Saturday, February 2, 2013

DIY Project: Canvas Beach Bag

This is my second try to make one of these beach bags. I made my first attempt with too light weight canvas, so I reworked it into a Reusable Shopping Bag instead. This time, I used a heavier weight canvas, and the resulting bag is more in line with the vision in my head. I used this fabulous tutorial from Elle Apparel as the base for both bags, but altered the method and design a little, to add french seams and a lining.

Absolutely enormous Canvas Beach Bag, here it contains a large size pillow, 
2 huge bath towels, a large water bottle, sun scream and sun glasses in a case, with LOTS of room to spare.

Along with the lining, I also added a large pocket on the back of the bag, and a couple of pockets inside, including a zip pocket in the inside lining. I wanted to be able to keep important little tidbits, such as keys, lip balm, reading material, and cell phone organized, particularly with a bag as huge as this one.

Octopus print lining, zip pocket, and label.

I also attached a key fob (it really sucks to lose your car key in the sand at the beach). The slide pockets are perfect for my phone, and they even fit a Kindle touch!

I love, love, LOVE this lining fabric print! 

The outside is heavy weigh canvas in a wide navy and white nautical stripe. While it won't quite stand up on it's own empty, it does have some structure, and won't topple over that easily when full. For the lining, I got this gorgeous octopus print, that I just love. The combo is perfect! I used French seams throughout the bag, for a neat, durable finish. The large outside pocket was another great addition. I had magazines in mind when I added it, but so far, both time I've used my new bag, that pocket has held my dog's leash and potty bags.

Nautical stripe, external magazine pocket, label, and shoulder strap.

I had planned to do full wrap-around straps, like the ones I did on the shopping bag, but I didn't have enough cotton webbing left. So, instead I attached them on the outside of the bag, and added triangular patches on top, to hide the seams and the raw edge. It wasn't planned, but I really like how it turned out.

This bag is absolutely ENORMOUS! It fits a large beach quilt (although with my new Quilt Carry Strap, I don't need a bag to carry my beach quilt anymore. I used a large pillow instead for the pictures), plus two large bath towels, baby powder (THE BEST for removing sand from skin), sunglasses, sun scream, and e-reader, plus a bottle of water. With lots of room to spare! It keeps my keys and phone secure in designated locations, plus a zippered pocket for my wallet and other little bits and pieces. The straps are comfortable to carry on the shoulder as well. While it's not perfect just yet, it's still really awesome, and I am very happy with my new beach bag!!!

Canvas Beach Bag

Although it's not even February yet, I'm already dreaming of summer, if for no other reason, just so I can use this bag. But summer is months away and I don't know if I have the patience to wait until then. I might just need to schedule a sunny weekend somewhere warm, so I can use it sooner! In the meantime, I'll be making more of these.

Thanks Leanne, for a great tutorial!
I hope you like my additions! 


1 yard heavy cotton canvas
1 yard cotton lining fabric
3/4 yard 1 1/2" wide cotton webbing
1 zipper, color coordinated
1 snap hook or split ring


  1. That is so adorable, Annelie! I love it!

  2. I love this, you did an amazing job! The lining is awesome.

    1. Thank you, Melinda! I love that lining as well!

  3. I just finished about 90% of the same beach bag from the tutorial at Elle it. (Saw your comment on her site.) It is actually a gift for my grandmother. I just can't wait to make one for myself! I am going to take a closer look at yours and try to incooperate some of those pockets. I would love to put some zippers on them so the sand doesn't get to my phone :-) thanks for the ideas!!