Introduction: Turn Trashed Scraps Into a Customized Water Bottle Bag

Picture of Turn Trashed Scraps Into a Customized Water Bottle Bag

My husband is always telling me that I don't drink enough water and he's right so I decided to do something about it!

I was going to make this project using the fabric from one of those free shopping bags, but when my husband was going to throw away a bag of scrap material left over from his kite flying days, I was inspired to upcycle it instead. I decided to create a customized water bottle bag out of the scraps instead so I could carry around a stainless steel insulated bottle (my sustainable version of 'drinking responsibly').

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Gather up the following supplies:

  • Nylon fabric in three different colours (I used scraps)
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Grommet + grommet pliers
  • Nylon cord
  • Bodkin
  • Carabiner (optional)
  • Plastic cord lock
  • Sheers
  • Pointed scissors
  • Chalk pencil
  • Pencil
  • Black thread

Step 2: Cut Bag and Add Decorative Element

Picture of Cut Bag and Add Decorative Element

Then I turned my attention to cutting the rest of the fabric for the bag. I used a chalk pencil to mark and cut a blue piece of nylon in a rectangular shape (13 1/4" x 11") for the body of the bag.

I only had a tiny piece of black fabric, so I used it for the outside bottom of the bag. I stacked two pieces of nylon fabric together for strength (blue and black). I pinned both fabrics together, traced a circle and cut them out at the same time. I stitched the two circles together at the sewing machine.

I placed my logo onto the blue rectangle and pinned it on. I threaded my sewing machine with black thread and set my stitch length to the longest setting. Then I stitched all around the logo on three sides leaving the top open.

Step 3: Stitch Side Seams

Picture of Stitch Side Seams

I put the wrong sides of the fabric together at the seam and stitched 1/4 seam allowance so I could make a french seam. I turned the bag inside out and pin together the seam again. Then I stitched another 1/4" seam allowance encasing the raw edges.

Step 4: Make Casing and Add a Grommet

Picture of Make Casing and Add a Grommet

I ironed a casing along the top edge of the bag by folding 1/4" and then another 3/4". then took some sharp scissor sand poked a hole in the casing at the side of the bag so I could insert a grommet. I used a pencil to stretch the hole so I could insert the grommet into the hole (never 'cut' a hole because the fabric could fray once the grommet is attached).

I inserted the washer part of the grommet over the post then used a grommet plier tool to squeeze the two metal pieces together.

Step 5: Stitch Casing

Picture of Stitch Casing

I went back to the sewing machine to edge stitch the casing.

Step 6: Assemble the Bottom

Picture of Assemble the Bottom

Now for the bottom of the bag. I attached the circle to the bottom of the bag with the black fabric facing out and blue side in (when I put it down, black won't show the dirt as much as the blue fabric will).

I stitched around the circle using 1/4" seam allowance.

Step 7: Make Trim / Seal in Raw Edges of Bottom of Bag

Picture of Make Trim / Seal in Raw Edges of Bottom of Bag

Then I went back to my pattern table and cut a piece of black fabric 2" wide and 18" long. I ironed the two edges toward the middle and then I folded the whole thing in half.

I pinned the black edging around the circle and stitched it on using 1/4" seam allowance. When I was almost back to the start, I trimmed off the excess edging about an inch longer, folded in the raw edges and continued sewing to the end. The black edging reinforces the seam at the bottom of the bag and hides the raw edges.

Step 8: Add a Cord and Cord Lock

Picture of Add a Cord and Cord Lock

I threaded the nylon cord through a bodkin, inserted it into the grommet and threaded it into the casing until it came out the other side of the grommet. I squeezed the plastic cord lock to open it and inserted both ends of the nylon cord into the hole. I slipped it halfway down the cording and closed it again so I would have some slack to tie each end of the cord into a knot.

Step 9: Final Touches

Picture of Final Touches

I turned the fabric right side out and I inserted a stainless steel insulated water bottle into the bag. I pulled the cord tight by squeezing the plastic fastener and sliding it until the casing was snug around the top of the bottle.

I added a caribiner onto the cord so I could fasten it to my belt loop instead of carrying it around, but that is optional. I like the convenience of going 'hands-free' if I want.

Because I didn't stitch completely around my logo, I now also have a pocket to hold a few small items. I added a pen, but you could also carry a business card or even a house key if you are out and about.

Step 10: Stay Hydrated!

Picture of Stay Hydrated!

Now I don't have an excuse not to be hydrated!

If you don't happen to have scraps of fabric, I think this project would turn out great by upcycling an old shopping bag, like I was originally going to do! As a matter of fact, I'm going to try it out and post another Instructable so watch for that one: I predict it might even be better than this original post! Just a warning about printing the graphic though: I would be hesitant to use a reusable shopping bag in the printer unless it's made of cotton. I'm just not sure if the heat of the printer would melt the material these bags are made of and I wouldn't want to chance it and ruin my printer!

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