This Little Miggy Stayed Home: Drawstring Toy Bags

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Drawstring Toy Bags

When I was a kid we lived with our grandparents for a few years and there were lots and lots of old toys and games still around from my mom and her two brothers were kids.  I loved playing with these toys as much as my modern 80's counter parts (fashion plates anyone?).  However, it seems like there were always missing pieces rendering the games unplayable and the toys lacking a little in the fun department.  What good is mousetrap without the trap?  I like to think this is why I am so anal fastidious about keeping my kids toys together as I count blocks and separate pieces into their proper places at the end of the day.  I've learned to dial it down a little bit and not count the blocks every single time, but every month or two... youbetcha I do a head count.  I finally decided to take my compulsive toy sorting tendencies up a notch by creating some super easy drawstring bags to keep little toy collections contained because you guys, not all toys come with containers in which to hold them.  What?  Ridiculous.  The other bonus was that soon as I made these bags, Lamp was actually playing with her tea set and baby Stella doll because she didn't have to go digging in a giant toy bin to find all the pieces.  I mean who wants to do that?  So really these little bags are practical on many levels, from crazy-mom-who-counts-her-kids-toys to kids-will-play-with-them-more-if-they-know-where-they-are.  Anyway, as the title implies these are easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy and come together really quickly.

muslin or cotton fabric
1/2 inch twill tape
paint or marker
scissors, thread, sewing machine and serger if you have one, definitely don't need one.

1) Fold your fabric and cut two rectangles the same size.  I didn't even measure, but if you want a specific size you know, measure and add a little extra on top for the drawstring.  Figure out which side of the fabric is the top, then serge the top and down one side of each piece of fabric.  You can also just do a zig-zag stitch on a regular sewing machine, or iron a 1/4 fold on each side and sew.
2) Now take the top of your fabric and fold it down leaving a little larger than a 1/2 gap for the twill tape.  Once you know how far the fold needs to go, mark this with a pin on the side of your fabric.
3) Now put both pieces of fabric together (right sides together if there is a right side--muslin doesn't have a right side) and make  sure those finished edges line up, now sew from the pin down just that one side.  Now serge the other two sides together, or if you don't have a serger just fold over and press a seam then sew.  Because these are some pretty basic little bags you don't really need to worry about having unfinished seams on the inside, but of course it always looks nicer.
4) Now you have a bag sewn together on 3 sides, except the very top of the first side, it's time to create a casing for the twill tape.  So now fold over the top again leaving room for the twill tape (so a little larger than 1/2 inch) and press with an iron.
5+6) Sew around the casing.  You should have an opening to insert your twill tape.
7) Cut a length of twill tape about twice the length of your bag + a few inches.  If you attach a safety pin to the twill tape and push through the casing.
8) Then tie off and knot ends together.

So I painted 'tea set' on the first bag and it looks OK.  For the next two bags I just used a calligraphy marker and it looks so much nicer.  Of course it's not permanent, but I don't really plan on washing these anyway...and if I do, I can just go over it again.   So whatever works for you.

So that's it!
These would be great to make right after Christmas and the new toy rush.  Enjoy!



  1. I love love love it. I'm a compulsive toy sorter, too. And it's rubbed off on my daughter enough that she'll at least put toys in certain bins so they're easier to find next time.

  2. Liv--Thanks! It really does help corral the STUFF. And yeah I think I've rubbed off on my girls a little as well... at least they seem more tidy and organized than I did at their ages.

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