Introduction: Cloth Carry Bag for Folding Table

About: I'm an environmentally conscious experimenter who loves to bring people together, build things, and when possible...blow things up! See us on YouTube too!
If you've seen my very popular Instructable for a Folding Picnic Table for Concerts in the Park, this is the perfect compliment to it. A nice cloth carry bag.

Tools Required:
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine
  • Seam Ripper
  • Stiff wire (a coat hangar will do)
  • Tape Measure
  • Straight pins
  • Cigarette Lighter
Materials Required:
  • 1 Yard of Heavy Cloth like Denim or Canvas
  • 1 Yard of Nylon or Cotton Web Belt
  • Polyester Thread
  • Heavy Shoelace or Small Rope for the Drawstring (I found 50 feet at the dollar store)
  • Adhesive tape.

Step 1: Measure Your Table

This Instructable is specifically for making a bag to hold this table, but using these principles you can make a carry bag for anything.
Begin by measuring your table.

Roll the tabletop into a bundle with the spreaders and legs inside.
Measure the length and write it down. Measure the circumference around the bundle and write that down too.

Step 2: Cut the Cloth

Using the measurements from the previous step, add 8" to the length and 6" to the circumference. This can vary from project to project due to the way you roll yours up so I'm going to refrain from giving the actual measurements. Also, if you don't have a tape measure, you can use the rope for the drawstring to get the dimensions...and an American dollar is exactly 6" long.
Cut the cloth to these dimensions.

Step 3: Prepare to Sew

I'm not the best when it comes to sewing, but when you get right down to it, sewing is just another way of bolting things together. Like most things, the biggest factor in success is attention to detail in the prep work.
We are going to make the bag from the inside, then turn it right side out. Remember this through out this entire Instructable!When I say "inside" that is the part of the bag that will be on the inside when its finished! When I say "right side" that is the part of the bag that will be on the outside when its finished!
Begin by identifying the right side of the cloth. Fold the cloth in half lengthwise so the two halves of the right side are facing each other. This will leave you with a rectangle that has one long folded edge; one long cut edge; and two short cut edges.
About ¼" from one of the short edges, pin the edge together. You can sew it if you wish, but I recommend pinning the first two sides before you begin to sew.
About (and none of this is very critical) 6" from the pinned short side, lay the end of the carry strap inside the bag with a small amount of the strap protruding from the two cut edges. Place pins along this side about ¼" from the edge making sure to pierce the strap to hold it in place. Continuing up the long edge, place more pins until you're about 8" from the last edge. This will be the other anchor point for the carry strap. Make sure its laying flat inside the bag and isn't twisted. Continue pinning up the side of the bag. Stop 2" from the end.
From here, you can sew the bottom and the side, but be sure to stop at least 2" from the top. You'll need that 2" to create the channel that will contain the drawstring. It would also be a good idea to back up and take a second pass over the anchor points for the strap. This will reinforce the strap.

Step 4: Check Your Work!

So far, we have a bag and at this point it is inside-out. Turn it right side out and make sure the carry strap is installed the way you're going to like it. If it's twisted, use a seam ripper to un-sew it and fix it while it's right side out. Then turn it inside out and re-sew it. This happens a lot when you're not used to sewing much. It seems to happen to me almost every time I sew.
If you paid attention (or just got lucky) and it turned out the way you want it, turn it inside-out again and proceed to the next step.

Step 5: Create the Drawstring Channel

At the opening of the bag, you should be looking at two edges of cut fabric about 2" long and one cut edge the width of the bag. Fold the two short sections over so you can see about ¼" of the outside of the cloth on the inside of the bag. Pin these separately and sew them separately. This is a hem that will become the drawstring opening.

Step 6:

Once that is done, fold the last edge over to show about 1"  of the outside on the inside of the bag and pin it along its entire length. When you sew this, it creates a tube that will contain the drawstring.
Notice in the third image I accidentally sewed the beginning of the drawstring tube to the end. Good thing I caught it when I did. If this happens, break out your trusty seam ripper and undo the damage. Then you can finish making the tube.

Step 7: Reinforce the Opening

The last thing to do is reinforce the opening and install the drawstring. Where the two openings of the drawstring channel meet, sew a bar tack to keep the seam down the side from ripping open. It's OK to sew into the drawstring channel a little, just don't block the path for the drawstring.

Step 8: Install the Drawstring

Turn the bag right side out and install the drawstring.
Attach the drawstring to the piece of stiff wire with tape. Feed it through the channel in the top of the bag. Put the table into the bag and draw the string tight and tie it with a standard shoelace knot. Only after tying the knot, cut the drawstring to a length you choose and melt the ends with a cigarette lighter.

Spring's Coming Contest

Participated in the
Spring's Coming Contest