Tuesday, March 30, 2010

the puzzle solution

My kids love puzzles. They also love to stand and sit on the puzzle boxes. After I had re-taped the boxes for the umpteenth time I had had enough!

The puzzles before.

After- each puzzle in it's own canvas drawstring bag.

Using a box cutter I cut the picture off each box (If you do this, be smarter than me. Don't cut the cardboard box on your lap while watching 30Rock. You'll be really mad at yourself when you cut a 1" gash in your brand new jeans. MOM: don't worry I barely scratched my leg- hardly any blood at all!). I cut a piece of vinyl a few inches larger than the picture. I sewed the vinyl to the front piece of the bag (before the bag was sewn together) with the picture sandwiched between the canvas and vinyl. Then I trimmed the vinyl close to the stitching. I made the bags with boxed bottom and button holes for the drawstring.

A little tip: when sewing vinyl the presser foot drags and gets stuck on the vinyl. Cut a narrow strip of paper (the tissue paper that comes with the vinyl works well) and place it under the presser foot near the needle.

After I had made almost all of the bags Tammy at she wears flowers posted a drawstring bag tutorial. I made the last six bags using her method and it was so much easier and quicker! Thanks Tammy for being smarter than me!

All of those puzzles from the first picture (plus a few more I found scattered around the house) all fit perfectly in this bucket that I picked up for $1.82. Look at how much space I am saving!! The puzzle bin sits nicely at the bottom of my lovely new closet.

38 comments:

Mama Thompson said...

You are brilliant...I'm pretty sure I will need to this someday...

Melissa @ Domestic Goddess In Training said...

That's awesome! I bet it would work great for all those annoying game board pieces too =)

Jennifer said...

Perfect! They look much better than the plastic zipllock bags our puzzles are crammed into.

Andrea said...

That's SO awesome. I love you for that idea. And seriously, the tissue paper idea is genius. I've had trouble with the clear vinyl before but didn't know how to keep the presser foot from sticking. I'm so using that idea from now on!

Marisa@make*happy said...

Great idea. I've done this with ziplocs, but your bags are much prettier.

P.S. We have lots of the same puzzles!

Chris said...

Thanks for a great idea...again!

The Mac's House said...

Great idea! We love puzzles here too.

Thanks for the info!

Teri

MCH PHOTOGRAPHY said...

what a great idea!

Karen said...

Brilliant! I am doing this. Where do you find vinyl? Thanks.

Jennifer said...

How does one even conceive such a fabulous idea!

I love it!

Anonymous said...

I love this idea!

Erin said...

@Karen- Walmart! $1.99/yard.

Amy said...

Super cute! I sew alot with vinyl and I am way too frugal to buy a teflon foot for my machine. Instead I stick a small piece of blue painters tape to the bottom of my presser foot to prevent sticking. Works like a charm:) (BTW, I tried the paper trick too but it kept shifting for me.) The tape comes off clean, leaving no residue.

Erin said...

@Amy- that is such a brilliant idea! thanks for sharing! i had thought about temporarily gluing felt or something to the bottom of the presser foot but i was worried about it being too thick or the glue leaving a residue. painters tape seems so obvious to me now. why didn't i think of that?? :)

Sara said...

That is pretty clever!!

Frugal Home Designs said...

That is such a great idea! You are brilliant.

Playfully Prissy said...

Awesome tip! I love this and think it is also a great idea to make to give as a gift. Make the bag with a photo copy of the unopened box. So cute and different.

Kalleen said...

You are brilliant. Thanks for giving me one more reason to love your blog!

The Fear Fam said...

You're a genius! I love the idea! It will have to go on my ever-growing list of to-do's.

merathon said...

loving the space-saving factor of this! we've got mounds of puzzles over here but there's no way i'll be making that many bags, so i'll just drool over yours.

jenjen said...

What a great idea! I LOVE it!!!

I am posting it on my FB page and tweeting it.

XOOX
Jen

Joy said...

LOVE the puzzle bags, Erin! What a special touch as well to use contrasting blue thread! I like your bags and Tammys! Great job!!! What a terriffic organizing tip as well!!! Thank you also for leaving a comment about my new "top week" post!

janimal said...

That is a great idea. Gosh, all those bags!

Jess said...

wow! you are soooo clever!! sorry about your new jeans, yikes!!!

Twigs @ Twiggles and Trunks said...

that is so stinking smart!

next blog entry: how to repair jeans that have a 1" gash in them (and minor blood stains)

Jenn Bennett said...

This is not only brilliant but the bags are beautiful! You continue to amaze me.

Jenni said...

What a great idea and a good space saver. Storing the boxes takes up so much space.

Melissa said...

Great idea! I'm totally going to do this. I should probably get some puzzles first, though. ;)

Rhonda Moon said...

What a great idea. You could do that for other toys as well. Hmmmm, now you got me thinking. thanks.
Rhonda

Erin from Skoots and Cuddles said...

fantastic idea! love it!!

Carol said...

I found your blog via IC and...I'm LOVING your fix for those awful game/puzzle boxes! I can't wait to get started making some myself.

Harper said...

Great post! I ran across this while working on a similar post of my own. Handy coincidence! I included a link to this post in mine.

Kimbo West @ a girl and a glue gun said...

featured this idea at my blog and gave you an award too...I love it!

Kate said...

Oh so cute!! Thanks for the idea, now I can't wait to do this myself! I'm featuring your idea on my blog today for my "tipsy Thursday"

Kate said...

Erin, Thank you so much!! I went to Joann’s today (Our local walmart quit selling fabric) and asked in there, what would be the best to run through my machine they told me the 6 gauge (just incase you’re asked that again!)

Thanks so much for your reply!

Jessie Gunderson said...

Love this idea. Found you on Pinterest. Recently we got sheets in these type of bags and they already have a pocket on the front. Woohoo! :)

Sheri said...

Great idea! I just made some puzzle bags from beat up puzzle boxes. The cutting lady at Hancock Fabrics suggested using Heat and Bond vinyl and it worked like a charm! Thank you!

Malka Michla said...

if i were to buy ready made canvas drawstring bag, what size do you recommend?

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