In Crafts

Messenger Bag with Graphics Fairy Fun and a Thrifted Twist

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It’s birthday season in our home, which means beginning in January we have one birthday a month until June when there is two celebrations.  This year will be different since I am expecting in early May, so we’ll have two in May and two in June.  I am completely anxious for spring!!

Much like Christmas (and my Handmade Holiday series), birthday time around here means homemade or purposeful gifts.

My youngest boy is so wanting to be like his older brother, so I decided to give him a messenger bag just like his brother’s…

DIY Messenger Bag with Graphics Fairy Applique by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces…with all the fixings to go bird watching – a favorite pastime in my family.

DIY Messenger Bag with Graphics Fairy Applique by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesI will never deny that I am a thrifty person and this project is not exception. After all, Thomas Edison said it best, “The scope of thrift is limitless.”  My kind of man.

All the materials for this bag came from second-hand purchases or were made at home, (minus the velcro & thread).  Just time and creativity were all that were needed.

The basic pattern idea came from One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Fabric Projects; Look How Much You Can Make with Just One Yard of Fabric! I changed it to suit my liking and redesigned it a bit to meet the needs I had in mind. There are also scads of ideas on Pinterest.

I like boxed-corner bags for their ability to open wide and stand on their own when using a sturdy fabric.

DIY Messenger Bag with Graphics Fairy Applique by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesI found all the fabric at Goodwill ($1 a yard minus my 20% off coupon = cheap!)and it was brand new denim, pinstripe blue, and sort of stretch cotton canvas for the lining – all found at different times.  Never miss an opportunity to peruse the aisles of fabric for great finds!

DIY Messenger Bag with Graphics Fairy Applique by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

DIY Messenger Bag with Graphics Fairy Applique by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

See how it sits up all by itself so that my toddler-turned-big-boy can reach in for his equipment.  I added a cut of thin foam to line the base which adds to the sturdiness.

Now for the fun bird graphic.  Did you know there is no need to buy the expensive inkjet fabric sheets and that you can make your own?

DIY Messenger Bag with Graphics Fairy Applique by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesSee the tutorial here at Infarrantly Creative.

DIY Messenger Bag with Graphics Fairy Applique by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesWith the idea of giving my little guy a bird-watching bag, I wanted to add that theme to the outside, but definitely my style is vintage, so off to my all-time favorite graphics site, The Graphics Fairy for this adorable yellow bird image.

Vintage Yellow Bird Graphic Clip Art by The Graphics Fairy via Prodigal Pieces
Just follow the instructions for printing, cut out the graphic (I used pinking shears), and stitch on the awesome image.
DIY Messenger Bag with Graphics Fairy Applique by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesOne last tidbit.  I never throw anything that purpose away and it always pays off.  I couldn’t find, for the life of me, a sliding adjustable clip for the strap at JoAnns or ANYWHERE!  I didn’t have time to order it online, so I went to my stash of deconstructed purses, which includes all sort of hardware, and found exactly what I needed.  A cast-off dog collar I found in my yard.
DIY Messenger Bag with Graphics Fairy Applique by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesYou see, my neighbor has an escape artist husky dog that chews out of the collar in a matter of hours and left this one in my yard.  It had the exact hardware I needed – bingo!! I love it when things work out like that.
Here’s my little guy’s gift in it’s entirety:
  • Messenger Bag
  • Canvas Sun Hat – found new at thrift store – 80 cents
  • Binoculars – $10 at Walmart
  • Journal – $1 at dollar store
  • Vintage Audubon Bird Call – $1 + shipping on ebay (I love these little things!)
  • Audubon Plush Bird – from JoAnn with 40% off coupon

DIY Messenger Bag with Graphics Fairy Applique by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I’m not sure which he liked more out of the set, but he can’t wait to take it out and put it to use…just like his big brother.

DIY Messenger Bag with Graphics Fairy Applique by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

DIY Messenger Bag with Graphics Fairy Applique by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Got questions?  I’d love to help you if you need it!

~ DISCLOSURE: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that I might make a few cents if you purchase an item I have recommended. Your price will still be the same, but the seller might pay me a tiny percentage.
Some more stitching eye candy for you!
Handmade Feedsack, Linen, and Leather Purse by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesVintage Chair Gets Feed Sack Makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

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5 Comments

  • Jeanette@Creating A Life

    Larissa, I think grown women would even love a bag like that! You are so amazing. Such a perfect, well thought out gift for your little guy.
    Hope you have a wonderful week!

    Jeanette

    February 3, 2014 at 6:10 pm Reply
  • Shannon Fox

    Well. You are just to thrifty and handy!! That is the cutest and you little looks adorable with it :)))

    February 3, 2014 at 8:49 pm Reply
  • TLady

    This is one of the NICEST projects I’ve seen done with Graphic’s Fairy Images!!! I LOVE “deals” at the store too!!:) AND your little boy looks QUITE HAPPY!!!!!!!!!:) It’s NICE to have a mom who knows how to do things!!!!:)

    February 13, 2014 at 6:53 pm Reply
  • Wendi @ H2OBungalow

    Too creative! We love bird watching too:) My son and I used to look up the different birds on the water in our back yard together. Girl you can sew too! Talented you!!

    April 3, 2015 at 2:41 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Ha! Yes, I used to do it more often, but lack the time…one day! I’ve got scads of people wanting my feedsack purse and am trying to decided whether or not to commit to it. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      April 3, 2015 at 3:04 pm Reply

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