Fabric Bucket Bag Organizers!




Introduction: Fabric Bucket Bag Organizers!

About: Hi! My name is Natalie! I have an awesome husband that lets me be a Play-at-home mom of 3! We homeschool and do projects daily! Check out my blog Doodlecraft for more awesomeness!

I love to organize!
These upcycled ice cream bucket organizer bags are a must!

You can organize your entire life with some fabric, a bucket, and some sewing skills!
Anyone can make these...pick whatever fabric you want.
make it pretty or industrial!

The cool thing about these, is you can pack the bucket full of stuff
and still pack stuff in around the bucket! 
They hold gangs of stuff and keep the "junk drawer" virtually empty!

These will make you look totally organized and sophisticated.
You will want to organize everything in sight!

Step 1: Supplies.

Here's what you will need:

A bucket : You can use a 5-gallon bucket, ice cream bucket or even a mug!

Flexible measuring tape


Sewing machine


Double fold bias tape

Some basic sewing skills

Maybe some pins, if you like to pin things

And of course, the junk to organize!

Step 2: Measure.

You will need to measure your bucket.
Because there is a broad spectrum in bucket sizes,
I am not including any of my measurements...
But the calculations are fairly simple.

Take a look at the tagged picture so you get an idea of what pieces you'll need:

You will need to cut 2 circles of fabric that fit inside the bottom of the bucket.
To do this I place the bucket on a paper and trace around it. 
Then I trim off about 1/4 inch all the way around and use that as the pattern.
You will cut 2, because that will make the base just a little bit stronger.

You will need a band of fabric that fits around the inside of the bucket. 
It should be about 1/2 inch taller than the bucket walls and a 1/2 inch bigger on the width too...
it needs to fit comfortably, but snug inside the bucket with the seams.
You can measure this with your measuring tape and cut it out all as one strip...
but I cut it in half, because I am usually using up scraps of material.

You will need to make the 2 pieces for the outside of the bucket.
Measure around the outside of the bucket.
This measurement needs to be cut into 2 separate halves to make room for the handles.
(unless it's something like just a tin can)
These pieces should be as tall as the bucket plus 1/2 inch...for seaming.

Okay now.
The pockets and pouches are a MUST!
So you need to cut strips of fabric that are longer than the band (or 2 pieces) for the inside of the bucket and the 2 pieces for the outside of the bucket.
They should be a little over HALF the height as the first pieces...and about 4 to 8 inches wider, depending on how big of pockets you want.
Cut 1 wider piece for each strip already cut.
If you are making one with a 5 gallon bucket, you could do a couple layers of tiered pockets.
I did a mulch-tiered pocket on the blue camo one pictured above as well. 

This is not an exact science...but you can keep vigorous notes and make a bunch like I did.  :)

Step 3: Sewing Flaps.

Take a longer strip and place it on top of a shorter strip.
Line up the bottom edge and one side.  Pin the side in place. 
Then make the other side line up on the edge and pin that.
Sew them straight down on each of the sides, where pinned.

Next, decide how many pockets you would like. 
Start by finding the center of the long strip and the short strip...
and pin them together right in the center.  Then sew straight down the center.

Next center the smaller sections and sew as earlier, right down the center of the halves.
This will make 4 nice size pockets...just like pictured above.

If you want skinny pencil pockets or specific sizes, you can measure and figure them in too!

Lastly, sew along the bottom, gathering in the excess fabric evenly.
Repeat on the 2 inside strips and the 2 outside flaps.

Step 4: Sew the Insides!

To sew up the insides, take the 2 flaps you have for the inside of the bucket
and put them together, pockets/right sides touching.

Sew the 2 sides together to make a single loop of fabric!
Put loop to the side for just a minute.

Take the 2 circles cut for the base and put them together with the pretty
side of the fabric showing on top and bottom.
Pin them together in the center, just to hold them.

Then take that loop we just sewed and try to "stand it up" on the table around that circle piece.
That will give you the vision of how to sew it.
You can pin the loop to the center if you are more comfortable sewing that way, but in my case,
I just hold the pieces together and sew all around the loop and circle. 

This will make your inside.
Check and see how it fits in the bucket.  If you did your measuring right, it should fit right in.

Step 5: Outside Flaps!

Now for the outside flaps.
We've already sewn in the pockets...so it's looking great.
You can roll the edge and hem it...or use double fold bias tape and
finish off the pocket flap edges with that.  (my personal preference)

Step 6: Finishing Seam!

Now you should have a finished inside bucket bag and 2 flaps!
Here's how it's going to look...basically.

You need to take the outside flap and put it pretty fabric side touching
the pretty fabric side of the inside of the bucket bag.

Line up the top raw edges, and seam them together.

Flip the outside flaps over, and ta-da!
You have a perfect organizer bag that makes you want to eat GALLONS
of ice cream so you have more buckets for more bag organizers!

Step 7: Get Organizing!

Now you can fill them with anything under the sun!

These would make a great gift bucket too!
Loaded with pencils, pens, markers and artistic stuff for an artist.
Tools, nails, screws, beef jerky and fixy type things for a guy gift.
Sewing thread, needles, scissors, buttons...for the sewer.
Make up, brushes, nail polish, lipstick, lotions, perfume...you get the idea!

Endless options.  Endless addicting options.

Step 8: Super-size It.

Now that you have the idea down, super-size it!
What kid wouldn't love an arsenal bucket?
For this one, we used clear vinyl material so the pockets would visibly show off his
lightsaber collection and let him more easily know which color he was reaching
for depending on which jedi or sith he was role playing!
(It's been 6 years and that bucket bag has held up beautifully!)


For more great projects, check out my blog Doodlecraft!

And please vote for me in the organization contest!  Thanks a million!  :)

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    12 Discussions


    6 years ago

    i just by chance looked this..really a nice idea..


    6 years ago on Introduction

    You know, this is brilliant as an organizer, but I think I may use this and try to make my own purse/handbag. I'm SO PICKY about bags, and it seems like every purse I've bought over the last 15 years has made me curse at one point or another. Not enough pockets, not a wide enough top opening, not enough pockets, too-short shoulder strap, not enough pockets...

    ... do you get the idea that I like pockets? Because I do. I TOTALLY do. :D


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you!
    I totally agree with you! I love a pocket bag!

    I bought one of these bag organizers...http://www.amazon.com/kilofly-Insert-Organizer-Expandable-Handles/dp/B009BKWE9U/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1389710086&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=bag+organizer

    It can be pulled out of one bag and stuffed into another...you could make something like that or just buy one for $4. :)


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    You're right, those are awesome!! The only issue I have with it is that it's not made by me! For some reason I've been wanting to make my own purse for a good 5-6 years now. I haven't yet, it's still cooking in my brain, but... .soon. :D


    6 years ago on Introduction

    So easy, so well documented! Thank you, like it alot


    6 years ago on Introduction

    A great project to practice my newfound sewing skills on! Hope I'm up to the challenge. Thanks!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, what a beautiful job you've done! I need one of those too!!