Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hide & Seek, Baby

Long before my son was born, I found a pattern for a Hide & Seek Bag.  I bought it on the spot and put it away for someday...  

When he was about 18 months old I got serious about completing the project for him.  This is the result:

He has loved it ever since.  Even my 10-year-old nieces who visited just after I'd finished it couldn't get enough of finding the hidden objects.  It was then that I realized that one of the items on the list hadn't made it into the pouch.  I opened the seam and popped it in at the same time I emptied some of the hiding beads.  I had made the bag too full that made it difficult for the items to move freely, but we will discuss that more later.  
Fast forward to now.  My daughter has been asking for her own "Seek Bag."  I had all of the materials (or so I thought) and was set to complete this project last month.  I ended up having to find a few last-minute items.  Oops!  I guess I wasn't as prepared as I thought I was.  Then life took over illnesses and potty training took center stage which brings us to MARCH, and finally the "Seek Bag" is complete.  

Here are the materials that you will need to make your own Hide & Seek Bag:
  • Clear vinyl
  • Colored/textured vinyl
  • Canvas (any style and color you like)
  • Two-sided fusible webbing
  • Ribbon
  • One jump ring
  • Beads for filling (found in the floral section)
  • Small toys
  • Laminated cardstock for list tag
Most of the material was found in the remnant bins.

First, you need to gather the toys to go into the bag.  If you have older children this won't be as challenging a task.  You can always find small toys, puzzle pieces, fashion doll shoes, etc., but if you don't, there are lots of choices.  I used a lot of nifty buttons, scrapbooking embellishments,  and small party favors.  Update:  Do not use money inside the bag.  It is just too heavy.  I put coins inside the first bag that I made and I never saw them again. 
Keep a list of the items as you acquire them.  

You will forget what you have as you are collecting so it is a good idea to review what you have from time to time.  Also, often there will be duplicate items in one bag.  Start a list for another collection while you are working.  I had three collections going at once.  Using small toys means that you need more to fill the bag.  I used 75 toys per bag, but if you used larger toys (such as the ones that come in  a tube with a globe on top) you will need fewer items.  

As I said before, I had a pattern for this project, but I lent it to a friend and she lent it to a friend and... Well, it's gone.  I had to reconstruct the pattern from memory.  I used a piece of printer paper, a ruler, a compass, and a black marker.  

I measured my son's bag to get an approximate size for the pattern.  I drew a line and used the compass to create the curve.  I traced the drawing with marker so that I could see the lines.  You don't have to be extremely precise with your tracing.  My circle has a diameter of 9 1/2" so I could only fit a half circle on my sheet of paper, hence the fold line.  

You need four kinds of fabric to complete this project:
I found my fabrics in the remnants bin at the local fabric stores.  

  • Clear vinyl (I used 16 gauge)
  • heavy canvas
  • double-sided fusible webbing
  • colored/ textured vinyl

Place your pattern on the fold and cut once circle out of each material.  Again you do not need to be extremely precise.  My telephone worked beautifully as a weight so I did not have to use pins.

Here is where I deviated from the pattern.  The original pattern called for just canvas.  I wanted something colorful and easy to clean at the same time.  Using the canvas on the inside of the bag gives the project color while the vinyl on the outside makes cleaning up sticky fingerprints a snap. 

Next step to the ironing board.Iron the back pieces together in this order:
  1.  Iron the webbing (paper side up) to the wrong side of the canvas.
2.  Carefully peel off the paper backing while everything is still warm.  
 3.  Attach the canvas to the wrong side of the colored vinyl.  
Yes, this is a  different color of canvas.

 Prepare the holder for the list tag.  I used two contrasting ribbons and a jump ring.

Line up the front and the back of the bag, inserting the list tag holder, and pin leaving a 2" space for filling.

You don't have to be very exact because you will be trimming the excess material later.  

Chose a long tight zig zag stitch on your sewing machine.  I sewed over the seam four times to ensure good coverage and a tight seal. I left about 1/4" of seam allowance as I sewed.  

Now comes the fun part!  

First, fill your bag with your toys.  COUNT the toys to make sure you have everything on your list.  Your bag should be about 1/3 full. 

Next, fill your bag with beads.  In this photo I used larger beads, I was not pleased with them so I opened the finished seam, dumped everything out and refilled the bags using smaller beads like these:  

The bag should be just over half full of beads and toys.  

Finally, pin up the hole and sew it closed.  Keep the filling well out of the way as you sew.  

Trim the seams close to the stitching.  I needed a very sharply pointed pair of scissors to trim around the list tag holder, but regular sewing scissors worked fine for the rest of the circle.  

The last step is to attach the list tag. 

Before you begin, type the list of toys and print it out on cardstock.  I typed my lists in three columns and made a front and a back.  Then I cut them out and glued them to some cute matching paper.  I laminated the lists using 10 mil. lamination.  This will make the list about as thick as a credit card.  

The corner rounder did not cut through the lamination, but you need to round the corners by hand or else they will be SHARP!
Punch a hole for the jump ring and check the placement. 

Thread the list tag onto the jump ring.
Voila!  A Hide & Seek Bag that your child will LOVE!  My daughter carried hers around for the rest of the day and kept telling her dad, "Mommy made this!"  

The small beads do a great job of disguising the toys.
"Mommy made this!"
As you can tell from the pictures, I made two bags at the same time. Soooo...


This is also an excellent gift for a preschool or kindergarten teacher!  I hope you enjoy your bag!

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If you enjoyed this sewing post you might enjoy these other posts from Greetings From the Asylum:

Thanks for visiting!


The Atomic Mom said...

Some one gave me one of those as a baby shower gift. Everytime I try to get it out, James want to gnaw thru the plastic. So, it's in hiding for now.

Kristie said...

You ROCK, My Dear!!!!! Great job showing how and all the cute patterns turned out so fabulously!!!!!LOVE, LOVE them!!!!

Andie Jaye said...

that's the cutest! what fun. i used to make those out of empty plastic bottles! i love how you did this.

Lauren said...

I just found your blog via Pinterest and I love this idea as well as the file folder book- thanks for sharing!