A Beach Bag for STUFF!!

Are you hot? I'm hot. No, I don't mean I'm dead sexy - I mean it is HOT outside. I love summer and all that summer means: top and doors off the jeep, tank tops, long days, beach, pool, concerts, picnics, all of it. I can tell you one thing though, my view on almost every one of those things have changed since having Macie. Don't worry friends, the doors on the jeep to keep little miss in place, tank tops are not as cute as they used to be, long days are well, long days. They also mean a little more fight at bedtime since it's sunny outside. Concerts require a babysitter and picnics are not the leisure activity they once were. No more laying on a blanket reading a book in the sun and that brings us to the beach and the pool.... oh man. Macie and I made the voyage to the pool last week and I felt like we were moving in. I used to go to the pool with a cute little bag that had about three things in it and if I forgot something, who cares - it's the pool. Those days are but a distant memory friends. You know what I'm talking about don't you -- the stuff. Kids have SO much stuff. I need diapers, swim diapers, floats, snacks, water, sunscreen, clothes, towels, toys, wipes, and lord knows what else. I feel like I need a checklist and a suitcase just to spend the afternoon at the pool. During the last voyage I realized something crucial, the little bag no longer cut it for the pool - it was time to step it up. I needed something bigger, but light to haul the stuff.

I had been toying with making a cute bag for awhile now and after the pool trip, I knew the bag I needed to make. I went through my Sew Much board on Pinterest to get some inspiration. After going through some pins from Sunset Gurl Designs, Lil Blue Boo and Kojo Designs I decided it was time to get some supplies and make myself a giant bag on the cheap.

I bought a drop cloth over at Lowe's as well as some big nylon boat rope, I grabbed six feet, but you could get more or less depending on the length of the straps you want. Home improvement stores are a great place to find craft supplies, who knew?? I also got some curtain grommets from Joann's that you don't need a real grommet maker for - these are great. They are pretty easy to use and there aren't any additional tools. Score. Last thing I decided to grab were the DecoArt InkEffects that we had been sent a little while back to test (remember the Silhouette?) The bag has to look cute right?? So to review:

1 4x5 canvas drop cloth
6 ft nylon rope
4 snap curtain grommets
thread and decorative features

Before starting anything, I threw the drop cloth in the wash and dried it fully (and even ironed it) so that I could see how even the fabric was cut. Because painters don't really care if the drop cloth is perfectly sewn, you may need to find the most even side of your drop cloth. I started the bag by folding the cloth in half length wise, making sure the seams were on the outside. I wanted a big bag and I didn't want to have to do too much sewing. This fit the bill. Using my favorite sewing shortcut, I drew a straight line on the canvas (what will be the inside) where I wanted to sew up the sides. The seams would be the top of the bag and the fold would be the bottom of the bag, so I just needed to determine the sides. After drawing the lines for what would be the sides, I pinned both halves of the drop cloth together (because its folded remember) and sewed along the line. Make sure to reinforce the edges, especially the top where the seams of the drop cloth are.  Once both sides are sewn up, lay the fabric out flat and trim up each side so you are left with about 1/4" seam allowance. 

I wasn't loving the boxiness of my bag so I laid the trimmed bag (still inside out) down and marked off the corners with a straight line and sewed along the line. After it was sewed up and reinforced, I trimmed the corners off completely and turned the bag right side out. This gave the bag more of a U shape and less of a box shape. If you like a boxy bag, well skip this part! 

Since this bag is supposed to be for my pool outings and I am always losing my keys and phone (horror!), I wanted to add a pocket into the bag. Honestly, it was pretty easy so I just winged it. If you know of a better way to make a pocket, do yours that way and keep it to yourself - I like my pocket! I kid, I kid, please tell me another way of doing a pocket so I can learn! I used some scrap fabric and folded it over the same way I did the bag except I left the fold uneven, with about an extra inch in the bag so that I could sew the pocket onto the bag. After sewing up the sides of the pocket, I turned it right side out and pinned it into the bag along the top seam and sewed it in. 

I know, you're thinking this was a lot of work for a bag, but really - it took no time at all and now it's time to pretty it up. No, I didn't forget about the handles, but thanks for asking. Since I had decided to use the DecoArt Ink Effects, I waited to put the handles on because I would need to iron the InkEffects and wanted the bag to be as flat as possible. 

I printed off a couple nautical pictures that I liked and painted them up with a good thick coat of InkEffects and let them dry. I also lightly sprayed the bag with the basecoat since the drop cloth is cotton and got to ironing. I had to iron each design about 3 minutes a piece because of the fabric, but I was able to use each design over and over. If you want a super detailed explanation of the InkEffects, go on over to my Silhouette tutorial. I am starting to love this product. 

Last thing this bag needs?? Some straps. I was a little bit nervous about this part but it was super super easy. I bought some curtain grommets at Joann's and went to town. 

They come with a template so after turning the bag inside out and measuring where I wanted the straps to be, I traced the template and cut out a little circle inside the circle I had traced with the template. I popped one side of the grommet into the hole and then snapped the other half of the grommet in and done. It was THAT easy. Gotta love it. I finished off the other three grommets and grabbed the rope. I had bought a six foot piece so I had to cut it in half. When you cut nylon rope, you have to burn the end so it stops fraying - just an FYI. Knot one end and thread it through the grommet and then through the other grommet and tie another knot. Done!!!

Now you have new giant bag to hold all of the stuff that has to come to the pool and the beach - correction now I HAVE a new giant bag, you need to go and make your own - I need this one - we're off to the pool!