i spy with my own eye…

by @according2kelly on May 20, 2008

easy sew i spy bagsi’ve been collecting little doo-dads forever (paper clips, foam stickers, confetti), wanting to make “i spy” bags for the boys. (click on pictures to enlarge.) finally, this weekend, i actually got around to making them. they came together easily & were super quick to make. the best part… the boys love them. here are the directions, they might be wordy, but it’s just because i’m trying to explain everything the best i can. really they truly are easy. looking for an even easier way to get your little kiddos there own little “i spy” bag? you can buy them HERE, HERE & HERE.

prep:
2 fleece squares that are 7″ square
a 4″ square of clear vinyl (at least 4 mm or thicker)
1 inkjet fabric sheet (can be found at most craft stores, or you can make your own HERE)
poly-pellets (can also be found at craft sores… it’s usually used for doll stuffing)
aprox. 30+ small doo-dads to fill bag (peruse craft stores, etc. for “little” stuff. buttons, scrapbook stuff, household odds & ends. for ex: paper clip, button, penny.)

assembly (click on the pictures, to enlarge them for a pictorial how-to):
easy to make i spy bags1. on the wrong side of one piece of fleece, using a ruler, find the exact center of the square. using your ruler, measure out from the center & draw a line 1.5″ from the center on all sides of the square (make each line about 3″ inches long). then using scissors or a rotary cutter, carefully cut along the lines to make your “window”.
2. center the vinyl over the window, on the wrong side of the fleece. you might find it helpful to use a bit of tape to hold it in place. very carefully sew the vinyl to the fleece. *vinyl can sometimes stick to the sewing machine, so you might want to test it first. if you find it sticking, you can use a piece of tissue paper between the vinyl & whatever it’s sticking to & just tear it away when you are done.) i personally like to sew with the fabric side against the pressure foot, but do whatever works for you. be sure to double stitch to prevent anything from falling out! i do a straight stitch around the window, and then go over the straight stitch with a decorative zig zag stitch.
3. if you haven’t already, now would be a good time to gather all your little doo-dads, type up your “i spy” list in a word processing program like word. i like to type it in a 3×3″ square text box. then, print the list out onto the fabric paper. cut out your list, make sure to leave enough room around the list, so you can sew around the edges (i figured this one out the hard way.) place your “list” on the solid (back) fleece square, with the right side facing up. zig zag around the edges to prevent it from fraying (you can also dab a little “no fray” on it as well).
4. now that your front “window” square, and back “list” square are done, pin them together, wrong sides together, & carefully sew around the bag, making a sem of about 1/4″ – 1/2″. again, i like to double stitch – the first time around i did a straight stitch, & then i did a decorative zig zag stitch the second time around. *be sure to leave a small opening on one side of the bag that you can use to pour the contents in.
5. fill your bag with your doo-dads, then start pouring in the poly-pellets, a funnel is really useful here. i start with about a cup of poly-pellets & slowly add. personally i like the pellets to fill the bag, to the top edge of the window, but it’s all personal preference. you just don’t want to add so many pellets that it’s hard to manipulate the bag & objects.
6. when you are down filling, carefully shake everything to the bottom of the bag & carefully sew up your opening. & then, ta da! you are finished.

29 comments
Natalie Pope
Natalie Pope

This is so great! I'm going to make one for a Christmas gift. Do you think I could use rice instead of the poly pellets as the filler?

Dan & Dorey
Dan & Dorey

I made something similar to this but placed all the items in a clear plastic bottle and hot-glued the top on. Thanks for the directions. My 3 year old loves anything "eye spy". =)

Ginger
Ginger

Very cute idea,I better get sewing be great gifts anytime for the kids.Thanj you so much for showing how you made yours.

crystal
crystal

Oh, thank you for posting the directions! I've been wanting to make some forEVER! woo hoo!

Anna
Anna

I've been wanting to make one of these for a while now. I was thinking of using alphabet beads instead of trinkets but now maybe I should make two!

Mahina
Mahina

i love these! i made 3 a couple years ago for our girls and a cousin! they are great for the church bag!

Scribbit
Scribbit

So cute--and I like your shop too!

Marie
Marie

I have always wanted to make one of these. Thanks for the tutorial.

TravelinOma
TravelinOma

This is SO cute!! I think this could keep me awake at church!

My name is Ali...
My name is Ali...

what a cute idea!! I can't wait to see it in person, that's adorable!

Wendi
Wendi

These are so adorable.How I wish I could sew.Thanks for including some sites to buy these.I can shop.Thanks for sharing this idea!

CathyB.
CathyB.

so cute! you are super crafty! love these!

{alisse t}
{alisse t}

Your crafts are so cute! I used your Creamy chicken rollup recipe on my blog today. Thanks for the ideas!

aaron & allee
aaron & allee

These are adorable! I totally want to make one of these now. Thank you for all the instructions!

VerrySherry
VerrySherry

OMG--what a great thing to share with us. 1. I always hate throwing out little itty bity things, this will serve a great purpose. 2. I'm always trying to think of a sweet little something for care packages back home, usually to go with a baby quilt--perfect!! Can't wait to being the process...now where in world are those little token things, hmmm?

Kimberly
Kimberly

My sister made me one of these for my kids and it was a HUGE hit! It's one of my quiet toys I keep in my bag and the kids are always fighting over it. Now, thanks to you, I can make more!

jessi
jessi

looks great - I've been wanting to make one of these. I should start collecting my doo dads

Montay
Montay

Very Cute idea Love it!

Tina
Tina

I've made these myself and my girls love them!!

TopHat
TopHat

Wow. What a great idea. I don't have patience for my sewing machine, but if I ever found the patience, I'd make this.

Lindsey
Lindsey

Super cute. you are a crafting wonder woman! How about instead of me making one.. You make 'em and sell em. ???

themommykelly
themommykelly

That is such a cute idea! I can totally see my girls getting into something like that. I have seriously got to carve out some time for crafting!

Marilee
Marilee

Too bad Neal is not 10 years younger. Will keep it in mind for grandkids........someday. Such a cute idea!

love.boxes
love.boxes

That is the cutest thing! I just love it!

gab
gab

My kids love theirs!

Laura B.
Laura B.

I've been collecting little things forever! This is just the motivation I need to get mine done! THANKS!

swisskiwis
swisskiwis

I made one of those a few years ago, and I think my dh and I had more fun with it than the children did ;)Ok, at least *I* had more fun with it...lol

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