Monday, May 19, 2008

Make It From Scratch: Nature Art Bag

Check out the Nature Bag I made for EGirl's 5th birthday. She's forever tucking leaves and rocks and flowers into my hand as we walk, so the nature bag should come in handy! I think she's got her grandfather's interest in and love of plants and insects (he's been birdwatching since he was a child and kept a detailed sketchbook of animal drawings as a young boy...later on this morphed into notes on bird sightings which he keeps to this day). EGirl also loves to draw and paint, so much so that when CBoy was born, the way we kept her occupied while I nursed was to set out 2-3 projects every time he napped. They'd consume her interest and keep her rapt for hours. So when I saw the idea for a bag designed to take art supplies outdoors, I knew it was perfect for her.

You know how excited I was about my freecycled sewing machine? This was totally the right project to tackle after the beanbags. Had I actually followed Lori Pickert's instructions (sigh) and measured my existing art supplies before cutting the jeans and whipping the bag out, it's possible that I would not have had to buy anything. 'Cause I had a pair of old pants and a bunch of ribbons hanging around. But I sure do have a weak spot for quality art supplies for kids, as I think it inspires them and makes them feel you're taking their work seriously (in other words, I'm not sorry I got her two spiral bound notebooks just like my dad used, a set of crayons, and a set of colored pencils, all to fit her nature bag!).

Here's a link to the Camp Creek instructions on Making a Field Bag from Recycled Clothing (in our case, a pair of her dad's jeans). They are explicit, step-by-step, and I followed them to the letter. Just in a girlier format, of course. EGirl had shredded one of her favorite butterfly shirts during an ill-fated,
scissors-wielding, pushing of the envelope so it was nice to reclaim it on her bag. The ribbons are upcycled from giftwrap. The woven fabric handles I just had lying around (pack ratta!). Now I can't wait to head outdoors and tackle some of Lori's outdoor art lessons.

*Actual photo by MamaBird!


Anonymous said...


now i know i just have to learn how to sew. i kinda blocked that out in 7th grade home ec. another story, of course.

Lori said...

it turned out great!! :^D) and hey, i always like an excuse for buying new art supplies. ;^)


Jane @ Kidzarama said...

Just what Mr Bump needs!
~And Wren needs something to carry her pens & sketchbook, too.

Thanks for the fab idea, Mamabird :)

kate5kiwis said...

oh way to go you!!!
love all that beautiful applique (it looks like applique, or have you just layered fabrics together??)
i am on an apron buzz over here, making red hot sexy aprons this week, lol!!!!!!!!!
mwah X

Crunchy Domestic Goddess said...

oooh, that is awesome! great idea. :)

greenplan(t) said...

I am definitely bookmarking this! My son is just 18 months old, so he's too young to need this yet, but I just have this feeling he's going to be an endless collector of stuff. I am, his dad is, and he loves the outdoors. This is just the perfect idea. :D

Tech Savvy Mama said...

Thanks for a a great idea! I need to make one so Little Miss Techie has a place for all of her flowers and Captain Computer can carry all of the rocks and sticks that are always picked up on our walks.