Activity Bag for Kids

If you have kids, you know it can be a challenge to get them to sit for too long.  I used to stash some crayons and paper in my purse, but I just didn’t feel like the extra clutter anymore.  I also thought, as the kids got older, that different things would be fun to include.  This post will just be about making the bag, but you can fill them with just about anything!  One think I decided to stay away from are caryans because I didn’t want them to melt in the car, so I picked up some washable markers.  

I started with material, I picked up one fat quarter per bag, one zipper per bag, and a clip.  I thought 6×12 would be the ideal final size.  I also wanted the zipper to go along the long end, and I wanted to give zipper tabs a try!  Below is the final overview of what I used, each is per bag.

  • 6 1/2 x 12 1/2 inch piece for the back
  • 5 1/2 x 12 1/2 inch piece for the larger front piece
  • 1 1/2 x 12 1/2 inch piece for the top smaller front piece
  • 1 zipper that matches the fabric
  • 2 zipper tabs – They need to be at least 1/2 inch wider than the zipper and at least 5 or 6 inches long (or longer depending on how short your zipper is).  Mine ended up being 2 x 6 inches
  • 2 x 6 inch (you could make it 5 inches if needed), for the keychain strap
  • Keychain and clip.


Start by cutting your fabric for each bag.  Before cutting the zipper tabs check to see if they need to be longer than 6 inches (keep in mind it will be folded over, so I allotted about 2 1/2 inches per side).  


Zipper Tabs – The first thing I did was get the zipper ready, this started with making the zipper tabs.  Take your 2 x 6 inch pieces, two per bag and iron flat.  On one of the long ends iron about a 1/4 inch seam.  Take your zipper and slide it under the first seam and fold over the excess fabric to get the tab the same width of the zipper. Pull out the zipper before ironing, do not iron the zipper!  Iron a 1/4 inch seam on both short ends.  Last step is to fold in half and press all seams. The tabs are now easy to be seen onto the zippers. 


Time to sew the zipper tabs!  You need to avoid sewing on the metal, so keep that in mind when positioning the tabs on the zipper. When sewing the Bergen I get of the zipper, unzip slightly and use your fingers to keep the two pieces in place. 


Now that the zippers are completed, it’s time to sew the two front pieces onto the zipper.  Make sure to use your zipper foot, if you don’t have one expect to ruin a zipper or two if you aren’t perfect.  My machine came with one, once I figured out I had it – it has been a lifesaver!

Make sure the zipper is zipped all the way up, lay the zipper down with the zipper pull on the left side.  Take your small front piece and lay it on top of the zipper, look at the two ends to make sure the zipper is as even as you can.  Put it on the sewing machine with the zipper pull on the back of the machine and have the needle a little bit below the zipper pull.  My zipper had wide fabric attached, so I offset my fabric a little bit.  See the bottom images for the example.  Once you’ve sewn all the way down, the next step will be to un-zip the zipper and finish sewing the top part.

Flip the piece of fabric right side up and sew along the zipper, you should be able to go the entire length without hitting the zipper tab.  I always like to do this to give it a nice finished look and to also help secure the fabric.  I’ve also found if I don’t sew along the top like that, the zipper can get caught in the fabric from time to time.

Attach the bottom front piece similar just like you did the small top piece.  Make sure to also sew along the top.



After you finish the front piece it’s time to work on the key chain strap.  Fold the piece over and sew along the long end.  Turn the pieces inside out and iron flat.  I like to make sure the seam is in the middle when I iron.  Sew along the two edges to finish.

Now that all three main pieces are done it’s time to start laying them out.  Start with the front zipper piece.  I opened the zipper just slightly, then took the keychain piece (with keychain) and placed in the top right corner right next to the zipper pull.  I didn’t want the keychain piece to be too long so I lined it up with the base of the zipper.


After I put the keychain holder in place I used a clip to keep it in place.  Then lay the back of the bag facing down on top of the front piece.  After lining it up I clipped all four corners to get ready to sew.  


Sew along all four corners, you do NOT need to save a hole to turn it right side out becasue you have the zipper.  I always check to make sure I stitched correctly around all edges before I turn it over.  Trip off all extra fabric, then open up the zipper and turn right side out.


Turn the bag right side out and iron the edges.  Be very careful to not iron the zipper, if you do it might melt and not work.


Sew along the four edges to give it a nice finished look.  Attach the clip and your all done!


Here are a few more pictures of the finished prodcuts!  



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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Kids Activity Bag – Beautify Mom

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