By contributing writer Beth
My kids love Valentine’s Day and sharing notes with their friends. This cute little mail bag is good for carrying their friend’s notes to and from events. And it’s perfect for boys and girls depending on how you decorate it.
- ½ yard red 72 inch felt (you could make 2 mail bags from this)
- 1 sheet white craft felt
- 1 sheet black craft felt
- red thread
- white thread
- black thread
- pinking shears
- felt sticker letters M, A, I, and L
- universal 90/14 needle sharp
- sewing machine
1. Cut the felt as described below.
Cut from red felt:
- (1) 33 x 10 inch rectangle.
- (1) 3 x 48 inch rectangle (you could also stitch together two-24 x 3 inch pieces, if you’d rather)
Cut from black felt:
- (1) 3 x 12 inch rectangle
With pinking shears or special edged scissors, cut from white felt:
- (1) 4 x 12 inch rectangle
2. Place the black felt centered on the white felt. Pin in place.
3. Sew straight stitches across the length in black thread ¼ inch from each edge of the black felt. Make sure to back stitch at the beginning and end. (You might be tempted to attach the letters at this point, but I would suggest waiting until the later so that you can make sure that they are centered on the bag itself.)
Notes: You’ll be sewing the bag inside out, but you don’t really need to think of it that way at all. If it helps the way you picture the bag, you can construct it just as you would if the seams were going to be on the outside. Since the bag has no lining it will work perfectly.
See the diagram above for help on this step. You’ll be using a pin to mark 10 inches from each end of the strap piece. This will be important later.
4. Line up the two red rectangles parallel to each other as shown in the diagram. One end of the strap stops 13 inches from the end of the large rectangle. Now pin along the “A” line in the diagram. (See how the bottom of the strap is pinned all the way up to the 10 inch mark we marked with a pin earlier?)
5. Use a straight stitch to sew along seam A. Make sure to begin and end the stitch with a locking stitch (back stitch). Remove the pins. You will not be continuing the stitch to the B seam. The B seam will have its own beginning and end points.
6. Arrange the fabric to pin seam B according to the diagram. Note that you’ll have to turn the large rectangle so that both fabric B sections line up. Sew this seam with a straight stitch.
7. Now you’ll line up C sections, pin, sew (with locking stitch at beginning and end), and remove pins.
You have completed one side of the bag! Great job!
8. Turn the end of the long, skinny rectangle (the handle) so that the handle isn’t twisted. Then duplicate steps with A, B, and C seams on the other side of the bag. The most important part is that you line up the bottom of the strap 13 inches from the bottom of the bag and then pin that seam 10 inches up the strap. You’ll be able to see that this is correct because the bag will line up just like the other side, but still measure.
9. Now trim all the threads and turn the bag right side out.
10. Attach the black felt/white felt rectangle 1/4 inch from the bottom of the flap so that the decoration wraps around to the inside of the flap on both sides. Glue or hand stitch the decorative layer on top. This is too many layers of felt for my sewing machine to be happy, so I glued mine. I used fabric glue, but any white glue should work fine. Make sure you glue the wrapped part on the inside of the flap. Use pins to hold the fabric in place until the glue dries.
11. Attach the letters. I used felt stickers but you could probably also cut out your own letters and glue them with regular white glue.
Allow any glue to dry completely before gifting to your favorite Valentine! Use your imagination and create different mail bags for all the kiddos.
You might also like…
- Homemade Valentine’s Day Bath Fizzies
- Rubber Band Bracelets – Valentine’s Day Craft
- Felt Valentine’s Day Cookies
- More posts from Beth