Whether you’re embarking on an adventurous backpacking trip or simply need a reliable solution for keeping your dirty laundry separate during travel, a travel laundry bag is a must-have item. Creating your own travel laundry bag not only allows you to customize its size and design to fit your needs but also gives you a sense of accomplishment and uniqueness. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of making a practical and stylish travel laundry bag that will make your journeys more organized and hassle-free.
How To Make A Travel Laundry Bag
Making a travel laundry bag is a great DIY project that can be done with minimal sewing skills. Here’s a simple way to create a drawstring travel laundry bag:
- Fabric – You’ll need two pieces of fabric, each measuring approximately 20 inches by 30 inches. Choose a lightweight, durable fabric that’s also machine washable. Cotton is often a good choice.
- Drawstring – This could be a shoelace, a cord, or a ribbon, approximately 70 inches long.
- Sewing machine or needle and thread
- Safety pin or bodkin
- Measuring tape or ruler
- Cut the Fabric: Cut your fabric into two pieces, each should be 20 inches by 30 inches.
- Pin the Fabric: Lay the two pieces of fabric on top of each other with the “right” (or patterned) sides facing each other. Pin the fabric together around the edges to hold it in place.
- Sew the Sides and Bottom: Using your sewing machine or hand sewing, stitch the two long sides and one short side of the bag together. Leave a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Make sure to leave one short side (the top of the bag) open.
- Create the Casing for the Drawstring: Fold the open (top) edge of the bag down about 1/4 inch and iron it flat. Then, fold it down again about 1 inch, and iron it flat. This creates a “casing” or “channel” for the drawstring. Pin this in place.
- Sew the Casing: Stitch along the bottom edge of the casing, all the way around the bag. Be sure not to sew the casing shut. There should be a tube that’s open at both ends.
- Thread the Drawstring: Attach a safety pin or bodkin to one end of your drawstring. Use this to help thread the drawstring through the casing you’ve just created. Once you’ve threaded it all the way through, you should have both ends of the drawstring coming out of the same opening.
- Finish the Drawstring: Tie the ends of the drawstring together in a knot or a bow. You can also add some beads or other decorative elements to the ends of the drawstring.
- Turn the Bag Right Side Out: Finally, turn the bag right side out. Your travel laundry bag is now ready to use!
Remember, you can always modify this design to fit your specific needs. You can make it bigger or smaller, add pockets, or use different types of fabric. Enjoy your DIY project!
Creating a travel laundry bag is a straightforward process, but there are some tips and tricks that can make the process easier and result in a better final product:
- Choose the Right Fabric: The fabric you choose will affect the durability and utility of your bag. Consider using a lightweight but sturdy fabric like canvas, cotton or nylon. These fabrics are easy to work with and can withstand the rigors of travel.
- Consider Lining Your Bag: If you’re planning to carry damp or wet clothes in the laundry bag, consider lining it with a water-resistant fabric, like nylon or PUL (Polyurethane Laminate).
- Design for Convenience: Consider adding an extra pocket on the outside of the bag for storing detergent or dryer sheets. This could be a simple patch pocket sewn onto the outside of the bag.
- Reinforce Your Seams: To make your bag more durable, consider reinforcing the seams. You can do this by sewing a second line of stitches next to the first, or using a zigzag stitch for added strength.
- Adjust the Size: The size of the bag mentioned in the previous instruction is a guideline. Feel free to adjust the size of the bag based on your travel needs. For instance, if you are a solo traveler, you might need a smaller bag. But for family travel, a larger bag could be more useful.
- Add a Handle: Consider adding a handle or shoulder strap to make the bag easier to carry. This can be as simple as a length of sturdy ribbon or webbing sewn onto the bag.
- Use a Durable Drawstring: Instead of using a ribbon or shoelace, consider using a more durable option like paracord for the drawstring. This will make your bag more durable and able to withstand heavy loads.
- Add a Toggle or Cord Lock: To keep the bag securely closed, consider adding a toggle or cord lock to the drawstring. This will prevent the bag from accidentally opening during transit.
Remember, the goal is to create a bag that is functional, durable, and suits your personal travel needs. Happy sewing!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Q: What materials do I need to make a travel laundry bag?
A: To make a travel laundry bag, you will need the following materials:
· Fabric: Choose a durable and washable fabric, such as cotton or nylon.
· Drawstring or cord: This will be used to close the bag securely.
· Sewing machine or needle and thread: You can sew the bag by hand or use a sewing machine for faster results.
· Scissors: For cutting the fabric and thread.
· Measuring tape or ruler: To measure and cut the fabric accurately.
· Optional: Decorative elements like ribbons, buttons, or patches, if desired.
Q: How do I choose the right size for my travel laundry bag?
A: The size of the travel laundry bag depends on your personal preference and the amount of laundry you intend to carry. As a general guideline, a bag with dimensions around 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) in height and 12-16 inches (30-40 cm) in width should provide ample space for a week’s worth of laundry. However, feel free to adjust the size according to your needs.
Q: How do I make a simple drawstring travel laundry bag?
A: Here’s a step-by-step guide to making a basic drawstring travel laundry bag:
· Measure and cut two identical rectangular pieces of fabric according to your desired bag size, leaving an additional 1 inch (2.5 cm) for seam allowance.
· Place the two fabric pieces together, with the right sides facing each other. Pin the edges to secure them in place.
· Sew along the sides and bottom of the fabric, leaving the top open. Use a ½-inch (1.25 cm) seam allowance.
· Turn the bag right side out and press it flat to create neat edges.
· Fold down the top of the bag about 1 inch (2.5 cm) and press it flat. This will create a casing for the drawstring.
· Sew a straight stitch along the folded edge, leaving a small opening at one side.
· Attach a safety pin to one end of the drawstring or cord and thread it through the casing, going all the way around and coming out of the opening.
· Tie the two ends of the drawstring together to secure the bag.
· Your drawstring travel laundry bag is now ready to use!
Q: Can I add additional features or decorations to my travel laundry bag?
A: Absolutely! You can personalize your travel laundry bag by adding various features or decorations. Some ideas include:
· Pockets: Sew on one or more small pockets on the front or sides of the bag to store small items like laundry detergent, fabric softener sheets, or loose change.
· Labels or tags: Attach a label or tag to the bag to help identify it or add a personal touch.
· Embroidery or appliqué: Use decorative stitching or appliqué techniques to add patterns, designs, or your initials to the bag.
· Fabric paint or markers: Get creative and paint or draw on the fabric with fabric-safe paints or markers.
· Trim or ribbon: Attach decorative trims or ribbons along the edges or seams of the bag for added flair.
Q: Are there any alternative methods to sewing a travel laundry bag?
A: Yes, if you don’t have access to a sewing machine or prefer a no-sew option, you can make a simple travel laundry bag using fabric glue or fusible bonding tape. Instead of sewing the fabric together, apply the glue or tape to the edges and press them firmly to bond the fabric pieces
Q: What are some tips for choosing the right fabric for a travel laundry bag?
A: When selecting fabric for a travel laundry bag, it’s important to consider durability and washability. Look for fabrics that can withstand frequent use and washing, such as cotton, nylon, or polyester. These materials are typically sturdy and easy to clean. Additionally, consider using a fabric that is lightweight and foldable, as it will be more convenient to pack and carry during travel.
Q: Can you provide step-by-step instructions on making a travel laundry bag with a zipper closure?
A: Certainly! Here’s a step-by-step guide to making a travel laundry bag with a zipper closure:
· Measure and cut two identical rectangular pieces of fabric according to your desired bag size, adding an extra 1 inch (2.5 cm) on each side for seam allowance.
· Place the two fabric pieces together with the right sides facing each other. Pin the sides and bottom edges to secure them in place.
· Sew along the pinned edges, using a ½-inch (1.25 cm) seam allowance. Remember to leave the top open for attaching the zipper.
· Press the seams open and turn the bag right side out.
· Take the zipper and place it face down along the top edge of one side of the bag, aligning the raw edges.
· Pin the zipper in place and sew it onto the fabric, using a zipper foot on your sewing machine. Start sewing from one end of the zipper, go across, and stop at the other end.
· Repeat the previous step to attach the other side of the zipper to the opposite fabric panel.
· With the zipper partially open, fold the bag in half so that the right sides are facing each other. Pin the remaining side edges together.
· Sew along the pinned side, starting from the bottom and ending at the top, using a ½-inch (1.25 cm) seam allowance.
· Trim any excess fabric and zigzag or serge the raw edges to prevent fraying.
· Turn the bag right side out through the open zipper.
· Press the bag to smooth out any wrinkles.
Your travel laundry bag with a zipper closure is now complete!
Q: How can I add a separate compartment for clean and dirty laundry in my travel laundry bag?
A: To create a separate compartment for clean and dirty laundry in your travel laundry bag, you can incorporate a divider inside the bag. Here’s how:
· Measure and cut two rectangular pieces of fabric according to the bag’s dimensions. These will serve as the front and back panels of the divider.
· Determine the desired height of the divider, keeping in mind the overall height of the bag. Cut a strip of fabric that matches the bag’s width and is equal to the desired height of the divider.
· Align one end of the strip with the bottom edge of the front panel fabric. Pin it in place.
· Sew along the pinned edge to attach the strip to the front panel.
· Repeat steps 3 and 4 to attach the strip to the back panel fabric, aligning it with the bottom edge.
· Pin the front and back panels together, with the right sides facing each other. Make sure the strip is positioned in the center of the bag.
· Sew along the sides and bottom edges of the panels, leaving the top open.
· Trim any excess fabric and zigzag or serge the raw edges to prevent fraying.
· Turn the divider right side out and press it flat.
· Insert the divider into the travel laundry bag, positioning it in the desired location.
· Hand-stitch or topstitch the top edge of the divider to the inside of the bag to secure
With a DIY travel laundry bag, you can bid farewell to the hassle of sorting clean and dirty clothes while traveling. By following our step-by-step instructions and incorporating your personal style, you’ll have a functional and aesthetically pleasing bag that keeps your clothes organized and your travel adventures worry-free. Get ready to embark on your next journey with confidence, knowing that your laundry is under control, thanks to your very own handmade travel laundry bag.