Summer Essentials Kit

Last year we posted this as a guest post, but never had a chance to show it here.
In case you missed it:
Both Autie and I live close to the beach, and every summer we literally spend most of our time either on the sand, or at the pool.  So, we tried to brainstorm something you could use this summer on your vacations and beach/pool visits!
We give you: 
This is a stinkin’ cheap project that will come in so handy this summer!
This is the place to put all of your things that swim around in the bottom of your beach/pool bag, that you are always digging to find.
This is the place to stash a wet swim suit so it doesn’t sog the rest of your stuff.
This is the place to stash your phone, keys and cash so it doesn’t get sogged by the nasty wet swim-suit…
Literally, the only thing we purchased to make this little humdinger was a outdoor place-mat on clearance for $2.88.  Everything else we had, and I’m sure you do, too!  Fill this kit with your swim diapers, sunscreen and baby powder (you know that trick, right?  baby powder gets sand off of little bodies before you get back in the car…we buy it in bulk around here!) and they’ll always be right where you need them!
Have I sold you on making one yet?

Supplies for 1 kit:
-1 place-mat (we got an outdoor place-mat at Pier 1 on clearance, we loved the idea of a vinyl or outdoor place-mat because that it really is water-proof, but any cloth place-mat you have will work great!)
-2 quart-sized Ziploc bags (we used freezer bags…they’re thicker, and that’s what we had!)
-4 gallon-sized Ziploc bags
-a scrap of double fold bias tape (12 inches-ish)
-2 12-inch scraps of ribbon
-pins, scissors and a sewing machine!

Here we go:
1.) Fold your placemat in half and finger-crease it so you know where the middle is when you open it up.
2.) Use a straight edge and a marking pen to mark the center of your place-mat.  (You’ll sew right over this line.)

3.) Once you know where the center is, you can begin to lay-out your bags.  We started with the 2 quart-sized bags because we wanted those to be the first things when we opened up our kit.  Make sure you over lap the ends of your Ziploc bags over the center line by an inch or so, and pin them in place.  After the 2 quart-sized bags, we layered 1 of the gallon bags on top of those, and pinned.  Next, we layered the 3 remaining gallon-sized bags facing the other direction, but still overlapping the center of the place-mat, and pinned those in place.

(you can see our massive pins, and bag overlapping in this picture below!)
Pinning these slippery bags can be tricky, you may need a partner to hold them in place while your pinning.
4.)Iron out just the center fold of your bias tape, and then fold the end under by a half inch.  Line the bias tape up with the center line that you made in your first step.  You should cover the center line, and make sure that each of the bags bottom ends are covered.  (and you should have the ends of the bags hanging out on both sides.)

5.) Pin your bias tape down at the top, and middle, and then trim the bottom piece of where you’d like it, fold the end under and pin it down as well.

(ready to sew…below, just to be clear, you can see the bias tape pinned in place, and the 2 quart-sized bags along with 1 gallon-sized bag on the left, and 3 more gallon-sized bags on the right.  You can also see the bottoms of all the bags hanging out on both of the opposite sides.  we’ll trim them later!)

6.) Begin sewing around the perimeter of your bias tape.  Start at the top, when you get to the bottom, lift up your presser foot, making sure your needle is down, and swivel it 90 degrees to head across the bottom.  Sew around each edge of the bias tape to secure your Ziplocs in place.

7.) After your bias tape is sewn, trim the over-lapping parts of your bags as close to the bias tape as you can on both sides…careful not to cut the good part of the bags.

8.) Lastly, cut 2 12-inch lengths of ribbon.
9.) Fray-check the ends.  Then fold one end under, and pin it to the outside of the front of your place-mat as shown.
10.) Repeat this on both sides and then stitch the ribbons in place by sewing a small square.
these become your ties.
(make sure to fray check all of your ends!)
11.) Stuff your kit full of all of your summer essentials…and have fun!