Play Mail Shoulder Bag (DIY Tutorial)

It's not everyday you take a nap and wake up to find a mama made surprise.  Remember the play mail I made him ages ago?  The ones that were part upcycled feed bags and part upcycled tee shirts?  Well, they've cycled back around again and are a rediscovered hit.  Every mail carrier needs a mail bag, don't you think?
I had an idea in mind and whipped up my own design, made it and took pictures to make you a tutorial in less than 2 hours of broken attention.  Broken attention, as it's a rare luxury that two kids are sleeping simultaneously in this house. I must say, my helpers are grand.

However, it's not the most ideal project to work on when there's a gassy baby who wants to keep moving.  But pacing can get a bit mundane.  Might as well have my hands busy.  I digress.

 Back to the bag.  Point is, it's a quick back to whip up.  Below is the dimensions and tutorial for you to make one too.
This is what he came downstairs to. The pile of mama made mail was left there by him.  I just added the bag.

He played briefly, but then said he was hungry.  Priorities.  I don't blame the kid.

I'm sure it will be a hit in the future.  Want to make your own?  You can even put someone's name on the bag instead of mail.  I know you want to give it a try.

*seams are 1/4 inch.

1) Out of a thicker fabric (I used courdory), cut the following:

Two 9in x 12 1/2in rectangles
Two 12 1/2 in x 12 1/2 in squares
One strip 3 in x 30 1/2
One strip 44 in x 6 in

 Out of fleece, cut the letters from this template.

2) Pin the 3x 30 1/2 in strip to one of the rectangles, right sides together. You'll start at the top left side, pin the bottom and pin the remaining side.  The top will not be stitched.  You will have to ease around corners.  Stitch with a 1/4 inch seam and finish seam.  Repeat with the other rectangle, pinning and stitching it to the other edge of the strip. Turn right side out. Press seams flat.
 3) Place two large rectangles right sides together.  Fold in half.  Place a bowl in upper corner (any size will do).  Trace curve and cut.  Open.


 4) Stitch right sides together both sides and curved edge.  Leave bottom open. Finish seam. Turn right side out, press and top stitch edges.
 5) Pin top flap to base along one of the rectangles edges. Right sides together. Stitch in place.  Finish remaining edges of opening.

 6) Press all finished edges of opening down, top stitching in place.
 7) Fold 6in strip in half the long way, right sides together.  Stitch the long edge.  Turn inside out and press.  Top stitch each edge.
 8) Turn bag inside out. Pin a strap to each side.  Stitch a long rectangle to hold the straps in place (This is where you can decide where to place the straps to be the right length for your little postal worker).

 9) Adhere the letters to the front of the bag with either fuisable interfacing or pins.  Stitch in place with a straight stitch if it's a non fraying fabric like fleece.  If it's something else, zig zag stitch will applique in place nicely.
 10) Photograph your finished project (preferable with your miniature mail delivery friend) and share your creation with me! I'm also happy to hear any feedback on what worked and what was confusing.


  1. I love it!! Definitely will be making this one of these days. Thanks for the tutorial!

  2. Thanks, Jackie! This just went to the top of my to make for Christmas list. I had already started on a mailbox and play mail so this is definitely a MUST HAVE for the Morris family!!!

  3. I just lengthened the handle and made this for myself! Thank you so much for posting.



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