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My little girl likes playing with reusable fabric shopping bags, but they are too big and kind of bland and not very child like. I decided to re-purpose one by making it shorter and decorating it. In this Instructable, I will be showing you how to turn a fabric shopping bag into a child's play bag.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

You don't have to have a sewing machine for this, but it will make it much faster and easier. The bag I used was free from a bicycle trade show, you can find them pretty low cost at most grocery stores. They are usually light weight and sturdy, but I never could find a child sized one. You will also need a needle and thread, some scissors, and optionally a tape measure and a thimble or thumb protector. We found a iron-on applique of Woodie from Toy Story which was perfect, because it was one of my daughter's favorite toys and what she would end up carrying in the bag most of the time. You could decorate the bag many different ways to suit you needs, from painting to tie-dying or whatever you want.

Step 2: Folding Over the Bag and Sewing

The bag I used had writing on the outside, so I decided the finished bag would be inside out. I folded down the top of the bag, and folded the handles back up, paying attention to how much the handles would stick up. It worked out perfect that I didn't have to cut the handles. By folding the bag top down and the handles up, it made the bag short enough for my daughter to carry and the handles small enough for her hands. If you are a klutz at sewing, like I am, make sure you don't sew the bag closed.

Step 3: Decorating

The cool thing of making something yourself is that it is customized for you, or the person you are making it for. In a lot of my projects I usually skip the decorating step. Most of the time I am modifying or making something to accomplish a task and looks takes a back seat to function. But since this was for my daughter, I sewed on the Woodie applique by hand, to decorate the bag. Nice and simple, but she loved it.

Step 4: Enjoy, or Let Someone Else Enjoy Their New Bag

As you can see, my daughter loved her new bag and gave Woodie a kiss before putting him in for a ride.

As always,

Thanks for checking out my Instructable and enjoy.

Also I have entered this Instructable into two contests. If you think it is worth your vote, I would appreciate it.

About This Instructable

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Bio: Professionally I have been a summer camp counselor, a Draftsman/designer, salesperson, bicycle mechanic, laminate flooring machine mechanic, teacher, and designer of the OP Loftbed ... More »
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