Organizing with Drawstring Bags

drawstring bag pattern
drawstring bag pattern
When there is a lot of ’round the house tasks to be done, I like to think that’s just all part of the quality time my family and I spend together when we all take part. (There are those here who would disagree.) Emma and I spent most of Saturday afternoon in her room, attempting to get it a little more organized. I really have to psyche myself up to take on that room. It easily overwhelms me, I look in there and want to turn and do something, anything else. There are a lot of teensy things in a 10 year old girl’s world…things the owner is usually unwilling to part with. I’m getting the sense that a 10 year old girl’s world seems to float between little girl and growing up girl. (That one would be the girl who made our dessert on Saturday night.) One side wants to have tea parties with stuffed animals, one side wants to get her ears pierced. Realizing this as I have has made me a little more sympathetic to the piles of stuff in Emma’s space. I realize that there’s hidden meaning there, even she doesn’t quite understand.
I took it as a sign when Betz talked about making some shoe bags, that I should make some storage pouches for Emma using what I have in my stash (still trying to more of that, and the beauty of starting a project at 9 pm is that you have no choice!). These bags are about 11″ x 14″ (I think they are same as the medium sized ones in Heather’s book), although I sort of made these up as I went along. They’re quite easy to sew yourself, so clever and useful. These can be used for just about anything. I pulled a page from a decorating magazine of a girl’s bedroom in a summer home that had pegs along one wall with simple bags like these hanging from them. I have something like a row of pegs I’m going to dig up and use to hang these. Then I am going to make some more for traveling, thinking ahead for when we head out to sunny Florida in a few weeks. Shoe bags… lingerie bags…electronic cord bags…anything bags…
drawstring bag pattern

But especially bags to keep those tiny, special things all together.

  • mayaluna

    March 8, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    I have the same response when I look into my ten year old son’s room. Although, gender differences do occur… I’m finding the same holding onto of the little things that signify being a small boy (legos, matchbox cars, etc.), and the rarely playing with them as he moves into the world of older child. Drawstring bags seem like a great way to hold it all together. Lovely post!

  • Kendall Micayla

    March 8, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Awww, these are so pretty!

  • Mama Urchin

    March 8, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Growing up is hard, don’t you think?

  • Dime Store Thrift

    March 8, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    I want to learn to sew! These look so fun.

  • AmyR

    March 8, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    I do relate to the immensity of your task, your comment about using your stash out of necessity because of the 9pm start time made me laugh out loud. That happens alot at this house, and my husband fails to see the humor when I ask him if he has any materials to donate to the cause! he’s a painter and a gardener, so everything he owns is dirty…but you never know when he might have just the right belt or ribbed cuff of a work glove that could be a finishing touch…

  • Jennifer

    March 8, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    The mouse family spilling out the bag is such a sweet picture. Enjoy the lovely bags…

  • erika

    March 9, 2009 at 2:28 am

    They are great, I just made one for my mum yesterday!

  • rachel | buttons magee

    March 9, 2009 at 7:02 am

    first, I love the look of the blog for spring Blair!
    And these are such a wonderful idea. I desperately need to make a few (hundred) for the girls’ room!

  • Maribeth

    March 9, 2009 at 8:31 am

    Sweet bags. My 8-year-old daughter made about a dozen little drawstring bags recently. Once she got started she couldn’t stop. She cut an eight inch diameter circle of fabric, snipped little slits along the perimeter, then wove yarn through the slits. Once cinched, they are actually reasonably functional – holding little gems, fairies, and plastic animals. Amazing what kids can come up with on their own.

  • IamSusie

    March 9, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Of course, this is a fantastic idea! I did the same thing for my daughter but I used pretty see through organza fabric so daughter could see her toys. Unfortunately, over time we realized that she never played with those toys because the bag organization thing was too complicated so we switched back to the toy bin.
    I use the organza bags as gift bags instead.

  • stephanie

    March 9, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    great idea! I love the fabric you used. 🙂

  • lisa s

    March 9, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    you are on a roll … placemats… these… wow

  • tifanie

    March 9, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    love those bags. pretty fabrics.

  • Annie

    March 9, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    That is exactly what we need to do. We have so many of the tiny, little precious things that are not to be lost… My daughter actually has the row of pegs already- all along two walls of her room, so now I just need to get busy with the sewing, right?

  • Toni

    March 9, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    I love your fabric choices. Again, here we are thinking the same! About 2 weeks ago I was telling Mark that I really want to make some drawstring bags for our shoes for travel.
    So, off to Florida again–how fun!

  • melanie

    March 10, 2009 at 10:52 am

    What a great idea. I’m planning on stocking up on Calico Critters for when Moira is old enough (I sure hope she likes them) and those bags would – obviously – be perfect. 🙂

  • E. Lindsey Hornkohl

    March 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    I love these little animals! I had a whole house full and recently found them at a teacher’s supply store. Sadly I don’t have anyone to buy them for, but I may start having to stash some for a future daughter. Great idea about the bags too!

  • radmama

    March 12, 2009 at 6:49 am

    No matter how I try to help organize/cull/clean my 10 yo’s room, it all falls apart. The overlay of pre-teen piles of clothes, art supplies and jewelry over little girl things like polly pocket, horses, wooden doll house furniture, books and stuffed animals, chestnuts, cardboard box houses..
    I’m not sure that drawstring bags would help where shelves, baskets, drawers and hooks haven’t. But it’s worth a try.

  • Evy

    March 12, 2009 at 7:18 am

    These are so pretty and useful! I hadn’t thought of making bags to hold anything, but I read your post and got inspired. I’ve been trying to come up with a way to keep all shoes in the house in order, and shoe bags would be a great way to do just that. And I loved your idea for making bags for packing for trips. Thank you!

  • Rebecca

    March 13, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    What great little bags. I love those little mice! What are those?

  • Chrissy

    March 14, 2009 at 6:01 am

    I love the idea of using the bags for traveling. We are going to be going on a few trips and I think that these would be great! My boys always have a hard time telling their socks apart and these would be perfect!
    I have really enjoyed reading your blog!

  • Adriana

    March 16, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Oh Blair, tell her there’ll be plenty of time for pierced earrings. Then again, I’m like her, I keep a lot of my old toys but not for playing (wink)
    Those bags are perfect for organising. Thanks for sharing the idea.

  • Amy

    March 18, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Cute bags! Thanks for another cute, practical idea for me to copy! I’ll have to check my stash for fun prints for the children’s travel needs, as well as general purpose organizing. I’m sure I have some flannel that would work well for shoe bags, too.

  • Katherine Stein

    March 25, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Love it! Cuter than plastic bins from Target any day.

Follow Wise Craft Handmade