Recently my 7 year old son had a birthday party. Making party favors for his parties is something I look forward to every year. It gives me a chance to be creative and come up with something that is not a traditional party favor. Last year I made personalized super hero capes for each kid. The capes were a huge hit and I have heard some of the kids still wear the capes to this day! There is something about making a homemade item and having the recipient love it that brings a smile to my face and heart.
This year I decided I wanted to do something homemade, something fairly inexpensive and something that the kids could actually use. My son loves container type items, like wallets, bags, cases, etc. He likes to be able to organize things and carry them around. After a recent sleepover I realized my son didn’t have a travel case like my husband or I did. I was constantly putting his toothbrush and other personal items in a plastic bag. Since I wanted to create a travel bag for my son, I immediately thought creating a kid travel bag would be the perfect party favor his friends as well!
I knew the travel bag needed to be soft, easy to use and personalized. I first thought of using regular fabric as the base of the travel bag. However, I quickly realized I needed something with more structure and the idea of using a towel popped into my head. At the department store I found a set of washcloths that came in array of wonderful colors. The washcloths were a 9″ square and made of 100% cotton. Since snaps, button, and zippers can be hard to sew and hard for kids to use, I decided to use ribbon for the closure part of the travel bag. I found a 3/8 inch polka dot grosgrain ribbon, at the craft store, in a variety of colors that would work perfectly in accenting the towel colors.
The towel travel bag is fairly easy to create and would be an easy sewing task for a beginner sewer. If you do not know how to use a sewing machine, this project could also be done by hand using a needle and thread. The completed travel bag can be used to store personal items, art supplies or anything else you (or your child) want to carry in the pockets.
Towel Travel Bag
1 washcloth (9″ square)
white fabric (3″ square piece)
2 strands of grosgrain ribbon (12″ each)
white thread for sewing machine
Zig zig or any decorative edge scissors
Sewing pins for holding towel in place while sewing
Turn the towel over so that the side with the product tag is facing you. Fold up the bottom of the towel to about 2″ from the top of the square. While keeping the towel folded, flip the towel over. Take your white piece of fabric and using the zig zag scissors cut the child’s initial out of the fabric. If you have a hard time cutting using freehand you can print the letter from your computer and trace it onto the fabric. Decorative edge sccisors are not necessary for cutting the fabric but if they are not used the fabric will fray. Most crafts stores sell pre-cut letters and these can be used as well.
Measure 4″ over from the left side of the towel edge. Measure 2″ up from the bottom of the towel and place the cut out letter in this area. Pin the letter into place. Unfold the towel and using a sewing machine, sew the letter into place. Refold the towel with the back part facing you. On the right side insert the two pieces of grosgrain ribbon into the fold of the towel. Pin into place and sew to close the right side shut. Pin and sew the left side of the towel shut.
Measure 4.5″ or half of the length of the towel to locate the center. Sew a line on the folded part of the towel to create two pockets. Locate the center of each pocket and sew a line at each center to create four pockets. The travel bag is finished and can be rolled up and tied in a bow.