/ / DIY Kids Nature Collection Bag

DIY Kids Nature Collection Bag

Sewing | Spring Crafts | Summer

Create a sweet nature bag for little ones to use while exploring this summer. It is the perfect place to add special treasures found along the way! Follow the step-by-step picture tutorial to make your own bag.

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Fabric nature collection bag with mesh body showing nature collected inside.

Hello Crafty Friends! Today I’m excited to share a new sewing tutorial with you – this time for a cute nature collection bag. My daughter loves to collect nature when we are on hikes. Acorns, leaves, pinecones, twigs, flower petals – so many exciting treasures to collect! 

This summer I finally got around to making her a bag to bring on our hikes for collecting and foraging. It is the perfect size – large enough to hold a number of items but not too big that we are bringing the whole forest home with us. It’s also fun to use right in our own backyard.

The bag features a fun adjustable strap so it can grow with my daughter and allow her to decide how she wants to wear it.

The top corner of the bag shows the detail in stitching and the metal ring used for the handle.

I made the bag using fabric from a 10″ stacker I had on hand (the same fabric I used to create her fairy wand and fairy crown) and I purchased a netting from Joann Fabric. The netting is nice because it allows her to see her collection and lets dirt, mud and bugs easily escape. 

The hole size on this netting was just right for this bag but it does grip some of the nature items she collects making it difficult to remove some of them. I’d recommend picking a netting that is smooth so things don’t get caught on it. 

Hand is inserted into the mesh bag and is visible through the mesh part.

Below is the tutorial including the dimensions for the bag. There was no need to create a paper pattern for this project since all of the pieces are rectangles! 

Bright blue and green nature bag lays on a purple wooden surface.

DIY Kids Foraging Bag

Supplies Needed:

Cutting the Fabric

Step One: Start by cutting the fabric. Below are the dimensions for each piece you will need to cut. I was using fabric from a 10″ stacker so I pieced together the fabric squares to make the side and strap pieces.

  • Front Piece – 10″x10″
  • Back Piece – 10″x10″
  • Mesh Piece – 10″ x 16″
  • (2) Side Pieces – 3″ x 13″
  • Strap Piece – 3″ x 48″

Two pieces of cotton fabric cut into squares and one piece of mesh netting.

For the mesh, I cut a rectangle out of paper that measured 10″ x 16″ and used that to help make sure my mesh piece didn’t end up wonky. 

Pattern piece is laid on top of the mesh fabric and pinned in place.

Sewing the Bag

Step Two: Assemble the main body of the bag. Start by pinning the two 10″ square pieces of fabric to each 10″ end of the mesh fabric. Keep right sides together and stitch with a 1/2″ seam allowance. 

Two pieces of 10" square fabric are stitched to the ends of the mesh fabric.

Press the seams open, then press them up, so that the seam allowances are not visible through the mesh fabric. 

The seam is pressed open with a Cricut Mini Press.

Use a seam gauge to fold under the other end of the 10″ piece of fabric – the side opposite the one you stitched to the mesh. Fold this edge under 1/2″ and press. 

A seam allowance is marked and pressed on the other ends of the 10" piece of fabric.

Fold the fabric down so the edge you just pressed lines up with the mesh seam. Top stitch using a 1/4″ seam allowance. The seam allowance from the mesh seam is now hidden and the top edge of the bag is a nice folded edge. I top-stitched along this top edge with 1/4″ seam allowance. Repeat this process for the other side.

The top of the bag is folded over and stitched.

Step Three: Stitch the sides of the bag closed. To close up the two sides of the bag you will need to create bias tape using the two side pieces of fabric you cut.

  • (A & B) Since I was using fabric from a 10″ stacker, I first needed to stitch pieces of fabric together to create the longer 13″ long pieces needed.
  • (C) To create bias tape, start by folding the strip of fabric in half lengthwise and press. Next, open up the fabric and fold each long side under 1/2″ and press. Fold the top and bottom edges under 1/2″ and press.
  • (D) Pin the bias tape to each side of the bag, lining up the edge of the bag with the center of the bias tape.
  • (E) The bias tape will completely enclose around the edges of the bag with no raw edges showing. 
  • (F) Top stitch along both edges of the bias tape.

Collage showing the sides of the bag stitched closed using handmade bias tape.

Sewing the Bag Straps

Step Four: Cut and press the fabric for the bag straps. Follow the same process of creating bias tape as you did with the sides of the bag. I again needed to stitch pieces of fabric together to create a piece of fabric long enough for the strap that measured 3″ x 48″. 

Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and press, then open the fabric up and fold under each side 1/2″ and press. Next, fold the fabric in half lengthwise again. The fabric will now be 1″ wide and all of the raw edges will be covered. Stitch along both long edges of the strap about 1/8″ to 1/4″ away from the edge. 

Collage showing how the bag straps are cut and pressed into bias tape.

Attach the Strap to the Bag

Step Five: Finally, attach the strap to the bag using an adjustable side buckle and two D-rings. You can choose to just stitch the strap, at whatever length you need, to the bag. I decided to make the strap adjustable so it could grow with my child and she could decide how she wanted to wear it. 

Start by sliding one edge of the strap into the slider buckle so the horizontal bar is positioned under the strap. Turn the strap over and fold the edge over twice. The first time fold it 1/2″ then again 1″ this time catching the horizontal bar in the fold. Top stitch. I used a zipper foot to help make sure I didn’t hit the metal bar while swing. The strap is now only attached to the horizontal bar of the slider buckle.

The adjustable slider is added to one side of the strap.

Next, slip the opposite end of the strap through one of the D-rings. Loop it so it goes through the slide buckle passing over the fabric you stitched into place. In the righthand picture below you can see one end of my strap now has a D-ring and the other is free. The slide buckle is in the middle and can be moved back and forth adjusting the overall length of the strap.

The straps with the two D-rings added.

The last step is attaching the ends of the strap to the bag. Start by slipping the free end of the strap through the second D-ring. Fold the edge of the strap over 1/2″ and then again 1″ catching the D-ring in the fold. (The same process you did for the other end just but this time with the D-ring instead of the slide buckle.

The strap now has two D-rings on either end. To attach them to the bag use the excess fabric from the sides of the bag. Slip the side piece through the D-ring the fold the fabric under about 1/4″ and then over about 3/4″ catching the D-ring in the fold. Top stitch then repeat for the other side. 

*Tip: Pay attention to how you are attaching the strap so it isn’t twisted. Also place choose which side of the bag is the front and which is the back and make sure the slide buckle is positioned correctly so the horizontal bar is on the back side.

Collage showing the strap being stitched to the bag using D-rings.

Fabric foraging bag with adjustable fabric strap.

The bag is now complete!! I love how it turned out. All of the cutting and sewing is straight edges and a lot of top stitching. I had fun figuring out the adjustable buckle as I had never done that before. If you are looking to make this quicker and easier, you could skip making the strap adjustable. 

Fabric nature collection bag with mesh body showing nature collected inside.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Be sure to check out my other sewing tutorials along with my free sewing patterns. 

Happy Crafting! -Kim

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