I have been meaning to make these I Spy Bags for my kids for about a year now. When we went on vacation last year I thought they would be a great way to keep them occupied (for at least part of the time!) on the 12 hour flight. I never got around to making them though. This year as our annual overseas adventure comes closer I knew I had to finally do it!
The kids helped me by picking out 15-20 small "treasures" to hide in their bags. We then took a picture of their treasures that I will soon be laminating so that they can use a washable marker to cross off the items they have found. There is a pocket on the back of the bag to hold the picture and the pen.
There are LOTS of tutorials out there on how to make I Spy Bags, so this is nothing original. I tweeked things just a tad and I think that they will work out just great.
For starters, I made two with different window sizes. The larger window size is for my 2 year old. It is easier for her to find stuff as she just has to manipulate the bag to make different items "pop" to the top.
This was way too easy for my 5 year old though! So I made a bag with a smaller window in it for him.
The instructions below are for the large window bag. If you want to make a smaller window, just change the size of window you cut from the front panel.
Here is how I did it...
about 1/4 metre of fabric ( a fat quarter would probably do it)
thick plastic sheet (I used the bag that my daughter's duvet came in)
white rice (about 3-4 cups)
15-20 small items
basic sewing supplies
Cut out your pieces
- two 10" x 8" rectangles (one will be the front and one the back)
- one 10" x 6" rectangle (This piece will be the pocket on the back so I oriented my stripes the other direction for this piece just to give a bit of contrast.
Take one of the 10"x8" rectangles and cut out a 6" x 4" rectangle from the middle (5" x 3" for a smaller window). This will be your front piece.
To do this I first found the centre. I measured down 4" and across 5" and marked where the two intersected. (Don't worry about marking the fabric as you are going to cut this section out of the middle anyway)
Then I centred my 6" across measurement on the X and my 4" height measurement on the X. Mark and cut.
Measure out 1" diagonally from each corner and mark. Snip from the corner to your mark.
Get out your ironing board!
Fold back the edges of your opening and press.
Cut out your plastic piece. I cut it the same size as my front - 10" x 8" and trimmed it later because I didn't want to worry about it slipping around while I was sewing it. I used the plastic from this duvet bag.
Stitch the top edge of your pocket.
Pin the plastic piece to your front piece and stitch in place by sewing around the window edge. I stitched around twice because I wanted to make sure it was super secure!
(Note: It is easier to sew with the plastic on the bottom! It feeds much nicer through the machine!)
Pin your front piece to your back piece and sew all the way around leaving an opening (about 4" wide) along one edge so that you can fill it later. (If you have a serger, I would serge this part. If you don't I would recommend finishing your edge with a zig-sag stitch. This is a minor issue, but as you move the bag around to find stuff in the rice you can see the seam through the front window and a nice seam might be nice!)
Turn inside out and fill with all of your little treasures and rice. The fuller the bag the harder it is to find stuff! (The heavier it is too though!)
Stitch your opening closed and you are done!