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Create a fun busy toddler bag with fabric scraps

Create a fun busy toddler bag with fabric scraps

Do you ever get an idea and just can’t resist making it?? This is how I feel about this busy toddler bag – once the design had formulated in my mind I just had to execute it! My niece is a gorgeous 18 months, walking and enjoying all life has to offer. Naturally this busy toddler bag includes pushchair buckles. I have yet to meet a toddler who does not have an endless fascination with buckles! This busy toddler bag not only uses lots of fabric scraps it incorporates a buckle, magnetic snaps, velcro, buttons and a zip. These are all great for developing manual dexterity.

Magnetic Snap Busy Toddler Bag

The bag is designed to be visually appealing, created with a bright flower design front and back.

Use your fabric scraps to create a fun busy toddler bag, free tutorial. Use buttons, magnetic snaps, velcro, buckle and zip to increase manual dexterity

This busy toddler bag makes a great gift and is perfect for using fabric scraps – naturally I could not hang on until my nieces birthday, I just had to give it to her now:)!!

Flower design, busy toddler bag made with fabric scraps

Personally I am rather passionate about bag making – if you are new to bag making I have the perfect Beginners Bag Making Course for you which covers so many essential skills for bag making, and includes many free bag tutorials. 

To make the bag:

12.5″ by 11″ two pieces of fabric for main body of bag

2 times 12″ by 4″ fabric for the handles

Fusible fleece  two pieces 12.5″ by 11″

2 buttons

To make the lining:

11″ by 21″ lining fabric

Interfacing 11″ by 21″

To make the zip flower design:


7 by 1 1/2″ to pieces of fabric for enclosing the zip

15 circles of different fabrics, diameter 3″

3 buttons

felt, with interfacing to strengthen

3 velcro circles

ribbon 25″ cut into three lengths

To make the Suffolk puff fabric with buckle design you will need:

5 circles of different fabrics, diameter 3″

5 buttons

5 magnetic snaps

ribbon 40″ cut into five lengths

1 1/2″ by 5″ piece of fabric for strap

1 1/2″ by 6″ piece of fabric for strap

buckle, mine is 1 1/2″ long by 3/4″ wide

Zip flower design

To make the flowers, fold the circle in half and then half again. Gather stitch along the curved edge through all layers of fabric and gather up.

Fabric flower made from fabric scraps

Repeat so you have created five petals. Tip – continue in the one thread so they naturally joined together into the round.

gather your fabric flower petals together

On the back sew on a small circle of felt, with velcro dot in the middle. On the front sew on a button.

Make a further two flowers.

Flower with velcro

Zip – Enclose the zip in a complimentary fabric. Fold you fabric in half, press, open out and then press in the raw edges. Press again with the fabric in half and raw edges turned in. Place the zip inside the opening.

Enclose zip in fabric

Tack the fabric in place, capturing ribbon in the zipper top end. Stitch and remove tacking. Repeat for the other side of the zip. Place to one side.


Suffolk Puff flower design with buckle strap

Create the round flowers, iron some iron on interfacing into the center of the flower. Insert the magnetic snap.

Fabric flowers

Sew a running stitch round the fabric circle, and gather up. Insert a small circle of felt into the center and secure, this provides a secure piece of fabric to sew your button onto.  Sew on the button. Repeat for the other four flowers.

Gather fabric to create suffolk puff fabric flower

Create the fabric buckle strap. Fold the fabric in half, press, open out, turn in edges, open out fold in ends and repress.

Fabric buckle strap

Stitch your fabric strap.

Main body of the bag

Iron on fusible fleece to main bag pieces.

Sew on the zipper on one piece (centrally), with the ribbons at the top. Stitch down the outer side of the fabric so there is flexibility when the zip is pulled.

Next sew on the straps for the buckle, cut one length of strap to 5″, fold underneath your raw edges and capturing 5 pieces of ribbon at the top. The top of the strap should be positioned approximately 5 1/2inches down from the top of the bag. Add the second piece of strap to the bottom of the buckle, again enclosing the raw edge. Ensure you do not sew too close to the buckle to ensure the toddler has room to open and close the buckle fastening.

front and back of the bag

Place right sides of the bag together, sew down the sides and along the bottom.

Create bag base. Keeping the right sides together fold the side seam to the bottom bag seam.  Pin into place, mark a seam 1″ either side of side seam (see image).

bag base, box corner

Stitch. Complete on second side of bag and trim seams. Turn the bag right side out.

Place your Velcro flowers. Add the velcro dots to the main body of the bag. Sew the other end of a piece of ribbon to the back of the flower (trim the ribbon to suitable length). Repeat for all velcro flowers.

Layout flowers, add velcro fastening to bag

On the opposite side work out the placement of suffolk puff flowers to be visually appealing. Insert the other side of the magnetic snaps accordingly. Sew the other end of a piece of ribbon to the back of a flower.

All your flowers should now be attached to ribbon with the appropriate fastenings on the main bag.


Bag Handles


Next create handles, fold into the middle press, then unfold and fold edges into middle. Press, open out, fold in one end. Refold and stitch.

bag handles

Add a button hole on the finished end. Complete both bag handles.

Bag lining

Create the lining, follow the steps as for the main bag sewing the three seams then creating the box corners.

Bag Assembly

Place handle two inches in from the side seam on top of the bag and stitch into place.

Pin bag handles on and secure

Add button two inches from the other side seam. Repeat on the other side of the bag.

Finish the bag

Insert the bag inside the lining.

Join the lining and main bag together

Stitch round the top from the strap round past both side seams leaving a turning gap. Turn the bag right side out.

Lastly slip stitch the turning gap and then top stitch the top of the bag. Your done!!

Busy Toddler Bag - button closure

I hope you enjoy making a busy toddler bag from fabric scraps as much as I did:)






This post is linked up here:

DIY Crush

Sew Can She

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Lorena Boutin

Sunday 21st of October 2018

This is a wonderful idea. Can we sell these at a craft show if we give you credit as the designer ?


Monday 27th of June 2016

I do love this bag Vicky! Great way to keep a toddler occupied!


Sunday 12th of June 2016

Hi, Vicky - this is so much fun! I love the scrappy petaled flowers with every petal different. Fabulous job!


Saturday 11th of June 2016

I love this idea, since toddlers seem to grow so quickly in and out of toys, making this into a bag extends its shelf life innumerably. Great post thanks so much for sharing.

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