BAG DIY: OlyFun Cactus Crossbody Bag

This OlyFun cactus crossbody bag is perfect for festivals and theme parks. It's big enough to hold a water bottle, money, IDs, keys, and lip balm. The OlyFun is a great fabric for quirky bags. It cuts like paper and doesn't fray, so any shape is possible. It comes in 18 colors, and takes paint well. Cactuses are having their well deserved moment. I've seen a lot of faux cactus projects, so I wanted to offer a new and wearable project to the mix. While I was in the midst of making this bag, I found colored hook and loop tape at Jo-ann. The light pink is perfect for the cactus flower closure. You can see all the colors I bought, over on my Instagram. Pineapples are also having a moment. With my trip to Hawaii coming up in mere days...a pineapple bag might be needed in celebration of a much needed tropical vacay.

Speaking of Instagram, I'm transitioning my photo content into two accounts. My original account is now for more personal life stuff, which lately has been a lot of abstract photos. My 2nd account for just Crafty Lady Abby projects...from process to final. Both accounts are public, so follow both if you want...or just the one you dig.

I'm a Master Maker for Fairfield World. They send me their products for free and pay me to create projects. OlyFun is my favorite of their products to play with, which is why you see me work with it so often. Speak of OlyFun, Walmart, Jo-Ann and Hancock now all carry it. There are more colors available online than in store. Walmart sells craft packs online and by the yard (4-10 colors) in stores. Walmart also carries a refreshed range of Fairfield World products including batting and Poly-Fil, in different sizes and weights. Jo-Ann sells it in project sheets and by the bolt online, but in-store, you can buy it by the yard. I use the yards for big projects, my Weeping Angel costume for example. The craft packs are what I use the most often. The project sheets are 12"x12", which is perfect for most computerized cutting machines. I've already tested OlyFun in my Silhouette Cameo, and it cuts perfectly! It's better with simple than complex shapes on my machine, but it cuts well with scissors and craft knives too. Ok, enough of this stuff...time for what you came here for!!!

Some of these are Amazon Affiliate links. Any purchases made through those links, will provide me with a small monetary compensation from Amazon. This goes to pay for more craft projects.


1) Using a pencil on the Kiwi OlyFun, draw a cactus. It can be any size or shape you want. Keep in mind where you want to add the strap ends. They work better placed at the the top of cactus arms. Using scissors, cut out your cactus

2) Trace your cactus 3 times onto the Kiwi OlyFun. Cut out the three additional cactuses. You should have four now.

3) Using the pencil on Bubblegum OlyFun, draw 3 different size flowers, matching them up to your cactus arms. Cut them out with scissors. Trace the two smaller flowers once. Trace the bigger flower three times. Cut those additional flowers out and match them up.

4) Pick two OlyFun cactuses that reverse each other. These will be the bag outside. The other two will be the inside lining pieces. Using the white paint and detail brush, paint little cactus spines on the Kiwi cactuses. I did a pattern, inspired by my friend Barry Lee's artwork, but random is good too. I have this print of his...for obvious pirate loving reasons. When they dry, match them up with their inside pieces.

5) Cut a piece of hook and loop tape about 1/2" smaller than the width of your center large flower. Separate the tape and place it on opposite flowers. At the sewing machine, stitch the tape on around its sides. Make sure the tape and flower sides match up when put together. Separate them.

6) Match the center flower pieces with their mates. Each one should be a tape and plain piece. At the sewing machine, with pink thread, stitch the mates together about 1/4" from the sides.

7) Sammich the the big center flowers at the top between two matching cactuses. Pin in place. At the sewing machine, with green thread, stitch around the center cactus arm, making sure to catch the flower's bottom. Repeat for the other cactus and flower sammich.

8) Wrap the tape measure across and around your body, at an angle from one shoulder to the opposite hip. I like crossbody bags to hit high on my hip, about where the waist of jeans would sit. Arrange the tape measure ends about 6" apart. Add 1". Write down that measurement.

9) Cut out a long rectangle of Kiwi OlyFun 3" wide by that crossbody measurement long.

10) Fold the long rectangle in almost thirds lengthwise, overlapping the long edges down the center. Pin in place if desired. At the sewing machine, wide zigzag stitch down the center, catching both long edges at once.

11) Sammich the little flowers over the strap ends, so the bottoms match up. Match the flower edges up. Pin in place. At the sewing machine with pink thread, stitch around the flowers 1/4" from the edge. Trim the flowers if needed, so the sides match.

12) Sammich the strap ends between the two cactus sammiches. Overlap the edges about 3/8" inch. Pin the cactus top and sides into place, matching them up as best as possible. Remember the painted sides are the outer. Leave the closure opening without pins, as that's finished.

13) At the sewing machine with green thread, stitch around the bag 1/4" from the edge. Remove the pins as you sew. Overlap the stitching about 1/2" up the closure section, for re-enforcement. Trim the bag edges, so they're all even.

I used the Kiwi and Bubblegum OlyFun colors for this cactus crossbody bag. I think the Clover, Pine, Orange Crush and Lemon Drop OlyFun colors could also work. I painted little spines, but stripes would look smashing too. There are all sorts of cactus varieties that could be transformed into a bag. My bag is a floppy at the top, which works fine for keeping my stuff inside, if it's not stuffed with a water bottle. It add stiffness, you could insert stiff interfacing like the 2 Sided Stiffen Interfacing by Fairfield World. It's not available in stores or by the yard yet, but that's being worked on. Anywho, enough rambling on for now. I hope you all have a magical week making, art, creative chaos, smiles... Happy Makery!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...