DIY Mans Messenger Bag (post sponsored by Volkswagen)

DIY Mans Messenger Bag (post sponsored by Volkswagen)

Fancy creating an alternative mans messenger bag utilising a car seat belt?? Regular readers will be familiar with my passion for bag making and recycling – this bag combines both.


Personally I think this bag is a great gift for a dad with a toddler, beyond the nappy bag stage but still needing to carry endless “stuff” around!


To make you will need:

Main bag fabric
12 1/2″ by 11″ three times
12 1/2″ by 3 1/2″ twice
3 1/2″ by 11″ once

Lining fabric
12 1/2″ by 11″ three times
12 1/2″ by 3 1/2″ twice
3 1/2″ by 11″ once

7 by 61/2″ pocket piece

Fusible fleece:
11 1/2″ by 10″ twice
11 1/2″ by 2 1/2″ twice
2 1/2″ by 10″ once

Iron on interfacing:
11 1/2″ by 10″ three times
11 1/2″ by 2 1/2″ twice
2 1/2″ by 10″ once

Car seat belt 2 metres

Bias binding 1 metre

Fabric glue

Fabric paint

Paint brush

Strap fixtures

To make:-

Paint the car design onto the lining fabric. You could create a print with lino. Or use a cookie cutter to print a line image of the car. Paint the edge of the cookie cutter and simply print onto the fabric. Use the cookie cutter to cut out a car design on a potato then potato print a solid car design on the pocket.

Iron fusible fleece to the back of the main fabric, leaving one piece of the main fabric with no fusible fleece on it (this is the flap of the bag).

Iron the interfacing to the back of the lining fabric.

Body of the bag

Pin the side panels to the front of the bag, right sides together. Stitch from the top of the bag down to the bottom of the fusible fleece. Stopping the seam here helps form the base of the bag easily.


Place the base of the bag along the bottom of the front panel and stitch along the edge of the fusible fleece. Stitch the base of the bag and side panels together along the fusible fleece line.


Pin and stitch the back of the bag panel to the sides and bag base.


Create the slip pocket. Fold over twice the top of the pocket and stitch. Press the sides and base of the pocket in half an inch. Pin centrally on one of the front/back panels of lining.


Double stitch round the sides and bottom of the pocket.


Flap of the bag

Cut seat belt fabric into five strips 12″ long. Using fabric adhesive carefully place down the flap panel, making sure they butt up as closely as possible.


Weight down with a heavy book until the glue is dry.


Once the glue is dry top stitch down the edge of each strap to ensure they are fully secured.


Place the lining of the flap right sides down, place the front of the flap on top right side facing you.

Curve the corners if you wish. Mark with tailors chalk a curve (I used a cup as a template) and trim the layers.


Pin your bias binding round the sides and bottom of the flap. Stitch in place.


Fold the bias binding over to the back, pin from the front ensuring you capture the back neatly, then top stitch in place.


Bag assembly

Strap handles – cut two pieces of strap 71/2″ long. Thread on metal loop. Place the strap in a loop on the side panel. Stitch in place securely, ensuring the join of the loop is beneath the stitches.


Place the flap onto the back of the bag. Work out the central point just in from the bottom of the flap and insert magnetic snap  into the lining. Work out corresponding point on the front of the bag and insert the other half of the magnetic snap.

Pin then baste the flap along the back edge of the bag (right sides together).

Place the main bag inside the lining so the right sides are together. Pin in place.


Stitch around leaving a turning gap along the front of the bag.

Turn right side out. Turn in the raw edges along the turning gap and pin in place. Top stitch right round this seam (this secures the turning gap and provides a little extra strength to the bag)


Lastly add strap 60″ long using a slider for adjustable cross body strap.

diy-mans-messenger-bag-using-seat-belt-strapI’m loving this fun car themed bag.

 This post is sponsored by Volkswagen – check out other recycled and or car related tutorials by fellow bloggers on the Volkswagen collaborative Pinterest board “DIY Bloggers for Volkswagen“.





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Carving out time for creativity


How to carve out time from your busy schedule for creativity

 Wishing to find time for creativity in your busy life? Find time in your schedule with these five easy steps

Would you love to find time for a creative project?

Super busy? I get it! Running from the morning schedule, everyone out of the house with lunch boxes, work, housework, menu planning, shopping, cleaning, cooking, playing with the children, organising play dates – need I go on? I am with you!!

Time management might not be the first thing that comes to mind when craving creative time but it is ALL about time.

A recent time management course at work started with the trainer advising no-one would do anything different as a result of the course. A depressing thought! I took away some points. Check your emails once a day and deal with them. Do not get lost down the rabbit hole of social media. Can you set your phone so notifications only come from favourite contacts? I have only just done this, of course it doesn’t give me the discipline to stop checking my phone but new habits take time right?!

How to find time for creativity:

  1. Brainstorm creative ideas, keep images from magazines, start a pinterest board for storing ideas, or a sketchbook. There are so many places to start, narrowing down ideas can help you make a start. If you have a project in mind capturing the time is easier, you know what you want to do!
  2. Choose projects you can pick up and put down. This is perfect if you are short of time, Its is amazing what you can achieve. The trick is not to choose a complicated pattern where it will take you time to figure out where you have got to with the instructions. This may be knitting, crochet, hand sewing, patchwork piecing.
  3. Snatch ten minutes when you can. What ten minutes can you find? Having a project on the go which is easy to pick up makes the most of my time. Naturally I would love a while free day for making but that just isn’t realistic at this stage in life. Rather than feeling frustrated, or using this as an excuse not to start I make the most of those precious ten minutes (I am typing this whilst the kids put on their shoes and socks for school!). Break your project down into small tasks which are achieveable. Bite size chinks really do add up.
  4. Take projects with you – can you choose a portable project? If you follow me on instagram you may have noticed that I regularly post images of knitting or hand stitching. I always take a project to the kids swimming lessons, I may be the only parent with a craft activity but who cares??? I have overcome my concerns about knitting whilst having a cuppa with a friend (I always discuss this the first time, I do not wish to offend a new friend!). Do you commute by public transport? Can you take your current project with you?
  5. Create a space in your home for creative making.  I am fortunate as I have a large desk where I can leave the sewing machine set up. It is my sewing room, the room also holds the laundry, kids games, the freezer and family paper work. Where can you squeeze out a creative space? I know people who have sewing rooms on a small table in the corner of the living room, or the corner of their bedroom. Leaving the sewing machine up means no time is lost setting up.

More time management tips:

Do you start the day early with children? Maximise this time. Or does your partner like watching sport, can you be creative one evening a week whilst they spend time on their interests? Be organized, find your supplies and store them together for your project. Spending time on creativity is good for our mental health, it is part of self care – remember if you are well it benefits everyone in your household:)

Wondering where to start? Try out one of these quick projects:

Fabric scrap flower brooches

Denim Tablet Case

Fabric necklace

Upcycled Bottle Bag

What are your top tips for creating time for creativity? I would love to know,





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DIY drawstring car play mat (post sponsored by Volkswagen)

DIY drawstring car play mat (post sponsored by Volkswagen)

Do you have children, nephews, friends who love playing with cars? Why not create a DIY drawstring car play mat, perfect for storage of cars, plus play. I love how with the addition of a drawstring means the play mat pulls up into draw string bag. So easy to tidy away when the child has finished playing.

This play mat includes a zoo, park, street of houses, hospital and garage, but only your imagination is the limit! If you are making it for someone in particular you can add what appeals to them. You may remember that my son loves animals, I had to include a zoo!! If you include a zoo here is a free downloadable template for the lion, giraffe and elephant.

This is my sketched design. I found this very helpful when placing the fabric shapes to create the various areas.

My top tip is to allow time, this playmat took two solid days to make.

To make a drawstring play mat you will need:
Two circles of fabric measuring , one for the external bag and one for the play mat side
Tailors chalk
Strong, heat reactive, sheet of glue which permanently bonds one fabric to another when ironed
Fabric glue
Black fabric
White fabric paint
Scraps of fabric
sewing machine

To make
Start by measuring a circle in your fabric. Fold your fabric into quarters. Measure out in a quarter circle with tailors chalk. I added string to mine, holding it tight at the central point then drawing out and round. Once you have one circle use it as your template for the other circle. My circles are 50″across (25″ string).

Cut out fabric to create your roads.

Due to the size I suggest using fabric glue to hold them in place, then stitching along the edges in zigzag to firmly hold them in place. Paint on your central markings on the roads with fabric paint.

Now you have a frame work to start building up the different areas.

Decide on fabric choices for each building, tree, shape. Iron your sheet of glue onto the reverse. Cut out the right size in the fabric and then iron into place on the playmat. Use parchment paper to protect your iron.

Once you have finished the shape, such as a house, stitch the applique in place.

Hand stitch the details onto the animals. I used french knots for the eyes.

To make a sign for your garage use freezer paper. Cut a piece larger than A4, iron the waxy side to the wrong side of your fabric. Trim your fabric to A4 size. Place in your printer and print the design. You can download it here.

Here are some close ups of various areas.

Let’s finish the play mat. Create two small button holes on the external fabric  3/4″ in from the edge.

Place the right sides of the fabric together. Stitch round the circle except a turning gap.

Clip into the seam allowance. Press. Turn right sides out and press, including turning in the edge of the turning gap.

Top stitch round the edge. Then stitch round again 1/2″ . This creates a tube for feeding the drawstring through.

Lastly feed the drawstring through and secure with a double knot.

This post is sponsored by Volkswagen – check out other recycled and/or car related tutorials by fellow bloggers on the Volkswagen collaborative pinterest board “DIY Bloggers for Volkswagen“.


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I am inspired by our wonderful world, creation is constant and yet changing. I feel it is important to respect the environment and where possible to upcycle/recycle. Blessed with creativity I try to appreciate it and develop it:) Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, please do sign up to follow my journey:)

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