Thursday, January 6, 2011

In Bins

I am embarrassed to admit that there are days when I spend more time organizing the kitchen in the kids' playroom than cleaning our real kitchen. 

And a recent onslaught of new faux kitchen items has made me neglect the real kitchen even more. 
The drawers and cupboards in the pretend kitchen are filled to the brim so I decided to sew a fabric bin to store the new food items. 

It turned out to be a pretty easy project, completed while watching the Rose Parade. (I kept running to my sewing machine during commercials.) 

Materials Needed:
Main fabric (I used toy robot linen)
Liner Fabric (I used purple linen)
(the amount you need depends on how big you want your bin to be. Measure everything out first before you cut to make sure you have enough material. Also, sturdier material adds more body to the bin allowing it to stand on it's own nicely. Conversely, a lightweight material would be ideal if you want to pack it up easily as in, let's say, a collapsible make up bin for travel.)

To start, I made a circle on the liner fabric. Since Doodlebop broke my circle cutter, I used an upside down plate that was 8 inches in diameter.

I cut a circle from the liner, then from the main fabric. (You'll notice lazy me skipped the ironing once again.)

Place right sides together, pin and sew (I used a 5/8 margin.) DON'T sew the entire circle closed - leave about a three-inch section open so that you can turn the whole thing inside out. 

Here is a photo of what it looks like to leave a three-inch gap. 

Turn that puppy inside out. Then close that gap up by folding the edges inward and sewing as close to the edge as possible. If you look closely, you can see where I've done just that at the bottom of the circle. 

Next, you need to revisit your high school geometry class. My memories of high school geometry involve being passed a cheat sheet for the final, so I don't remember much. (And let me add that the teacher knew we were passing that cheat around) But, I did study hard for the SAT's and can still remember that pi (not the eating kind) x diameter = circumference. 

So, for my bin I took 3.14 x 8 = 25.12 (I rounded up a few inches just to be safe....up to 27.) The height of the bin is up to you. I wanted a deep bin since I had a lot of groceries to conceal. I went about 9 inches high. 

I cut two rectangles, each 27 x 9 (one in the main fabric and one in the liner fabric)

Pin them right sides together and sew. Again, DON'T sew all the way around. You need to leave space to turn the whole thing inside out. 

Same as before, you'll need to turn it inside out, fold edges inward and sew as close to the outer edges as possible. 

Right sides together, carefully pin your round base to the rectangle, slowly curving it around in a circle. 

And sew!!! See how much material I have leftover?? There are pro sewers out there (you may be one of them) who can measure out their material perfectly so that everything fits together like one, big, beautiful jigsaw puzzle. I am not one of those sewers, so I'd rather have more material than less. 

 I merely sewed up the side of my bin (see the stitching?) and then snipped off the excess material. 

I turned the whole thing right side out and....voila! The food has a home. 

See the difference for yourself with this before and after shot of the play kitchen. 

You can even turn your kitchen gourmet by folding over the top few inches of your bin. Snazzy!


I'm not done with you yet, bins....stay tuned for future bin projects. 2011 is the year I get organized. Or at least the year I start cleaning my real kitchen. 


  1. So cute! Thanks for the tutorial. I LOVE your play kitchen!! I have been searching and searching for one that's a little more 'manly' for my guys!

  2. So glad you like it! I just cut up a bunch of fabric to make more. They're very useful! We got that kitchen at Target about 5 years ago....maybe they still sell it? My two boys LOVE to play in the kitchen (both real and fake).

  3. I would much rather craft than clean, and have made the same resolution to get organized in 2011. So far, not so much. But I still have hope.

  4. Anonymous, I'll be posting more in the next few days about attempting to get organized! Maybe we can help each other out with ideas!!

  5. Horray! Another sewer who runs to the machine in the commercials!! I'm a little green with envy over that kitchen. I'm thinking these bins would be great for organising the playdough stuff from the drawing stuff from the softies...etc in my little one's room. Thanks!

  6. What a great tutorial! thank for sharing!

  7. Great idea and tutorial! Thanks for sharing

  8. Good job, great tutorial. These round type bags are not that hard to make - a little harder with a lining like you did. I made some fleece round bins like this with no lining. Then I folded over the top edge like you did and put a round circle of stiff felt at the bottom of the bin. Very easy. Thanks for sharing how you made this with the lining.

  9. Notchka - glad to hear you are a fan of commercial breaks as well! It's amazing how much can get done in 3-minute increments! Linda, fleece bins sound like a great (and perhaps sturdier) idea! I'll be posting a follow up tutorial next week on a bin with a personalized twist....stay tuned!!


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