I started by guestimating how big I needed the bag to be, which was way too big. I rectified that in the next bag I made. This one was about 6" square with a 2.5" square vinyl opening. This project took me about an hour start to finish, but that's because I seam ripped a LOT! I am learning. The next bag took less than 15 minutes, that was terribly gratifying!
First you need a handful of small bits to find, I used buttons. Hubby cut the backs off with a dremel tool for me. Take a picture, so you can print them out on a little card so they know what to look for. I printed mine at 4 x 3.5 and it will be laminated, though not in time for our trip.
You will also need clear filler beads, not pictured. I just used clear beads, but clear bean bag filler or any little clear bits will work. If you want to make it REALLY hard use opaque beads! Might be good for older children.
I used 4 gauge vinyl, it's very thin and was easy to sew. I cut a piece of vinyl about 4" to make sure I had lots of overlap while sewing. I cut an opening in the middle of the fabric about 2" square.
Then I nipped about 1/4" into each corner.
Fold the inner edges over on each side and pin to the vinyl.
I pinned in the corners and right in the middle.
I sewed a straight line stitch along the very edge to sew the vinyl to the fabric.
If you are a completely new sewer like I am, I started with stitch length of 4, because that's what my sewing machine was turned to. But I ended up seam ripping a lot of things and my initial stitches were way too far apart. Stitch length of 1 and everything worked great. Also, whenever you stitch at the beginning go forward about 1/2", then back 1/2" and then forward again, to prevent unraveling. Do that at the end of your stitching as well.
This gives me lots of wiggle room for a zig zag stitch right next to the straight stitch. I want to make sure this is NOT coming apart.
Then I did something silly, I took the vinyl backing off. Don't be like me! Leave it on. With it off the vinyl stuck to the machine as it was going through. It was a huge pain. I left it on for the next bag. Also, in retrospect I'd have zigzagged the seams inside the bag instead of through the top. Lesson learned. It looks fine though.
Zigzag stitch right next to your straight line stitch.
Turn it over and trim the vinyl to just outside your stitching.
Put your backing face up and the vinyl topper face down and pin them together.
Zigzag stitch all the way around, leaving about an inch and a half opening on one side. I left it closer to the middle, easier to stitch closed later I thought.
So your bag should now look something like this.
Turn it right side out with a chopstick or a knitting needle for your corners.
Or do like I did, grab a hair stick from your hair accessories.
Now fill your bag with your little I-Spy trinkets and filler beads.
Straight stitch the bottom closed. I found it worked best to pass the bag through so that the bag with the beads was not hanging off the edge, but instead going in the limited space between the needle and the arm of the machine. (Not sure if my terminology is right here!)
I shared this project at:
Ladybug Blessings and My Favorite Finds
The Creative Itch