Tutorial ~ Toy Gathering Bucket

on February 20 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 100 Comments

Once upon a time there was a darling little princess who was curious about everything.  The queen wanted her princess to be happy and amused, so she gave her charming things with which to play–cloth blocks, handcrafted rattles and painted wooden toys (from Germany!)The princess was amused (for a minute.)  Then she demanded new toys to shake and taste and bang.  So each day the queen would walk through the castle and collect items for the princess to explore–a silicone basting brush, a measuring tape, a sterling silver cuff bracelet (from the king!), velcro hair curlers.
“I need something in which to gather all of this stuff,” thought the queen.  “I will make a bucket, soft and cute.  And because I love her so, I will make felt toys and hide them in pockets.  This will amuse the princess.”
And the princess was amused (for a minute.)
Make the Felt Toys
Gather supplies:

  • 4 6” squares of felt for toy bodies.  Additional colors for accent.
  • Embroidery floss
  • Cotton or poly fill
  • 4 9″ pieces of non-fraying ribbon or twill tape

Using the templates (pdf), cut 2 of each toy shape.

Embellish one side of each toy shape.  You can cut small pieces of felt and stitch, or simply embroider.  (If you use felt pieces, make sure they are sewn on well so they won’t come off in baby’s mouth.)

Using a blanket stitch, sew together the front and back pieces of each toy.  Leave an opening of approximately ¾”.

Lightly stuff the toy.

Insert about ¾” of the ribbon or twill tape into the opening on the toy.  Using a backstitch, sew the opening closed with the ribbon in place. (Remember, this is a toy for a baby, so you want to make sure the ribbon is far in and it not fraying.) 

Make the Bucket

Gather supplies:

·        1 fat quarter linen or linen blend

·        1 fat quarter interior fabric

·        1 fat quarter exterior pocket fabric

·        1 yard medium weight fusible interfacing

·        ½ yard heavy fusible fleece

Cut the pieces:

  • Linen (Lay it out as pictured.  There is barely enough room!)
    -Body–10” x 21”
    -Bottom–6.5” diameter circle (pdf template)
    -Handle–15” x 6”

  • Interior fabric
     –Body—10” x 21”
    Bottom—6.5” diameter circle
  • Exterior fabric
    Pocket—9” x 22
  • Fusible Fleece
    -Body—10” x 21”
    -Bottom—6.5” diameter circle
    -Handle—15” x 3”
  • Medium weight fusible interfacing
     –Body—10” x 21”
    -Pocket—9” x 22”
(I want to point out that I had to piece my pocket fabric because the “waves” were running the wrong direction.  In case you decide to use the same or similar fabric, you would be wondering how I managed to get the stripes to go across, rather than up and down.)
Iron the medium weight interfacing to the wrong side of the exterior pocket fabric. Fold the fabric in half long-ways and press.
Iron the heavy fusible fleece to the linen bottom.
Layer your interfacing and linen body pieces.  Put the fusible fleece on the bottom with the sticky side up.  Put the medium weight interfacing on top of that, also with the sticky side up.  Put the linen body piece on that, right side up.  Iron the linen with high, dry heat.  Give it a few passes to make sure the interfacing is fused to the linen and the fleece is fused to the interfacing.
Fold your linen handle piece in half and press a crease.  Open it back up.
Put your fleece handle piece down, sticky side up.  Center the linen handle piece on top of the fleece, right side up.  Iron the fleece to the handle.
Turn the handle over and press the linen on both sides of the fleece toward the center of the handle.
Fold the handle in half and press well.
You’re ready to sew!
Using a very narrow seam allowance, sew the side of the handle.
You may want to sew a couple of rows of stitches up the handle.  (This is a slightly modified version of Lisa’s bag strap tutorial from Bag Month.)
You need to mark the long bottom edge of the main body piece.  The marks should be small so they’re concealed in the seam. In black ink make 4 marks where you’ll be pinning and sewing the ribbon from the toys:  3″, 8″, 13″ and 18″.In blue ink make 3 marks where you’ll be stitching the pocket to the body to make the different pocket compartments:  5.5″, 10.5″ and 15.5″.
Placing your toys face down, align the ribbons with the 4 black marks.  Pin a couple of inches from the bottom edge.
Place your pocket piece on top of the linen piece, lining up the bottoms and the left sides.  (Your pocket is one inch longer than the body piece because you’re going to make one small pleat in each pocket compartment.  This will give the pocket a little fullness to accomodate the toys.)  Directly over the black mark and the ribbon from the toy, pinch about 1/8″ and tuck it over. Pull the extra fabric from the right side. Pin in place, making sure that you’re also pinning through the ribbon and the main body piece.
Repeat the small pleat above each of the ribbons.  Sew along the bottome edge using 1/4″ seam allowance.
Your blue marks are hidden in your seam, but if you lift the pocket layer you can see them.   You’re going to sew a line from the top of the pocket down to each of the blue marks.  You can mark it with a pencil, use a pin to mark the top, or just eyeball it.  Tuck your toys into the pockets and out of the way for the rest of the construction.  (I actually made 2 buckets–one with toys and one without, which will be apparent in some of the remaining images.)
Fold the body piece over and sew the side seam using a 1/2″ seam allowance.  Carefully trim the excess seam allowance.
Pin the circle to the bottom of the body. (Wrong sides are out.)  Ease in the fullness.  Sew in place using 1/2″ seam allowance.  Trim excess fabric.
Stand the bucket up.  Drape the handle inside the bucket and pin on both sides.  Sew in place using 1/4″ seam allowance.
Construct the lining.  Sew the side seam of the interior body piece using 5/8″ seam allowance.  Pin the bottom on and sew in place also using 5/8″ seam allowance.   Turn right side out.
Insert the lining into the bucket, right sides together.  (The lining won’t go all the way to the bottom because the handle is in the way, but that’s ok.  Trust me.)  Leave an opening of about 5″.  Backstitch at the beggining and end.
Stick your hand in the opening, grab the bottom of the bucket, and pull it out through the hole.  Voila!
Fold the opening in and press all around the top edge.
Top stitch around the rim.
A perfectly cute toy gathering bucket for your own prince or princess.
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100 Responses to Tutorial ~ Toy Gathering Bucket

  1. Amy says:

    I love this! So easy to follow. I have made one and posted it too!


  2. Adin says:

    Beautiful! I love it. 🙂

  3. deb says:

    I love your fairy tale tutorial. you are one cleaver and crafty queen! =) Hope not only your little princess is happy and amused, but your castle neat and tidy.

  4. Monica says:

    The bag is very cute and the baby is even cuter!

  5. What a cute idea! Just wanted to let you know I’ve linked to this tutorial in a Toy Tutorial post on my blog, The Handmade Experiment. Thanks!


  6. MzTallulah says:

    Great tutorial and such a cute idea!

  7. Julia Bain says:

    I am enchanted by your entry – you have creative talent both as a writer and otherwise:)

  8. Lori Krause says:

    This would make a great gift with an added toy inside the basket!

  9. Stacey says:

    Cute idea, thanks!

  10. Serena says:

    The bucket is so cute, but the story to go along with it is even cuter!!!

  11. Jackie Sue says:

    Love it, love it, love it! Did i tell you I love this!!! Oh wow, i am printing this to PDF now and keeping it in my projects folder! I’m in the middle, well beginning, of a quilt project that is ASAP, but I dont want to forget or loose this one! Simply wonderful and practical!!! *HUGS* Jackie

  12. Stephanie says:

    Very cute bucket! But I bet she likes the silicone brush the best. We have the same one and my daughter always picks the blue one over the red one. So silly.

  13. abbie says:

    Such a great idea – a perfect gift idea!

  14. Valerie says:

    Great tutorial!

  15. Christy says:

    Thank you for this wonderful tutorial. I was so inspired! I just finished making it! Your instructions are excellent! WOW! Thank you for the time that you put into it. It turned out even better than I could have imagined.

  16. Maranda says:

    Great idea, my daughter would love it:)

  17. suzi says:

    Love this! I definitely need to make one of these.

  18. Annmarie says:

    cutest sewing story ever! that is such a clever idea and how perfect for grabbing a couple toys before heading out the door.

  19. Ramona says:

    Adorable baby and the bucket is to cute. I especially like the felt toys.

  20. Grace says:

    Another great idea!! I can’t wait to get started on all these projects.

  21. Kate M. says:

    Love, love, LOVE that one o the felt toys is a yellow submarine.

  22. Nova says:

    so cute, love the story

  23. maaria says:

    Oh my.
    Can’t remember EVER have seen a tutorial this sweet!
    Thank you so much all the lovely things you share with us!
    ♥ maaria

  24. Gretel says:

    lovely! What a great idea, thank you!

  25. Darla says:

    You have THE BEST TUTORIALS I have found. Thank you so much.

  26. Suzanne says:

    Very cute! Thanks for the tutorial.

  27. aimee says:

    What a great idea and a great tutorial- thanks!

  28. BCQuilter says:

    What a great idea! Surprises, pockets, and a place to put all the other neat stuff, is sure to be a toddler/baby pleaser!

    This project I think could be easily converted to a quilters dream! Attach snips, pincushion, and maybe a seam ripper, or any other notion items.


  29. Wicked cute story. Cute bag too. Oh and Cute baby.

  30. Karen says:

    Super cute!

  31. Libby says:

    Great idea for a baby and such a cute baby, too.

  32. Helena says:

    This is great I can’t wait to get working on this for my little princess.

  33. Shellyfish says:

    What a great gift-giving idea! Thanks – I can’t wait to try this!

  34. Emily says:

    Love it!!

  35. jodie says:

    Very cute – bucket and baby!

  36. Dominika says:

    So sweet princess! And lovely idea. I have to try something like this for my princess ;).

  37. Larissa says:

    I just happen to have one prince who would be amused by this bucket- for a minute 🙂

  38. Carol says:

    Great! I just need about a thousand of those buckets. Too many toys around.

  39. Elizabeth says:

    This is so cute! I love the detail on the felt shapes.

  40. Leah says:

    What a great and creative tutorial. I love this idea! Thanks for sharing such wonderful ways to use fat quarters.

  41. Karen says:

    Too cute – thanks for the detailed tute (get it…cute tutorial…tute?)!

  42. jessica m says:

    thank you for directing me to that bag strap tutorial. Of course, it’s one day too late as last night I sat for forty five minutes trying to turn my interfaced strap inside out :p

  43. Lauranie says:

    Really cute! I am in agreement with all previous posts!

  44. JaneR says:

    This Fat Quarter month has been incredible! I will never look at a fat quarter the same way again! Thankyou!

  45. Melissa says:


  46. Rebecca says:

    Love it – thanks for posting this!

  47. Erin says:

    Super cute! I must make this for my little guy!

  48. Danielle says:

    This would be great as an activity bag for church too.

  49. Lola Jo says:

    Wow, that is an awesome idea. What a great tutorial!

  50. Jennifer says:

    These are just way too cute!!!
    What a great idea!!

  51. Heidi says:

    This is a great tutorial. My friend just had a baby on monday & I am going to make her little girl one of these once she’s old enough to be amused (for a minute) by toys & buckets!

  52. Cricket says:

    This will be perfect for my little princess. She’s the princess of all purses and bags, and they make her so happy I can’t resist making this one for her. Your little princess is too freaking adorable. Look at that expression in the first picture!

  53. Amy Hachem says:

    I can see a whole lotta cars, playmobil ppl and legos going into this sort of thing! 🙂 I may make a series of them to phase out some of the plastic bins and containers in the toy room (YAY!)

  54. Loralynn says:

    What a great idea! This would be a nice craft tote too!

  55. Kelli says:

    looks cute! Another great idea.

  56. alisha says:

    What a cutie! And I love the toy bucket. I’ll have to make the little submarine toy even if I don’t make the whole set since my little one’s nursery is going to be Yellow Submarine-themed. 🙂

  57. bec says:

    what a cute story. i love this idea, it would make a great easter basket for older children! thanks!

  58. Tammy :) says:

    I love the story book presentation of this tutorial. And the bucket is cute too! I am amuzed!

  59. Kaye says:

    The bag and the story are both adorable. Almost as cute as the princess. Thanks for the great idea and tutorial.

  60. Alice S says:

    This should win toy of the year!!! I’m so impressed with the thought and inspiration behind this. I have a niece or nephew due to arrive later this year and I’m thinking he or she will be getting this as a gift for Christmas. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  61. Susan Jonsson says:

    what an adorable idea! a perfect gift for a little baby I know!


  62. Great idea – it would be perfect to make for baby shower gift.

  63. Dawn-Marie says:

    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  64. Sarah says:

    Such a cute idea! And such a cute baby too!

  65. Stacy says:

    Wonderfully hillarious story! It is so true about the minute thing! This is a good idea to make for a baby shower gift.

  66. MegVS says:

    Great tutorial! Thanks!

  67. Michelle says:

    What a lucky little princess! And what a clever queen. Thanks for sharing.

  68. Monica Gee says:

    This is the cutest bucket ever!

  69. Christina W says:

    what a great idea, and i love the story that goes with it! everyone knows basting brushes are much more fun than teddy bears!

  70. Katie says:


  71. Michele says:

    I love this idea! It would make a perfect baby shower present. Thanks!

  72. BethieB says:

    This is by far the cutest thing I’ve seen in forever! I love the toys, even my 7 year is wanting them, lol. Also, the way this blog is written is so sweet, it makes me want to write my own crafting fairy tale…thanks for the awesome post!

  73. qsogirl says:

    p.s. and I loved the story at the introduction 🙂 what cute pictures!

  74. Barb says:

    Thanks for this amazing tutorial. What a beautiful baby…and basket too!

  75. qsogirl says:

    what an adorable toy idea! I am definitely going to save these instructions and try one myself! your work is beautiful!!

  76. Mandy Court says:

    I love this. I will be making this for my niece, and possible for a baby gift for everyone I know having a baby.

  77. Jaime says:

    Wow that’s amazingly cute!

  78. Lisa says:

    My 4 yr old son will love having his own toy bag to tote his stuff around the house. Do ya think it could inspire him to clean up the toys too and take them back to his room??? One can only hope!

  79. Anya T. says:

    How cute!

  80. Marilyn says:

    What an adorable idea! So cute!

  81. miss v says:

    this might be a challenge for me, but i’m up for it!

  82. CHARLIE says:

    What a great present for a baby shower.

  83. Megan says:

    This is totally AWESOME! What a great story, idea and tutorial. I love it, love it, love it.

  84. adrienne says:

    Yea! Something new to make for boys, too! =]

  85. lesley says:

    lovely! it’s so cute, and i love the pockets. perfect for toy-gathering adventures. Thankyou!

  86. Tarmy says:

    Wow! This is cute! I also love the fabric baskets at Pink Penguin….
    I’ve been planning to make one of those for my little one they’re a little easier because they’re not round.

  87. Lorrie says:

    Very cute idea – and an adorable model


  88. Clara says:

    This is a perfect use for a fabric bucket.

  89. Steph says:

    What a great idea! And such a lucky little princess.

  90. Ana says:

    I love it! Cute baby, too 🙂

  91. This is just wonderful! Thank you!

  92. maryanne says:

    Thank you for this tutorial – I’ve been wanting to make a fabric toy bucket and this one is adorable!

  93. alison says:

    What great tutorials! Adding to my list right now.

  94. Toby says:

    thinking my honorary nephew has more goodies to be made!

  95. Pam says:

    That is a great size for small hands to help clean up.

  96. April M says:

    Great tutorial!

  97. Kara says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. This is so very cute!

  98. Sarah says:

    Very cute!! This is going to the top of my “to do” list!

  99. Mary says:

    I love this idea!! Thank you!

  100. Ellen Ban says:

    What a great tutorial! My nephew would love this.

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