I-Spy a …Phat Friday Tutorial: I-Spy Bags

Hello world. It’s a Friday again which means you are in here for another fun tutorial using a fat quarter. As summer is quickly coming to an end we are busy busy busy. Anyone relate to that? One project  I have been working on is rearranging my girls room and going through all their clothes. In Miranda’s shirt drawer I came across her I-Spy-Bag that we made for her big kindergarten animal project. She had choosen the Leopard for this project. We had tons of fun reading about them, acting like them, and creating her diagram. As part of the project she wanted to take in a real leopard so the kids could hold something and not look at her while she talked. I told her this was NOT her best idea and we ended up settling on an I-Spy-Bag filled with pictures about all the facts she would be talking about. It worked like a dream! We had so much fun making this project together. I think that I-Spy-Bags are great. We use them for road trips, during Church, and just for fun. So pull out your favorite fat quarter, rice, and some scissors and let’s get started.

A Fat Quarter I-Spy-Bag Tutorial 

(1) Fat Quarter – we used a fun leopard/jungle pattern
6″x 6″ clear sewing vinyl
rice images or objects

Now, had I remembered that this project was due before the night of, I would have used shrinky-dinks for all the images. This is a really fun project in of it’s self for kids. But seeing as I was frantic that I had forgotten and had no idea where the shrinky-dink paper was nor had time to run to the store to find some, we opted for handmade images. I drew the images of heavy card stock and then Miranda colored them in and cut them out. I used some scrapbook supplies too so they looked fancy. You could also use random objects that you have around the house or purchase some if you are going for a theme. Once you have decided on what objects you are going to use just set them aside till later.

Take your fat quarter and cut (2) 6″x 2″ pieces for the short sides. Next you need to cut (2) 9″x 2″ pieces for  the long sides. You also need to cut (1) 9″x 9″ piece for the back. Lastly you need to cut (1) 4″x 5″ piece for the handle.

First lets make the loop handle. Take the 4″x 5″ piece of fabric and press it right-sides together, so that the raw edges meet. Straight stitch, starting at the bottom left corner, around the perimeter of the rectangle being sure to leave one short side open.

Take a pen and using the blunt side, create a small pocket on the wrong-side of the stitched short end.

Slowly work the pencil into the tube that you are creating until you have turned your fabric tube right-side out. You can use the pen to push out the corners then pull out your pencil and press your tube. Then fold your tube in half so that the two short ends are matching and pin it. You have now create a loop handle. Set your loop aside for now.

This might not be the easiest or proper way to do this (so if you know better, do it) but this is how I created the front panel of the I-Spy-Bag. Take your 6″x 6″ clear sewing vinyl and your two 6″x 2″ fabric pieces. Starting on the left raw edge of the vinyl and place (1) 6″x 2″ fabric piece right-side down on top of the vinyl, raw edges matching. Straight stitch from top to bottom using a 1/4″ seam allowance, then repeat on the right side using the second 6″x 2″fabric piece. Carefully press the seams and lay the new panel right-side facing up on your table. Top stitch a 1/8″ from the seam joint.

Next take (1) 9″x 2″ fabric piece and place it right-side down on top of the new panel you just created, with the raw edges matching. Straight stitch from left to right using a 1/4″ seam allowance, then repeat on the bottom using the second 9″x 2″ fabric piece.

Carefully press the seams. Top-stitch a 1/8″ from the seam joint.

Now you have complete the top of your I-Spy-Bag.

Somehow I do not have the photos for attaching the loop handle to the bag, but it is relatively simple. If you have questions just ask and we will respond to you. Now grab the loop handle you made earlier and decide where you want it to be on your bag. I put mine in the upper left hand corner. Place the curve of the loop toward the clear vinyl so that the ends of the loop are touching the raw ends of one of the fabric edge pieces. Pin it place through the raw edges and zig-zag stitch it in place. This will reinforce the seam since we know little fingers will be pulling on it. Take your 9″x 9″ fabric piece and place it right-sides together with your vinyl/fabric front panel. Straight stitch, starting 3/4 of the way up of one side, around the perimeter stopping 1/4 from the bottom of your start side (Is that confusing? What you are doing is creating a hole so to turn your bag right-sides out.) Now using that hole, pull out your bag so that the right-sides are out.

Press your seams and top stitch from one side of your hole around the perimeter to the other side of the hole. DO NOT STITCH YOUR HOLE CLOSED YET. Now your bag is complete but you still need to fill it.

I used a canning funnel and poured in a bunch of rice, fill to desired fullness. Then add your images or objects.

Then press the rice and objects to the stitched edges of the bag so the you can line up the seam of your hole and top stitch it closed.

If you want to be really sure that your rice does not escape (with the help of little fingers) top stitch around the entire bag again. Just do this slowly and move the rice and objects out of the way as you go.

Now through your creation into your purse and head off to the grocery store. Your little ones will be occupied and you might actually manage to accomplish something.


As always I am linking up to as many of these Phat Parties that life allows. See you there.


0 thoughts on “I-Spy a …Phat Friday Tutorial: I-Spy Bags

  1. Thank you so much! They are great and my kids get so excited to use the ones that 'they made.' I love seeing my kids proud of something that they have accomplished. Thanks for stopping by.

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