Free beach bag tutorial with pockets

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

I don’t know about you but a trip to the beach always contains a little anxiety – I dread the thought of my car keys becoming lost in the sand!! A recent trip to the charity shop found me eyeing up beach bags, my daughter stopped me in my tracks by asking “Why aren’t you making your own, it will be better”. With a holiday on the horizon I was delighted to spot a pair of curtains at a car boot sale, although faded in places careful cutting out meant I could avoid this.

This beach bag comes together quickly but I hit a problem with the handles, the night before our holiday:( I tried to install eyelets but just couldn’t fit them correctly…. on holiday we used a long life supermarket shopping bag without loosing our keys, scarily we did find someone else’s keys in the sand!

The advantage of making your own beach bag is that you can make it to your own requirements. This bag is designed around my desire for a zip pocket for car keys and slip pockets for suntan lotion and drink bottles.

Beach Bag Tutorial

You will need:

2 side panels 17 by 7″ main fabric

front panel 4 by 19″ and 12 by 19″ main fabric – contrasting panel 4 by 19″

back panel 4 by 17 and 17 by 11″ main fabric – contrasting fabric 4″ by 17″,

base 17 by 7″ main fabric

Fusible fleece, two side panels and base as above plus two pieces 17 by 19″ for front and back

Lining Fabric –

Two panels 17 by 19″

Two side panels 17 by 7

Bottom 17 by 7 ”

Strong iron on interfacing as above for lining.

Internal pockets:

zip pocket 17 by 10 ”

slip pockets – one piece 20 by 12″

Zip 8″

2 meters rope

4 Screw together grommets 3/4″

To make:

Lets start by creating the front panel. Lay the right sides together of accent fabric to main fabric. Stitch 1/2″ seam allowance. Press seam open. Repeat for the other long side of the accent fabric.

Repeat for the main back panel.

Iron on fusible fleece to all main fabrics.

Iron on interfacing to all lining pieces.

Sew the main bag together. Sew each side seam stopping a one centimeter before the bottom of the seam.

Pin in your base fabric, sew each seam stopping a centimeter before the edge.

Lining – let’s start by creating your pockets. Fold your long pocket fabric in half long ways. Press, then top stitch.

Mark the fabric in three places (quarter, middle, three quarters) along the top, mark the lining fabric at the middle and then in quarters. Place the pocket fabric onto the lining long edges matching. Pin in place. The fabric will be not quite flat. Sew down the pocket fabric along each marked place to create four slip pockets.


Add small pleats along the base of the pockets so the pockets lie flat against the lining. Baste in place.

Place your zip pocket fabric  4 1/2″ in from the side and 1″ down from the top, right sides together.

Mark a rectangle 7 by  1/2″ as your stitch guideline.

Stitch round the rectangle. Cut along the middle of the fabric as marked. Turn the lining fabric through to the wrong side. Press the edges of the opening. Place your zip behind the opening and tack in place.

Machine stitch in place. With the wrong side facing turn up the zip pocket fabric so the bottom and top edge align. Pin.

Sew round the three open edges to enclose the pocket.

Sew the lining pieces together as you did for the main bag. Place the outside of the bag and the lining right sides together.

Stitch around the top of the bag leaving a turning gap. Turn the bag right side out. Pin in the opening and top stitch along the of the bag.

Lastly lets install the screw in grommets – arguably the most important step in this bag!

Mark the position of the grommets, 4″ from the side seam and 1″ down from the top of the bag. Mark the size of the grommet hole, drawing round the inside of the grommet. Cut out fractionally wider.

Cut a little wider for the screw holes. Screw the grommets in place.

Cut the rope in two equal lengths, thread through the grommets. Tie a knot on each end, wrap thread around the end of the rope to stop it unravelling.

That’s it – one quick easy large beach the bag complete with handy pockets.


  1. June 23, 2017 / 9:17 am

    The beach bag turned out very pretty indeed!

  2. July 3, 2017 / 6:10 pm

    Hands down Vickie for this fabulous bag. I can imagine your daughters happiness to see their mum creativity, after all your daughters gave you an idea. Hands down, the pattern looks too good. With the instructions being clear and concise it will have a beginner sewer feeling like a professional in no time!! Thanks ton for coming up with this post.


    • Vicky
      July 5, 2017 / 1:56 pm

      Thanks so much for your kind words Hannah:)

  3. Joanne Goranson
    October 18, 2017 / 3:27 am

    Love this bag and all the bag tutorials I’ve seen on your site. We live in the US in the state of Minnesota in the summers and in Arizona in the winters, now that my husband has retired. We live in a 55+ Community with over 400 homes and there’s a large pool. I have looked all over for a bag to bring all the supplies I need for my trips to the pool with friends but anything that I consider “quality made” costs more than I want to pay. I am a professional Art Quilter (aka “The Thread Lady”) and also make and sell mixed media products so most of my time is spent on my business. However, sitting in front of a sewing machine and making fun stuff that I like and need is a form of relaxation for me and since recycling is a passion of mine I’m thrilled to have found your blog. I’m planning on making this bag as soon as we get to our house in AZ sometime at the beginning of November. I don’t have a blog or a website (other than my page on because it’s just too time consuming and I’d rather be doing something fun! I’ll send a photo of my bag once it’s done.

    • Vicky
      October 18, 2017 / 6:26 am

      Lovely to hear from you Joanne – I am looking forward to seeing your bag:) We too are in the process of moving home, I hope your move goes well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge