Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bag of Blocks tutorial

Thanks to everyone who left such sweet comments commiserating with me about Finn being sick and the joys of Star Wars. It makes you feel so much better knowing you aren't the only one ;)

We lu-huv blocks in this house. Everyone seems to love playing with them. Evie especially loves knocking down anything the boys build but hey, thats what little sisters are supposed to do right? We have kept our blocks in their original bucket, with the sorting top, since we bought them several years ago. 
Sadly enough the bottom of the poor abused bucket finally gave out. We had been keeping them in the corner using the floor as a "bottom" and the kiddos would simply pull up on the bucket and the blocks would go everywhere but this wasn't the best of all solutions ha! I got so tired of stepping on stray blocks the kids had taken out of their room but then not returned that I thought it was time for an easier solution. So I made a block bag. 
I was going to share a tutorial on how to make the bag but then I remembered the ever genius of Dana over at Made and her wonderful Hobo Bag tutorial, which is essentially the bag I made with a few tweaks to make it stronger. Dans's tutorial really is perfect and there is no sense messing with perfection. 
I will however show you how I made the lettering because that I am pretty proud of. I did in fact go back to the crazy expensive fabric store but this time in search of wonder under. Unfortunately they didn't have any but the women told me they did have steam a seam which she swears is basically the same thing. Now, I have never used steam a seam. (warning here comes weird Kelly quirk) Short cuts like these actually make me mad, only really when I see them on Project Runway ha! When I would see one of the contestants using fabric glue to glue a seam or steam a seam I would get totally irritated. Yeah I know, I have no idea the kind of pressure they are under and it is probably totally justified, but it is this aversion that has kept me away from a product that is probably extremely useful! I whipped up my bag out of heavy weight canvas and ironed it all out. I then printed out the word "block" in a nice chunky font. I grabbed my last quilters square of an Amy Butler fabric I love and cut some Steam a seam to match and ironed the square to one of the sides of steam a seam. 
I then cut out the individual letters. 
I then arranged the letters the way I liked on the bag and steamed them on.
The lettering didn't turn out as bold as I wanted. I think because the dots on the fabric are the same color as the canvas it sort of gets lost. So to help it pop I hand stitched some accent lines. 
Now we could haul our blocks where ever we wanted! Like out into the swing set fort!
It was hilarious because Finn liked when I took the blocks out to the swing set but then when I took the bucket out of their room he got really flustered. "Where are you taking the bucket mom?" "It's broken Finn thats why we made the block bag" "I want the bucket back" and he took it from my hands and put it right back in the corner where it was. I figure I will slip it out of the room some time when he isn't watching :) He is such a creature of habit I think it is hilarious. Anywho, it was such an easy project I think I am going to make several other labeled bags for various toy groups. Now, I cannot WAIT to share the other projects I have been working on, but, since they are guest posts we will have to wait patiently but here is a sneak peak from the photo shoot we did this morning:


  1. My mom made bags like these for a lot of our toys when we were little, except since we couldnt read yet she cut sillhouettes of the toys instead of the name to sew on the front. I think she still has them too!

  2. I LOVE steam-a-seam 2, I don't use anything else. You can't over iron it and it stays down even if you don't decide to sew around the edges.

  3. Wow what a small world! I recently found your blog and have been having some fun looking at some of your older posts.... I ran across the one where you were talking about Leah Miller and how it was your little sisters graduating present. Claire and I went to High School together! I still can't believe that she is engaged already, how exciting! Anyways I love your blog,xoxo-

  4. We are also a block loving family. I love the imagination it fosters. How cool that your blocks were sorted when you put them in the tub. Ours came with a bookshelf and slots to fit the width (thanks to grandpa).

    The bag is perfect for hauling. I need to make one for our legos.


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