Making a Sheet (or Book) Bag – Part 1

I finally managed to secure some day care so that I could get back to (part time) work, which is a huge relief for me as the budget was starting to get a bit scary. Unfortunately it was not my preferred option of home based Family Day Care, but in a long day care centre. At this stage though, we take what we can get! Family Day Care provided me an emotional buffer but long day care offers more flexibility.  I also think Miss Squid will LOVE her Kindy room with a more formalised focus on learning.

Anyway, this new adventure for us all meant some adjustments all round, and not the least of which was the requirement list.  Most of it was not unexpected, but then “cot sheet in drawstring bag” loomed on both girls’ lists. The first reaction was “Where do I buy one?” followed closely by “Oops! #NothingNew”.  Then I started thinking about what we had at home.  I started the process thinking about converting some pillow cases, until I realised they still work as pillow cases, so probably not the best option.  I then remembered some swathes for cotton fabric I bought years ago to line a very ugly bedroom.  It has been used as tablecloths, dividers, covers and all sorts in the intervening years, but I still have large sheets of it in the back of the linen cupboard. The white was a bit boring though so I thought about using some fabric I had in the drawer to make monograms on the front.

I started to collect my supplies  and tools together.

Supplies to make a drawstring bag


  • paper scissors
  • fabric scissors
  • pinking shears
  • tape measure
  • iron
  • sewing machine
  • computer and printer


  • base fabric
  • monogram fabric
  • paper monogram templates
  • iron on adhesive
  • thread
  • ribbon

I was lucky (or a pack rat, you decide), I had everything in my collection at home and did not need to go shopping at all.

Create the Monogram Template

I opened up Open Office Writer (use any word processing programme you have available, I like Open Office because it is free to use) and typed in an upper-case letter for each of my girls (C and E stand for Squid and Bernie, really they do).  I decided to look for a bold sans serif font to make things easier to do.  I ended up using Franklin Gothic Heavy which gave nice big bold shapes and as it turned out, was symmetrical so that letters could be flipped top to bottom if needed.  I scaled them up to a size I liked (about 700 point size I think) and printed them out. I used a draft print setting because I did not want the paper to be too soggy when printed from my ink jet printer.

Cut Out The Adhesive

I cut them out with my paper scissors (cutting paper with fabric scissors will blunt them) and laid them on my iron on adhesive.   This step requires a bit of concentration especially if using a non-symmetrical letter like R or F.  The adhesive has a rough side and a smooth paper side.  You want to lay your letter right way up on the rough side.  I was lucky in that C and E can both be turned upside down and be legible so had a bit more scope for accidents before I worked out how important it was to concentrate at this stage.  I prefer speed over precision (bad habit of mine), so I just held mine in place and cut around them.  If you prefer precision, you might want to pin the pieces together before cutting.

I was also trying not waste too much of the iron on adhesive so despite the face that they did not quite fit side by side, I decided to cut them out this way and fill in the “holes” with scraps.  Don’t feel obliged to do that unless you have the same cheapness I do.

Using Off Cuts To Make The Adhesive Go Further

I used some of the "key hole" piece to fill in the holes

Iron on the Adhesive

I will quickly apologise for my low brow ironing “board” in the pictures – it is an old tea towel laid on our sideboard, a spot close to a power point that is easily access controlled so that little “helpers” do not discover the hard way to not like the iron. They should learn the old fashioned way, whilst ironing uniforms!

Ironing on the Adhesive

It is important to get your letter orientation and placement right before reaching for your iron.

Make sure the bumpy sticky side is face down on the back of the fabric  (and not the side you are trying to iron – I have made that mistake before!)  so your letter is back to front when looking at it.  With the “E” I lined it up with the pattern of the fabric and put it in a corner with a small amount of fabric all the way around the edge.  With the “C” and the fabric I was using I put the letter over the main picture of the pattern so that the print “made sense” visually after it was cut.  This was a little less economical with the fabric, but made sense to do so that Strawberry Shortcake could be seen.

Iron the adhesive on following the directions supplied with it (mine said to heat the iron to the silk setting).



………….And at this point, I am going to break the post into two because it is starting to get mammoth and daunting (for me and no doubt you too).

I will post the other half of the project soon!
I have registered this post in:

The Organised Housewife


2 Responses to Making a Sheet (or Book) Bag – Part 1

  1. Can’t wait to see the finished products.

    I made some sheet bags a few weeks ago.

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