The Treehouse Bookbag




Introduction: The Treehouse Bookbag

About: Graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Breda in 2012. Couldn't have done it without my trustworthy sewingmachine and a never ceasing need to do all sorts of things myself. Mostly clothes and creatures.

This looks like an ordinary bright coloured bag, but in fact it is a house! For a bird!

I use this bag for the stuff I use at my volunteers work. Once a week I read to children to increase their dutch vocabulary.
Thruth is, I don't like children that much. I love childrens things, but children... meh.
Then why do I do it? Because I believe it's good for them and it has to be done.
Also it gives me the opportunity to make nice childrens things, like this bag, with it's inhabitant CoocooLulu.

As you can see, this bag has a tree on it and there is a hole in the tree where there is room for a small toy. 
Making a bag isn't that difficult, but getting the hole right can be!
However, if you get the order right, it's not that hard. Shall we begin then?

Step 1: What We Need

We'll need:

- Brightly coloured pieces of fleece
- a piece of canvas for the lining
- scissors
- pins
- a chopstick
- a sewingmachine

Fleece has it's pro's and con's.
pro: it comes in bright colours, it's soft and it doesn't fray.
con: it stretches, so it can't support the weight of the books I'm going to put in. That's why I'm using a canvas lining.

Step 2: Measurements

Decide on the size of your bag. My books are big, so I want a big, spacious bag. 30 x 45 cm should do it.

Fold a piece of fleece and cut it. The folded part will be the bottom of the bag.
Then put this piece on a folded piece of canvas and cut that.
Now that the canvas is still folded, you can use the same length for the handles. Cut two pieces of 7 cm.

Step 3: Making the Handles

Fold the handles you just cut in the length. Sew the edge.
Turn them. A chopstick (preferably the fake-ivory ones) will come in surprisingly handy!
For extra durability, sew the sides of the turned handles.

Step 4: Making the Tree

I used a different kind of fabric for the tree. It will need some finishing.
I cut out the form , then put it on a piece of canvas and sew around the edges. The good side goes on the good side here!
Cut sharp corners as close to the seam as possible.
Then turn it.

Step 5: The Hard Part: Getting the Hole Right.

Cut a hole in the tree. Don't make it too big!

Now you put the good side of the tree on the wrong side of the bag.
Pin it in place and sew around the hole.
Cut out the hole in the bag and cut in the seams like shown in the picture. As close to the seams as possible. Don't cut the seams though!
Turn the tree et voila! We have a hole.

Step 6: Extra Lining Behind the Hole

Now we don't want the bird to get lost in the lining, do we? So we make a pocket for it.
Cut a piece of fleece that is bigger than the tree and put it on the wrong side. Sew the bottom and the top side. Make sure that the stitches can't bee seen: the tree must cover them.
Now sew the tree in place.
It's ok if it doesn't look very neat, you won't be seeing it.

Step 7: The Fun Part: Decorating

Cut out clouds and leaves and sew them on. You can add whatever you can think of. How about some apples? I kept it simple and just added a bright yellow sun.

Step 8: Assembling the Bag

Last, we assemble the bag. Sew the sides of the bag and the lining.
Leave a small opening in the lining so the bag can be turned!

Pin the handles in place, I put the middle in the middle of the middle ;)
put the bag in the lining, the good side goes on the good side. It should fit perfectly.
sew around the edge and turn the piece...

Step 9: Find an Inhabbitant and Carry On!

... It's finished!
All that is left is find a suitable occupant. How about a crochetted squirrel or a knitted pigeon?

Have fun!

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    That is really cute :) Did you make that bird? What does the other side of the bag look like?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I made the bird some weeks ago, the kids love it, but it has lost it's eyes several times now... :s
    good point! I'll see if I can take another picture. (nothing spectacular really, just a cloud and a sun)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    This is adorable! It is not ust a book bag, it's soft sculpture!


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    that it is :) soft sculptures are my specialty. Thanks for the compliment!