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Craft Ideas for Kids | Easy Appliquéd Drawstring Bags

End of summer means back to school. It’s about this time that my children start to watch me get everything ready for the start of the year. Shoes still fit? Any holes in the waterproofs? Name labels on everything? I’ve realised I love this process, and this year is an extra special one: my youngest is starting big school. I wanted to find a way to involve him in this gradual way of becoming prepared and I found the perfect thing. We upcycled one of this old toddler pillowcases to make him a shoes bag and my daughter used a standard sized one to make him a spares bag.

You will need:

An old pillowcase

A cord, approximately 2 and a half times the width of your pillowcase. (We used one we'd made with a knitting fork but something like one of these Rainbow Strings would do the job perfectly).

Scissors, safety pins and a needle

Fabric scraps

Embroidery thread

1. Turn your pillowcase inside out and cut the top section off, under the fold that keeps the pillow in place.

2. From the open top of the case, cut about an inch and a half down along one of the seams.

3. Fold the open top of the case down on itself and hold in place with safety pins. Then turn your case ‘outside in’ again so that the seams are hidden and your pins are facing each other.

4. Cut a piece of embroidery thread that is 2 and a half times as wide as your pillowcase. Thread your needle and tie a knot in one end. Starting next to the seam you have cut, take your needle through the fold you have made in the material, from the inside of the case and under the line of safety pins.

5. Sew a running stitch all the way round the pillowcase. When you reach the other open end of your fold secure your stitching with a pile of bricks, (repeating the final stitch in the same place), or the best way you know how.

I helped my son by putting dots along the material so that our fold would be nice and secure.

6. Remove all your safety pins and attach a big one to the end of your cord.

7. Put the big safety pin into one of the openings of your fold and push it all the way round until it comes out the other side. (Your child may enjoy pretending it is a wriggly caterpillar looking for food!).

8. Attach the two ends of your cord and you now have a drawstring bag!

Because our pillowcase was sky blue my son wanted to put some sunshine on it, so we appliquéd some yellow fabric scraps onto one side.

Again, I helped him with some safety pins and dots, but he then did some random embroidery on the other side which was just as special, if not more.

You can decorate your bag with any shapes and patterns that take your fancy, keeping it simple with biscuit cutter shapes and zigzags or completely freestyling it! I’m sure they will all look beautiful and your little ones will be very proud.