventure. So many ideas--I just love this blog.

  2. Holy cow amaze me!!!! The stuff you come up! Good job; any budding artist would LOVE that!!!! :)

  3. wow! that was a lot of work, I love how it turned out, I know my kids would love to have one....Thanks for the tutorial!!!!! =D


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