Sunday, October 26, 2008

What to Do with Old Pants: Coloring Tote

This project involves making a bag just the size for some activity books and coloring books along with crayons out of the butt of a pair of men's chinos. These are size 36 waist pants. Anything smaller might not yield a bag that can hold coloring books, but might be fun just the same.

Here's how you do it:
  1. Cut down the side seams of the pants, so you are left with just the back side.
  2. Fold in half (top to bottom) and cut off any excess on the sides to make sure it will be square.
  3. Cut across the butt allowing the height of the bag you want plus 1-inch for a seam allowance.
  4. Sew across the bottom of the pockets (on the inside) so that they are at a desired length. (I like them just tall enough to hold some crayons, but so that the crayons can still pop out the top).
  5. Fold in half side-to-side and inside-out.
  6. Sew across the bottom of the bag.
  7. Sew across the open side 0f the bag. The top will be very thick, so be careful there.
  8. Make the strap:
    • Cut a strip from one of the legs that is ~4 in. across.
    • Fold in half long-ways and sew up the side leaving 1/4" in. seam
    • Turn the strip right side out and sew up both sides with a 1/4 in. seam to keep it nice and flat.
  9. Now attach the strap to the bag by sewing at the waste-band.
Now you have a nice kid-friendly tote. Get's dirty? Just throw it in the wash with your clothes. Decorate it up however it seems interesting to you. If you try this yourself, send me some pictures or techniques.

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