Archive | Summer

Pool Bag Tutorial

Summer is the perfect time to sew!  Sewing things for your kids and family or WITH your kids can always fun.  I’m so excited to be included in the Summer Sewing Series with Polka Dot Chair.  There are some great ideas this year!  Today I’m showing how I made my new Pool Bag.  I just got it made and I can’t wait to take it to the pool to try it out.
summer-sewing-seriesDIY Pool BagLet’s get started!  Here’s what you need.

  • Fabric – 1 yard of thick fabric that is 60 inches wide.  I bought this cute striped fabric at Ikea for under $8 a yard!
  • Thread
  • Straps (optional) I used 60 inches (30 for each strap) but you can make them longer or shorter.  You could also use leftover fabric.

Bag Fabric

Cutting – Cut 2 sides, 2 ends, 1 bottom, 2 side pockets, and 2 end pockets.  See measurements above.  I have coordinated which way my stripes go, so pay attention to that if you are working with stripes.

DIY bag

Hem the top edge of all the pieces EXCEPT the bottom piece.  My favorite way to hem is to serge the edge and fold it over once.  I folded it over 1/2 inch and then sewed it down.  If you don’t have a serger, you can alway zigzag the edge OR roll your edge under (fold over 1/4 inch and then fold over another 1/4 inch.)

Bag TutorialPin your pocket pieces onto all the bag pieces (except the bottom piece).

Canvas Tote

Mark and Sew where you want your pockets to be on the side pieces.  I chose to have 3 pocket sections on my long sides of the bag.  I marked my pocket lines 6.5 inches in from the edges.

Beach BagSew your bag sections together with right sides together.  Sew in this order:  End, Side, End, Side, and then hook your first end piece to your last side piece.

Pool BagYour bag is coming together!  This is how it should look now!

Sewing TutorialSerge or zigzag your inside seams to help prevent fraying.

Sewing ProjectPin and Sew your bottom piece into place.  This is the trickiest part.  I like to sink my needle and pivot each time I hit a corner seam.  My seam along the bottom looks like a big rectangle.  I also serged the edge of this bottom seam to finish it off.

Towel BagTurn and Press – Turn your bag right side out and press your corner seams to one side.  You are almost done!

How to make a bag

Handles – Using the handle material, cut each handle to be 30 inches long (or your prefered length).  Pin into place.  I measure in 4 inches from the corner seam.

Bag with PocketsReinforce seam so that your handles are nice and strong!

Beach Towel Bag

Load up your bag!  I love all the pockets around the sides.  I use them for water bottles, sunscreen, goggles, snacks, pool toys, my phone, and wallet.  Nothing gets lost at the bottom of the bag anymore!  I hope you love your bag as much as I do.


Family Reunion Cup Holder

Our summers usually have several family reunions.  This weekend we are headed to another one!  One of the trickiest parts of having a large group together is cups.  There is always tons of cups all over!  Ashlee has come up with the perfect solution to help us out this year!  It’s the perfect Family Reunion Cup Holder!


These are very useful at large gatherings, and they are simple to make!  Just follow the steps below to make a cup holder that holds 20 cups (5 on each side).

#1 Buy your materials
You’ll need one 4″ x 4″ post about 25″ long, twenty 4″ long nails, and one base board (about 12″ x 12″ x 1″)

#2 Sand the boards

#3 Paint the boards

#4 Mark the nail locations at 5″ apart (depending on your cup size)

#5 Drill holes on the marks to prevent the board from splitting.  Remember to drill at an angle!

#6 Insert nails

#7 Attach post to base

#8 Drill a hole in the top for a marker holder, if desired.

#9 Wipe off the nails so they are clean and enjoy!

Use the marker to write names on the side of the cup and put initials on the bottom.  That way each person can quickly find their own cup.

Oh, and remind everyone to rinse their cups out before they hang them on the holder (especially if they were just drinking any beverage other than water.)

We hope you enjoy all of your family reunions and parties this summer!


Chest Freezer Organization & Summer Snacks

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Having the kids home for the summer can be a little tricky!   With just a little planning and organization, your summer could be even better!  Kids get cranky when they are hungry… that is why one of the first things on my to do list was snacks.  Having good snacks on hand makes it so much easier to keep the kids away from the junk food.  (Don’t get me wrong, we love our sweets too –  just not all day!) I was so excited when I found these Outshine fruit bars.  They are made with real fruit, fruit juice, and even some veggies too!


In order for my kids to be able to find these good snacks in my freezer, we needed to do some organization.  We’ve had this chest freezer for years.  It’s great, but it gets messy so easy!  I finally took some time to come up with some chest freezer organization tips for you.

1 – Containers.  Get some containers to help keep your food separated and organized by categories.  I found these crates at Wal-Mart.  They were the perfect size!

2 – Empty out your freezer (and defrost it while you’re at it.)  As you take everything out – toss the old stuff, and sort the good stuff by category.  I used 4 crates – veggies, fruit, meat, and treats.  I also used 3 smaller crates – butter, jam, and odds and ends.


3 – Recruit help.  This was the perfect project to get my daughter helping with.  🙂

4 – Clean freezer.  Wipe down all the walls and floor inside the freezer.  I know I don’t do this often enough! (If you are short like me, you can’t quite reach the bottom of the freezer… so just climb in…it made it way easier!)


5 – Stock the freezer.  With all of your containers organized by category, you are ready to load the freezer back up.  I put the more used items on the top.  I have one hanging basket that came with my freezer that makes the perfect snack basket!  The kids always know where to find a great snack (without me having to go dig for it!)  I stocked my snack basket with Pepperoni Hot Pockets and Outshine fruit bars (which can both be found at Wal-Mart.)





6 – Enjoy!  Being organized feels so good and having great snacks on hand is wonderful!


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