Well, as you can see from the photo above, I’ve become a little obsessed with making these little bags! I’ve always found these box shaped toiletry bags so intriguing, as they are a bit of a puzzle when you look at them. But I am here to tell you that they are really so easy to make! And because of the ScanNCut, they are even easier. I knew I wanted to create something for Father’s Day, but I wanted to make something Andy would actually use! Having Harlow involved was key, yet I’m not a fan of stuff looking super homemade. Just not my thing! I totally ruined the surprise — don’t worry, he has other Father’s Day gifts that will be a surprise! – by asking Andy what he would like if I were to make something. He didn’t pause long before he expressed a deep-seeded jealousy (just kidding) for all of my toiletry bags I use for packing when we travel. I had no idea he actually would like something other than piling all of his stuff together in one bag! who’d a thunk. So my thinking cap went on, and I was on a mission to create a perfect toiletry bag that was functional, masculine and fun! Typically, these bags are sewn from rectangles, a small triangle is measured and removed (depending on the bag style), and then sewn to form a box shape. But what always bugged me was that no matter how careful I was about measuring that corner triangle, it was never as perfect as I wanted it to be. So instead, I’ve removed the guesswork and the measuring and created some downloadable patterns for you to use. I chose to use fabrics that don’t fray for these bags, so no lining is needed. Multipurpose cloth and a fake upholstery leather worked perfectly to create a box bag that not only held its shape, but cut beautifully on the ScanNCut! I have two patterns for you to download at the end of the post — they are in an FCM format, so they can be downloaded, put on a USB stick and opened on your ScanNCut. They can be resized as well to fit your needs. The patterns include seam allowance lines and numbered instructions for construction — told you I would make it easy! The first bag design is what I’m calling the Standard Box Bag. The second is the Even Better Box Bag. I love this one! Here they are side-by-side. The Standard Box Bag is the easiest to make, so if you’re a beginner or want to test the waters first, start with this one. My favorite is the Even Better Box Bag. The zipper opens at the base of each side, allowing you to see everything inside really well! Okay! Enough of my rambling: let’s get started!
- Multipurpose Cloth/Leather or other fabric for your box bag (Multipurpose cloth is like a canvas that doesn’t fray. It can be easily ordered online, but I struggled to find it in brick and mortar stores. I did however stumble upon blackout curtain fabric, and that worked really well too!)
- Zipper (for the included patterns, a 14inch zipper will work well with both. A 9inch will work for the standard box bag pattern.)
- Standard ScanNCut mat
- Fabric support sheet (test the fabric you are using, I only used the standard mat with the fake leather upholstery)
- ScanNCut Fabric Pen and Pen holder
- Standard Blade
- Sewing machine and accessories.
I walk through the entire bag creation step by step in the video — you can simply pause it with each seam to sew! Below I’ve captured each of the sewing steps for you in detail as well. 1|| Prep your fabric as needed. I like to cut out my fabric about 1/2″ larger than my final shape. Test your fabric with and without the fabric support sheet as well as your blade depth and pressure. (I’ll be going into detail soon about how to test your cut settings for each new material.)
3|| Using your fabric pen, select Draw from the final menu. You will see that I’ve formatted the file to differentiate between the lines to draw and the lines to cut. To learn how to do this in ScanNCutCanvas, I’ve put together a quick video tutorial. Press start!
4|| After you’ve marked your steps and seam allowances, cut your fabric according to your tested settings. 5|| After you’ve cut out 2 pieces, gather your zipper and thread your sewing machine to begin sewing your box toiletry bag together. This is the fun part! And I’ve made it really easy to follow along with the steps. I go into a bit more detail about sewing in the zipper in the video, but always be sure you are sewing right sides together. Top stitch at the zipper seam for a nice finished look.
6|| At this step, have fun adding embellishments. Harlow and I had so much fun drawing portraits of daddy — looks like him, eh? — and drawing notes for him that we scanned in and cut out of vinyl to iron onto our box bags. Harlow especially liked showing Andy the bags with words written on the inside — kind of a fun and unexpected surprise! Below are some examples of how we added a little something to these Father’s Day gifts for Andy! I told you we had fun making these!!
7|| Following the steps that we marked on our pattern pieces, sew the bottoms (marked with a 2) together. Use the 1/4″ seam allowance, sewing right sides together. If you wish to top stitch the following seams, it will help your bag keep it’s shape a bit more. Definitely not necessary, but it definitely takes it to the next level! (in my opinion)
8|| Move on to step three. Be sure to open the zipper first — you’ll need to be able to turn your box bag right-side out! Line up the edges and seam allowances and sew steps 3 together. If you are sewing the Standard Box Bag, the sides for step 3 will fit together a bit more easily than the Even Better Box Bag, as you can see in the image below.
9|| Now let’s move on to step 4! You’ll repeat this seam around all 4 corners of the box bag. You can see the corner seams of the Standard Bag below. 10|| You did it! Now if you’re like me, you’ll go sew about 10 more. :) I also made a quick video about setting your cutting and drawing lines in ScanNCutCanvas — that way you can go and create patterns and templates like these, too!
I really hope this project inspires you to grab some supplies and dust off your sewing machine this Father’s Day! Or heck: whatever day! I personally don’t think you need a reason to make these little box bags — they are perfect for any occasion. And if you’re like me, you can never have too many little bags to pack in. :) Never. Can’t wait to see what you create! xo