If any of you have kids then you definitely have toys all over the place! We have a 3 year old and 1 year old girls and the toys are out of control.
My oldest has recently started getting dress up dolls and she loves them. I'm glad she is getting into more 'story telling' types of toys, but the small pieces are such a mess. And they come in these cute wooden storage dishes, but they are not at all practical and the pieces are constantly spilling all over the place. Not to mention how potentially dangerous this is now that Baby-zilla is roaming around and loves to put everything in her mouth. So I had to come up with a way to store her dress up dolls that kept them away from the baby, but allowed my 3 year old to still play with them. My solution is:
Toy Storage Bags with Plastic Windows
I love this idea for her dress up dolls, but it could be adapted for any type of toy. And since you can make any size bag the options are endless!
Here the supply list:
(I got mine for $2.79/yd at Hobby Lobby in the home décor section)
elastic or cording
First you'll have to decide what size bag you'll need. I just measured the doll in this play set and added about two inches to the height. It's not an exact science so just go with what works for your toys. Here is the drawing I made of the bag I wanted to make to make sure I cut the right sized pieces.
I choose to place my plastic window toward the bottom of the bag so you could clearly see all the dress up pieces that come with this toy. You can place it anywhere you'd like based on the toy you are working with.
Next, you'll need to cut the fabric and plastic. Based on your measurements you'll need one piece of plastic for the window, one large solid piece of fabric for the back, and 4 smaller pieces of fabric to 'frame' the plastic in the front.
Now for the sewing. I have never sewn with this plastic sheeting stuff and here are some tips I learned:
GO SLOW! I didn't have any problems with my needle going through the plastic while sewing slowly.
When pinning the plastic to the fabric place the pins PARALLEL to the seam, not perpendicular like you'd normally do. This makes sure that you don’t have a hole in the plastic that is visible outside the seam.
All my seams involving the plastic were sewn with the fabric on the bottom. Even so, I still had to use my hands to help feed them through the sewing machine. (You can see that my first attempt did bunch up a little bit as I got the feel for how much help was needed).
Now to make the windowed panel for the toy bag.
First, I sewed the two side panels onto the plastic window.
Next, I added the top and bottom panels to complete the front of the bag.
Then to help finish off the look of the 'window', and help to further secure the plastic into the bag, I did one finishing seam all the around the window. This will also hold down the seams that we sewed in the first two steps so they don’t show through the window.
Next, sew your two panels together on three sides to get a simple bag.
Now for the opening at the top of the bag. Since part of my goal with this project is to keep small toys away from our little one, I wasn't comfortable using a standard draw string closure. I just know that string would get pulled out by my oldest and we'd be back to dress up doll parts all over the floor. So, I decided to make a tight stretchy closure with a fully encased piece of elastic. My oldest can stretch it open to get out the dress up dolls, but it's almost fully closed the rest of the time.
To make an enclosed elastic top you need to fold down the top of the bag one inch and sew most of the way around. Leave a small opening so you can feed your elastic through.
Next, feed the elastic all the way around the bag.
(Tip: I always use a paper clip or safety pin like this to feed any elastic or cording through a narrow casing. Such a life saver!)
Find the right tightness for your bag and tie off the elastic into a complete circle.
Tuck in the elastic and sew the remaining part of the seam closed.
Turn the bag right side out and stuff with toys! That’s all there is to it! In less than an hour you can have a fun toy storage bag with a see through window!
You just have to find the time!
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