Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Travel Bags

As soon as our travel plans were booked, my first thoughts went to what I would make for the trip. Of course. Because when you are traveling alone with 2 small children you really need some extra work to keep you busy in preparation. I immediately started listing items to help pass the time and keep little ones busy and my sanity intact(ish). Of course it wasn't enough to make activities for the girls- I had to make backpacks to carry those activities in. And I had to invent my own pattern.
(I know. I have a disorder.)

I made coordinating backpacks for the girls, which I will describe in more detail in another post. I filled those bags with the following things:

-New books (part of a great Goodwill score)
-Crayon Portfolios
-Story Cubes
-Magnetic Paper Dolls
-New Coloring Books
-MadLibs Junior
-Pipe Cleaners
- File Folder Games
-Paper Quiet book (not shown, because I didn't finish it until 1 am the night before the trip.)

I downloaded the paper dolls from here, and then printed them on magnetic paper. I had some old tins from the Dollar Spot which used to hold candy and were the perfect size for carrying them. I made a set of 2 dolls for each girl.

Here is a list of other printable paper dolls. I really want to make the vintage Betsy McCall ones here another time. They have over a decade's worth to print!

I made them each a crayon portfolio using this pattern from GingerCake.  They were really easy to make, but I made a few changes to the pattern. The bottom half of the portfolio has two pockets: 1 for paper and 1 for stickers. The bottom pocket for stickers is empty because I didn't have any on hand.

Can I tell you how much I love having fabric scraps? It is almost the best part of a fabric stash. I love having many different pieces left over from many different projects available at my disposal. I love choosing coordinating fabrics for each project, and I love collecting small scraps, organized by color, to use in future projects like scrappy quilts. Or doll quilts.

This one is made entirely of scraps from their quilts. I love these fabrics, and these color combinations.

I also made them 3 file folder games, from this book. Once again, blogger refuses to rotate my picture correctly. 

I made them a paper quiet book from here, which like I said, is not photographed because I didn't finish it in time.
Pipe cleaners, or chenille wraps as my mom calls them, can offer endless opportunities for quiet creative play. We also brought a dvd player to fall back on.
In addition to these things, I also packed their empty water bottles to fill once we were on the plane, an extra change of clothes for each girl, and some special snacks and treats.
I can't say that the day of travel was easy or enjoyable, but I also can't imagine what we would have done if I hadn't made all these preparations. On the way back I will still be traveling with them alone, so in addition to these things I will also be getting a good night's sleep the night before. I failed to do this on the way out, and it definitely made a difference. Negatively. 
I am keeping everything in their travel bags, saved only for the ride home (and our 2 road trips) to maintain their novelty. 
Wish me luck!


Claire said...

I LOVE those travel bags!

{natalie} said...

you are out of control amazing. i am so impressed, as usual, with your projects. plus you are brave to travel with your girls alone.

hope you are enjoying your visit. let me know if you have time to meet up, if not i understand. sometimes it gets crazy.

Carolina Croshaws said...

I am so impressed how quickly you put that all together. I remember you were drawing up ideas for the bags in church just a few weeks before. I wish I had a little but of your talent. I am going to try making some things for our road trip this summer. Thanks for sharing.

GCC said...

Ditto to all that Natalie said!

Molly Krauss Smith said...

I'm sitting in stunned silence. I am pretty sure - no, absolutely positive - I would never have made it out the door if I attempted to make all of those exquisite things for the girls. Bravo!

paws said...

Lucky girls! What did they play with the most?

Denise said...

You amaze me! Those crayon totes are about the cutest thing EVER. I want one! And where on Earth did you find green and pink Velcro, anyway? I hope you're selling these on Etsy or somewhere, because they are fantastic.

Good call to save them only for travel. The novelty factor definitely works in your favor.

Susan said...

Stinkin cute! Those are some lucky gals!

You're amazing for sure.

patsy said...

holey moley...
these are amazing.
thank you for adding the links to the patterns.
I'm curious too- what did they play with the most.

You have mad skills girl!!
lucky girls for sure.

Sophia said...

You are amazing! Hands down! I love seeing what you make! I still have that little owl you made me as well as those two little stuffed creatures! I love them. They loved my dorm room and when anyone found out that you made them they received many compliments! You are awesome!

michelle said...

I love love love the crayon totes. I think I need to make some of those for gifts, though I fear they won't turn out as well as yours!

As for the backpacks, I am bereft of all speech. I know I couldn't make those as well! Or maybe not at all. Super impressed.

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