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DIY Drawstring Toy Bag Playmat

DIY Drawstring Toy Bag Playmat

If you shudder at the sound of a crate of tiny toys being tipped out onto the floor, then you'll be needing to make one of these! Here's the tutorial for my Drawstring Sack Playmat for Lego and other small toys.

My mum made us one in the 70's and it's still going strong. This one is 120cm wide, but you can adjust the size to suit your needs. I have used a casing for the drawstring because it flows very freely and is simple for a child to spread out flat. There are four points for the drawstring to be pulled up, which also makes it easy for a small child to use.

PLEASE NOTE: The drawstrings on this sack make it unsuitable for children under 3, as they are a strangulation risk. Please actively supervise young children near this bag. 

DIY Drawstring Toy Bag Playmat

DIY Drawstring Toy Bag Playmat

You will need:

120cm (48") square (approximately) of upholstry weight fabric or denim
4.2 metres (168")  of 12mm (1/2") bias binding (optional)
4 metres (160") of cord for drawstring
3.75 metres of 52mm (2") bias binding for drawstring casing
Remnant of medium-weight iron-on interfacing (pellon)

Step 1: Cut a circle of fabric approximately 120cm (48") in diameter 

Step 2: Finish the raw edges of the circle using any method you prefer. I sewed on 12mm (1/2") bias binding with a binding foot (see The Haby Goddess's tutorial here, but if you don't have a binding foot you can use Angry Chicken's bias binding method here). If you prefer you can serge or overlock the edges, hem them or pink them. 

Step 3: Prepare the drawstring casing. Turn under one end of the 40mm bias binding and sew to finish raw edge. Repeat with other end. Next, measure from one end and mark four intervals at: 450mm (18"), 1350mm (53"), 2250mm (88") and 3150mm (123").

Step 4: Cut four squares of iron-on interfacing (pellon), around 40mm (1 1/2") square. Iron these to the wrong side of the 52mm (2") bias binding at the four points you have just marked. Be sure not to stick down the folded edges of the binding. The interfacing will reinforce the holes you will cut for the drawstring. **I have used a different colout of bias binding in this picture  to make it easier to see.

Step 5: At each piece of interfacing, draw a circle approximately 25mm (1") wide. I traced around a coin using a disappearing marker. 

Step 6: Using a buttonhole stitch or a zigzag with a very close stitch length, sew around the circles you have drawn. Then cut out the fabric in the centre of the circles. These are the holes for the drawstring.

Step 7: Pin the edge of the wide binding to the wrong side of your fabric circle, about 40mm in from the edge. Sew all around, overlapping the ends to form a circle.

Step 8: Take drawstring, tie a strong knot to join the ends. Then tuck the drawstring inside your binding casing, poking the end out through one of the holes. There should not be too much left over, so adjust your drawstring length accordingly. 

Step 9: Pin or tack down the other side of the binding, and stitch all around the circle to create the casing and enclose the drawstring. (*Please note: you can also sew the casing without the drawstring inside and insert it at the end if you find it easier that way).

Now fill with Lego and hand to a child!

DIY Drawstring Toy Bag Playmat


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