room time totes


For a number of reasons--having a large family, choosing to homeschool, and liking order where it is possible--having a set time every afternoon for quiet is absolutely imperative for the mama.  And I should add, the kids as well.  Everyone knows what to do (most days) when it is "quiet time" and "room time" for the older girls who share a room.

In steps the "specific bag for the specific activity" project, one of my favorite simple sewing projects that always gets my kids focused and excited.

This time it is the Room Time Tote...

It needed to be simple, sturdy for carrying activity books and crayons and the likes, and easy to hang.

And of course, personalized.  I'll get to that later.  So here is an extremely simple tote you can make in less than an hour, embellishing included.

the room time tote

You'll need:

neutral sturdy canvas or duck cloth

decorative fabric to trim

wide velvet ribbon

embellishments--possibly shells or twigs


Cut two pieces of canvas roughly about 16" x 22 ''.

Take a long strip of your trim, press under on each of the four sides about 1/2 inch.  Pin onto one piece of the canvas right side up where you want it.  Stitch into place.

With right sides together, pin the pieces of canvas together, leaving the top unpinned.  Stitch all three sides 5/8 inch.  Now take the unstitched opening at the top and fold over 1/2 inch and press.  Fold over another 1/2 inch to 1 inch and press.

Now stitch the opening.

Turn the tote inside out and press.

Take your trim and decide how long you want the handles to be.  Our handles are both cut at about 12 inches a piece.  Fold over one end of your ribbon to cover the raw edge, tuck it into place inside the tote, and pin.  Do the same for the other side.

Now stitch the ribbon handle in place.  I like to sew a square around the wide ribbon and then an X in the middle to really make it secure for toting.

Now embellish over the handle stitch you just created.  Here, I broke a few pieces of backyard twigs and hot glued into place.

Or use seashells from the beach and hot glue into place.  The options are endless.  This is where it is fun to personalize the totes based on your child's interest.  I wanted to stick with the nuetral theme so kept with things found in nature.

And there you have it-- a room time tote!

Caroline and Johanna's totes hang at eye level so they can reach them when that magical time comes after lunch.  It is exciting for them to grab their bag, sit on their bed, and enjoy the much needed quiet and calm.

Some ideas for filling their room time totes (which need switching out from time to time) are:

  • coloring books
  • activity books (like these we still love)
  • crayons
  • stickerbooks
  • chapter books
  • blank paper and a clipboard
  • paper dolls

We've used these room time totes for some time now and changing them out with news things makes them that more exciting when it is time to sit down and enjoy their room time.  In case you were wondering, while they are doing that, I am in my room, totally collapsed in [amazon_link id="B0002E7DIQ" target="_blank" ]this[/amazon_link], enjoying my quiet time.  :)


the sleepy time gal