There's so much to love about this craft!
- It can be FREE! All you need is an old handtowel, thread and something to use as a tie. Most people have that stuff.
- It takes almost no time! Start to finish this project took me 15 minutes.
- It's so useful! Our family travels often for trips and weekends away with friends and family. We need to take our toothbrushes along - of course. In the past, I'd tuck all our brushes and pastes into my overnight bag. Without fail, my overnight bag would be smeared with toothpaste.
- It saves time! After our trip, I toss the whole Toothbrush Travel Bag into the wash. No scrubbing required.
- It's healthy! Huh? Isn't that a bit of a stretch? Nope. To save my overnight bag from toothpaste puddles and pastiness, I was tucking all our stuff into a Ziploc bag. That seemed like a good idea until I thought more about my microbiology training. Where do bacteria grow best in? Warm, damp areas with lots of food they like. Hmmm, like a plastic bag with drippy toothbrushes? Yep. With this bag, there's a lot more air flow and ability for the toothbrushes to dry out.
- On our family trips, my kids put their toothbrushes away themselves! Hmmm - maybe I should start using this bag at home too...
Here's how to make it:
1) Gather your supplies:
- a hand towel
- something to use as a tie (Mine was a scrap piece of bias tape, but any washable cloth ribbon-type thing would do. Maybe a shoelace? A scrap of elastic?)
- a few pins
2) Gather up the toothbrushing stuff your family usually takes along on trips. For us that was:
- 2 adult toothbrushes + 1 adult toothpaste
- 2 kids toothbrushes + 2 kids toothpaste (They can agree on a lot of things, but toothpaste flavour is not one of them.)
3) On a flat surface, lay out your handtowel lengthwise.
Lay your toothbrushin' stuff out on top, across the middle. Spread things out until you are happy with how it's all spaced.
4) Decide how deep you want the pockets to be.
My pockets are 4.5 inches. This gave me enough depth to hold the stuff, but also enough to fold the top over and hold everything in.
My flap is 6.5 inches. By having this flap over the top of the brushes everything stays dry and separate from the other things in your suitcase. (Nothing's worse than finding a hair stuck to your toothbrush or toothpaste smears on the black pants you planned to wear.)
5) When you're happy with the spacing of your pockets, put a couple of pins where each seam needs to be.
Then just do a simple straight stitch to create the pocket.
If you don't have a sewing machine, this project is still doable. Hand-stitching will take more time, but will work just fine; these seams don't need to be as strong as something like clothing or pillows.
6) Add a tie.
I had to add the tie twice because the first one I added was too short to tie.
Make sure that the length you choose is going to work. It will need to wrap around your filled, folded and rolled up bundle - and then have room for a knot or bow. I made mine way too long the second time, with the plan to trim it to the right length.
I ended up leaving the ties long because my kids loved rolling it up, winding up the ties and tucking the ends in instead; they are not big fans of tying things - but I'm a big fan of them doing helpful things themselves!
Fold the length of the tie in two. At the middle point of the tie stitch it to the middle point of your (folded) pouch.
While you're on your trip, show your Toothbrush Travel Bag to your hosts over and over again and talk about how you made it endlessly.
I wish that was just a joke, but I was seriously so excited about how simple and helpful this craft was that I thought everyone should know. My kids were worse than I was; they were pretty jazzed by the craft and showed it to everyone for days.
A few people said, "You should put this on your blog." Which might just be their new polite way of saying, "Enough already. Tell someone who cares."
Next, I think I'll make a tiny one out of a washcloth for our razors. Then, I'll make one for our swim bag to hold shampoo. Then... can you tell I have a lot of old towels to re-purpose?
Have you made a simple craft that excited you because of its usefulness?
If you're looking for more simple, useful sewing projects, check out these:
- Easy, Personalised Pillows (made with Iron-on Jean Patches)
- The Easy Way to Sew a Pillow (a Beginner's Tutorial)
- How to Make a Simple Ironing Board Cover