My Big Blue IKEA Bag

I made a big gigantic blue tote bag.

gigantic blue Ikea bag

beach bag packed
Gigantic tote loaded with three big beach towels and room to spare!

This was meant to be a new gym bag, but I think it’s a bit too oversized for that, so it is destined to become a beach/pool/shopping/laundry bag instead. I mean, I knew it was going to be big, but I didn’t really plan to make it this big – guess I should’ve checked the size, but instead I thought – “36 x 60 inches seems about right”.

Here’s the backstory…

I needed a new gym bag – I was using an old purse/bag that was awkward, a bit too small, and had no functional pockets. When I started looking online for a new one, and toying with the idea of making my own, I ran across this pin. I fell in love with the colorful bags (aren’t they cool?) and the easy pattern, and decided that I absolutely needed to make one!

I had a bunch of navy blue twill left over from some curtains we got from Ikea a while back – apparently Ikea curtains only come in sizes Tall and Extra Tall! We needed curtains for a room with 3 sets of windows (of varying sizes), and the price was right on these, so I hemmed them all to fit and was left with a ton of cotton twill. It was perfect for this bag. Can you say upcycle? (and, no, I’m not getting paid by Ikea to say any of this!)

I used turquoise webbing to brighten things up and curtain grommets I had leftover from the laminated cotton curtains I made. I roughly followed the instructions, but added a zipper pocket (because zipper pockets are an essential feature of any bag!). The zipper pocket is just sewn into the top hem of the bag (tip: make sure you center the pocket, otherwise it hangs awkwardly when you fold in the sides of the bag – ask me how I know (helloooo seam ripper!).

gigantic blue Ikea bag zipper pocket
The sides hook together with a swivel clip and a couple of D-rings.

I liked how it all turned out, but I still needed a new gym bag!

So then I made a smaller (but still big!) blue bag.

pair of blue Ikea bags

Everything here was made basically the same way, just a bit smaller. I made the zipper pocket a little deeper. I still had plenty of fabric left, and just enough grommets, but unfortunately I had used my nice metal zipper for the first bag, so had to use a regular plastic one instead for this one. Oh well, no sweat!

gym bag packed

Now I’ve got a proper gym bag.


Pattern: Super Easy Tote by The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood
Sizes: Gigantic tote finished dimensions: 21″(w) x 21″(h) x 13″(d), fabric dimensions roughly 36″(w) x 58″(h), folded in half to get 36″(w) x 29″(h); Smaller tote finished dimensions: 13.5″(w) x 16″(h) x 13″(d), fabric dimensions 27.5″(w) x 50″(h), folded in half to get 27.5″(w) x 25″(h); about 2 yards of webbing for each.
Fabric: upcycled cotton twill curtains from Ikea, webbing from Fabric Outlet in SF (1″ wide, used for gigantic tote) and bagladyofsc on Etsy (1.25″ wide, used for medium tote), Dritz curtain grommets.

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