5.27.2012

Kid's Messenger Bag Tutorial

(remember, this is for personal use only.  contact me if you'd like to become a licensed seller)
We've had a lot of birthdays to celebrate this month. It's always fun to give something handmade, so I came up with this cute messenger bag that we could fill up with other fun presents. It's super easy to make and can be made for a boy or girl depending on the fabric.

Here's what you need:

2 pieces of fabric for bag outer, 12" X 9" (I used denim)
2 pieces of fabric for bag lining, 12" X 9"
2 pieces of medium weight fusible interfacing for bag bottom, 12" x 9"

2 pieces of fabric for flap, 9.5" X 8" (I used a contrasting fabric for one side and denim for the other)
1 piece of medium weight fusible interfacing for flap, 9.5" X 8"

1 piece of fabric for strap 28" x 8" (I used denim)
1 piece of batting for strap, 28" x 4" (this is optional)

Start out by fusing the interfacing to the outer bag pieces.


In the bottom corners of the 12 inch side of both outer pieces, mark a box that is 1.5 x 1.5 inches.

Then, cut those corners out. Do the same for the bag lining.

With right sides together and 1/2 inch seam allowance, sew the outer main bag panels along the sides and bottom. Do the same for the bag lining pieces. Press seams open.

Now match the side seam to the bottom seam
on each corner. Trim and sew across with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Do the same for the bag lining.

When you turn the outer part of the bag right-side-out, you should have something that looks like this.

Now, let's work on the flap. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric that you want to the outside of the flap.

Next, we'll round the corners. Lay the 2 flap pieces out with right sides together.
Fold in half matching the shorter (8 inch) sides. Use something round like a CD or jar cover to trace a rounded corner and cut.Here's what you'll end up with. Now along the long rounded edge, leaving the top, straight edge, open.
Clip curves, turn and top-stitch.
(ignore the fabric change....I was working on 2 bags and took a picture of the wrong bag...)

Next, we'll do the strap. Take your strap fabric and fold it in half the long way. Open it up and fold the edges in to fold line you just made, essentially folding your fabric in quarters. Place the batting inside.Top-stitch along each long side and down the middle.

Now we just need to put it all together. Pin the strap to the right side of the bag and then baste in place.

Pin the flap to the right side of the bag and baste in place. Double check to make sure that the fabric you want to see will show when the flap is closed.
This is the hardest part of the whole project. With right sides together, pin the bag lining over the bag exterior. You'll really have to pull it up to match the raw edges since you've got the strap and bag flap in there.

One it's all nice and pinned, sew around the top, leaving an opening for turning.

Turn and top-stitch making sure to close up the opening you left for turning.
There it is! Fill it up with some fun little presents and give it to someone special.


95 comments:

  1. This is adorable! I love the fabrics you used!

    ReplyDelete
  2. cute! where did you get the train fabric? I love it and I know my son would love one made with it :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love it. Great size for little ones. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. So great, can't wait to make some! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks! It is lovely, and I think it would work great as a little size diaper bag also! Mara

    ReplyDelete
  6. This would also be a cute lunch bag for an adult! Would just need to use oil cloth on the inside. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. How cute! Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks so much for sharing. I recently made a similar bag for my nephew and want to make him another. This looks like I had been looking for to begin with.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks so much.It`s really cute!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. OH.MY.HECK! What a great project! Thanks for a wonderful tutorial and pictures. Can't wait to make this!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I gotta make one of these for my toddler! Nola is only 16 monthes but she already likes to carry my makeup around the house.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is a great idea. I linked your tutorial in my blog, I hope you don't mind.
    :)
    http://licenciaparacoser.blogspot.com/

    Ana

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is the hardest part of the whole project. With right sides together, pin the bag lining over the bag exterior. You'll really have to pull it up to match the raw edges since you've got the strap and bag flap in there.
    auto-transport/

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love it.
    My kid's messenger bag
    http://arreboditcomunapantigana.blogspot.com/2011/10/kcwc-dia-6-mini-messenger-bag-acabada.html

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love this! I finally made one with some blue corduroy and some owl fabric from Spoonflower.

    http://the-wynk.net/?p=1791

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wonderful! I've been wanting to make my daughter a bag to replace her diaper bag. We still need something to carry a change of clothes, drink, snack, etc. in but I'm tired of my diaper bag! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is a fabulous tutorial!!! I made a bag for my son. Thank you for posting!
    http://room6design.blogspot.com/2011/11/sewing-for-kids.html

    ReplyDelete
  18. Love this bag - would it be possible to include the finished dimensions of the bag? thanks

    ReplyDelete
  19. Cute tutorial, looks great. I finally understand now how people use that method for boxing corners. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I just finished my bag for my daughter. She turns 2 in 2 days, and it'll make the perfect present! Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial!!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wonderful tutorial, thanks so much for sharing, Ruby. I've popped a link back to you and some pics up on my blog: http://joyfoolery.blogspot.com/2012/01/i-have-two-year-old-who-is-just-crazy.html
    Thanks again!
    Christie

    ReplyDelete
  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks for the tutorial! I started making a bag out of old jeans then found your tute so I incorporated it into my sewing :)Check out what I did!
    http://zanneartdesigns.blogspot.com/2012/01/bag-made-from-old-jeans.html

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you! I had a vision of a bag I wanted to make my newly-three-year-old, and this tutorial helped me make it happen!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Fabulous tute, thank you! I made one last night for my little boy and he loves it. For the last step, where you sew everything together, I actually did it the other way round, and turned the exterior inside out, tucked the flap and strap down, and put the lining inside. It was easy and I suspect possibly easier than trying to stretch the lining over the rest of the bag? Just a thought! I posted a link to your tute and pics of the bag I made here http://blog.bijouxtree.co.uk/?p=411

    ReplyDelete
  26. cutee..wonderfull printed fabric,suit

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks for a great tutorial - I made my first bag yesterday, and have 2 more cut out to sew for gifts! I posted it to my blog today and linked to your tutorial :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great tutorial for a simple bag. I knocked a couple up last night:

    http://sewcancass.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/kids-messenger-bag.html

    ReplyDelete
  29. Bag #2 made tonight for an Easter gift - I did make a few minor changes to mine: I quilted Warm and Natural batting to the outer layer of the bag and the flap, and added a sew on magnetic snap to the flap. This time around I used monkey fabric so I stitched a monkey button to the front of the flap for added fun. I'll tuck in a couple of kids books and this will make the perfect Easter gift for my 4 year old great nephew (and it's done early - the family will be SHOCKED, lol!) :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Very cute :) I must try to make one for my kid. Thank's a lot for great tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Made one today, for a birthdayay party. Awesome tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Lovely bag, perfect tute! Just made one tonight for a young friend's third birthday.
    Many thanks from Italy!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Great tutorial! I made this for me as a mini cross body bag. Added several pockets and lengthened the strap. Turned out awesome!! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  34. This a great tute and a lovely bag, not just for little ones. Just magicked one up from a pair of too big old jeans and a funky print from the stash. Added magnetic snaps to the flap, lengthened the strap to fit a lanky teen it is just perfect for girlie shopping trips :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. That's just what I needed for my son's 7th birthsday next month! Thank you for sharing :-)

    ReplyDelete
  36. I so love this. I'm making one as a mini-diaper bag for my daughter. She keeps the large diaper bag in the car, but needs something for shopping to fit just a couple of diapers and some wipes in.

    ReplyDelete
  37. wow, i love this bag! your directions are really great - thanks for the wonderful tutorial! what are the dimensions of the completed bag?? thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks for the great tutorial! I made my 3-y-o one with Spiderman fabric and denim. Your instructions were very clear. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Your tutorials are so great! You definitely have the mind of a teacher with the perfect photos to add to your explanations.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I love this tutorial!! Thanks for sharing! I just featured it on my blog! I hope it's ok :)
    xo Patty.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Thank you for this awesome tutorial ! Thanks to you I was able to make a school bag for my youngest son :
    http://petitspixels.com/blg/i-gained-a-level-in-sewing/ <3

    ReplyDelete
  42. Thanks for the tutorial! I made a Hello Kitty bag for my daughter. I made it a little bigger than specified, so she can fit a regular folder inside. The measurements I used are in my post: http://swishina.blogspot.com/2012/08/hello-kitty-messenger-bag.html

    ReplyDelete
  43. Super cute! I know this from 2011 but I hope you will link this up to The cSI Project. The challenge is back to school. Each week is a new challenge. Come on over!
    www.thecsiproject.com

    ReplyDelete
  44. What a good idea!!! Thank you for the tutorial!!!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thanks , I made it with a few modernisation , and a littlest one - reather two :) But it was your idea . Thanks again .

    ReplyDelete
  46. Absolutely wonderful tutorial and easy to follow instructions. I've made one with cute cupcake fabric and denim and I just love it. I think I'll be making some more and may even make one a little larger!
    Thanks so much for the tutorial and clear instructions!

    ReplyDelete
  47. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Its just sooo cute i cant wait to make one thx a lot for the tutorial :D

    ReplyDelete
  49. I made two of these recently (one for my son and another for our cousin, they both turned 2 this month). The tutorial made the process extremely easy! Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Thank you very much for the easy to follow instructions. Love this x

    ReplyDelete
  51. Thank you for such a cute and adorable bag, I will be making these for charity and filling them with things like colouring books and pencils or crayons in a roll.

    ReplyDelete
  52. So going to use this pattern for Christmas prezzies this year.... Thank you so much for sharing... Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  53. What a darling tutorial! Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Fantastic - love it just perfect for my little girls tablet Christmas present and assorted accessories. Thank you - looks so easy to do. off to do one now!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Great idea! This blog is a really precious souce to find something cute for Xmas gifts! Thank you and greetings from Italy!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Seriously way too cute! I can't wait to make one of these for my son!

    http://www.thesitsgirls.com/get-paid-blogging

    ReplyDelete
  57. I have scoured Pinterest for a cute and beginner friendly bag to make for Christmas for my girls and your tutorial was the winner. They are both getting diaper bags for their baby dolls and this was the perfect pattern. I am so happy to put a little handmade touch in their Christmas....thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  58. HELLO RUBY WAS LOOKING
    The A PURSE TO DO TO MY DAUGHTER, AND FOUND YOUR WEB SITE ON THE INTERNET .. LIKE I'M LEARNING SEWING, YET, BUT THIS ADOREIII BAGS AND WOULD LIKE TO COPY FOR ALLOWING ME, I HAVE BLOG ALSO AM BRAZILIAN AND I'M A WORK IN JAPAN GORGEOUS THANK YOU FOR YOUR BLOG TUTORIAL HUGS ARE GORGEOUS NEUSA

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hello there. Love the bag and would like to make one for my books as I'm a college momma. How would you make the finished product wider, is it by making the corner cuts larger thank 1.5"? Thanks again for the tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carolotta. I would try to make the main bag piece wider (maybe 18 inches) and still cut the corners the same, to make the bag wider. If you want the bag to be deeper, you could increase the corner cuts, but keep in mind it will make the bag shorter as well. Good luck!

      Delete
  60. this is THE best little messenger bag around the blogworld for kids...the tute is great and the finished product is awesome!!

    ReplyDelete
  61. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I have just made my first ever messenger bag following your tutorial. I certainly will make for some more in the future.
    Here is the photo of my bag http://www.flickr.com/photos/hpbodart/8385406096/in/photostream

    ReplyDelete
  62. Any one on here in the uk that could make one for me? Happy to pay material, time, postage? Its for an 18mth old so doesnt need to be big, or expensive material but I would like it to look like "Mr Tumbles Spotty Bag"?

    ReplyDelete
  63. Super cute! I featured it here:
    http://sewprettysewfree.blogspot.com/2013/02/kids-messenger-bag-tutorial.html

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hi! Thanks for your tutorials I managed to make a bag for my little boy and he is loving it! I made it reversible and slightly different size, but your detailed guides really helps a lot. Here is a post on my version of the bag, will definitely make more for my kiddos! :)

    Http://FunWithLittleOnes.blogspot.com/2013/02/little-kid-sling-bag-reversible.html

    ReplyDelete
  65. Hi. Thanks for the tutorial! I made some for Easter pressies and popped some on my blog here: http://www.superbabysavestheearth.co.uk/eco-friendly-easter-gifts/

    ReplyDelete
  66. I'm relatively new to sewing, and I have a question about this step: "One it's all nice and pinned, sew around the top, leaving an opening for turning." May I know how many inches i should leave to be able to turn the bag out easily?? thanks for such a wonderful tutorial... :) can't wait to make this for my 3-yr old daughter to take her dance clothes to class!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joyce. I would leave an opening of about 3 inches. For me, that's big enough for me to get my hand inside. Hope that helps! Happy sewing.

      Delete
  67. Just wanted to thanks for the brilliant messenger bag tutorial, it was easy to follow and once I'd converted the measurements for the UK I was away! Have just finished making it for my 3 year old daughter,it's a perfect size for all her little things. Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  68. I love it!!! I'm going to make one for my niece. She will love it!!!

    Thanks so much for this wonderful tutorial

    ReplyDelete
  69. I made one of these today and wanted to say how grateful I am to you for doing that hard part of figuring it all out. I made it for my 10-year-old daughter as a purse, so I added several interior pockets as well as a slip pocket across the width of the back. I used patchwork for the flap and drop cloth fabric for the body with contrasting cotton binding. I didn't change anything about the measurements, though, and the finished bag is 6x8x3. Perfect and she loves it. It took just a couple hours including planning out the pockets and fabrics.
    You can see the finished bag here: http://pinterest.com/wrk2liv/stuff-i-ve-made/

    Thanks, again. It was fun.

    ReplyDelete
  70. thank you for wonderful tutorial, it was easy to follow the instruction. I've made it for my 3 year old son, and he loves it so much! you can see what i made here http://craftalova.blogspot.com/2013/06/arzas-messenger-bag.html

    greeting from Indonesia ^_^

    ReplyDelete
  71. Hello - I came across your blog after finding an image of one of your bags on Pinterest while I was searching for some fresh ideas for my handbag website (no don't worry, not to copy :) )- I am glad I found your blog, you do great work - do you sell any of your finished work?

    This is where I saw your bag on Pinterest http://pinterest.com/chelmsford/handbags/

    ReplyDelete
  72. I just finished following the tutorial and now have a cute little Avengers messenger bag. Now, who wants it? I have no little boys. Just one 17 year old girl :D

    ReplyDelete
  73. OK... I'm addicted. I've made FOUR of these bags just today! I think my husband is taking internet out of my craft room! I had the tutorial open and kept rolling back and forth across the floor to read along. Thanks for excellent instructions! One question - what's the piece of interfacing for the bottom? When/where does that go?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking at it now, I see why it's confusing! The interfacing gets fused to the main bag panels, which I guess at the time I called the bag bottom. Let me know if that doesn't make sense. Thanks for the comment!

      Delete
  74. Thank you for the tutorial. I have spent the afternoon making a bag for my boy who is turning 6 his week. I changed the size to 12 x 14.5 with a 30inch strap. I really appreciate the tutorial as I am a novice to sewing and would not have been able to make it on my own!!!

    ReplyDelete
  75. Thank you for this clearly written tutorial. Friday I cut out 3 bags using jeans that needed upcycling and bits of fabric from my stash. Yesterday I assembled the first bag - including a magnetic snap - and was so very pleased with myself. The end result is fabulous; my DH is very, very impressed. Today I'll be sewing up the remaining 2 bags. Call me a rebel but all 3 of these bags are going to adults (the first bag is MINE) to be used as knitting project bags. That said, I do predict making this bag as a Christmas gift for niece and nephew this year so it will be a Kid's Messenger Bag then :)

    ReplyDelete
  76. Hi! Thanks for the amazing tutorial!! Would you be able to please give me the exact measurements for this in an adult size?! I would greatly appreciate it:)

    ReplyDelete
  77. I was wanting to find or make a lunchbox for my daughter, I think I'm. going to try to line it with a old sun visor, Ill have to let you know how it turns out!!

    ReplyDelete
  78. Thanks, A very useful information .

    ReplyDelete
  79. Hi
    i have just made this bag for my little boy for christmas. having searched many shops and online i couldnt find a bag that i liked for his kiddie tablet my mum has got him for christmas.
    I love the bag its the perfect size for his kidzstar and he'll love the rocket fabric i have used. i also added a little drawstring bag to pop the charger into this will stop it from falling out everytime her gets his tablet in and out. im sooo pleased with my little project!!

    ReplyDelete
  80. Great tutorial! I made a few changes and gave one to a friend's daughter as her first "purse"! See it at http://madeonmainvt.blogspot.com/2013/10/little-girls-purse.html

    ReplyDelete
  81. Can I ask if the strap ends up been 4" wide or 2"? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  82. thanks for the great tutorial - such a quick project and the perfect size for my 2 year old!

    ReplyDelete
  83. Wow what a great tutorial. I really love the bag and the prints.

    ReplyDelete
  84. I am so creative and love to do creative things more than my job. I love this tutorial and going to try it out this weekend. Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Thank you for the tutorial. These are so cute. I instructions were mostly easy to follow. I wasn't exactly sure how the strap was supposed to be, but finally figured out they are supposed to be 2" wide.

    I made one for my grandson to carry his tablet and headphones in. I increased the height about 1" and the width about 1.5" so it would be big enough, making adjustments for the flap. I embroidered his name on the front flap. I put it in the center of the flap. I should have measured down 2" from the top and then centered embroidery in that. In addition to the medium stabilizer on the flap, I also used a layer of iron-on no-show mesh stabilizer, which gives the flap a little more firmness and more stability for the embroidery.

    Next. I made 2 more for, one for each of my grand daughters. I put the embroidery in the right place. I made the straps about 1/2" narrower (7" instead of 8") and only used 1 thickness of padding. Double padding was just to cumbersome to stitch neatly. I also shortened the straps on all 3 bags to about 18". On these, I got the embroidery a better place, though could still have come down about an inch.

    If I make more of these, I will make the strap a little more narrow. It's too wide for my hands, so surely to wide for a child's little hand. I think next time I'll shoot for around 1.5" wide.

    For me, the hardest, and most time consuming part was pressing the fabric, pressing on the interfacing and cutting them out. Once all pressed, fused, and cut out, they took around 30 minutes to assemble. As suggested in earlier posts, I put the lining on the inside and the bag on the outside to stitch together. I think I'll try my heat press for fusing the interfacing on future bags.

    ReplyDelete
  86. I used your pattern (thank you) and did a blog post today featuring this bag and did a shout out to your blog - I posted the link to the pattern at the end of my post. Thank you so much. Love the bag.
    http://howdidyoudothat-jojo.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  87. I recently bought a Magnetic Dress-Up Wooden Doll that came with magnetic pieces of clothing. Think of paper dolls but made of wood. The pieces only came in a wooden box not in a bag. This pattern would make a great bag to store the wooden doll pieces including the box. I just need to make changes to the measurements so the box can fit. Now only to make the time for this project. :)

    ReplyDelete
  88. I just made this bag and it turned out awesome! Thank you so much for the tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  89. great! thank u for this tutorial :)

    ReplyDelete
  90. Love it!!!! I just finished one and it's so easy. Thanks a lot

    ReplyDelete