When my daughter moved into a dorm, lack of a private bathroom and laundry were two of her biggest adjustments. I’ve found two clever solutions to help you ease that transition today. We’re going to create a little handmade, full of love DIY for the College Bound!

DIY for the College Bound Laundry Bag finished

The Laundry Bag designed by Alicia for the Sew 4 Home blog is wonderful and perfect for guys or girls. You can make it in solids, prints or any combo that will please your new collegiate. It’s roomy (almost three feet tall) and, with careful planning and stuffing, could hold a whole quarter’s worth of laundry. Well, let’s hope not, but it is huge and fabulous!

Alicia’s bag is made from 2 coordinating yards of medium weight, super sturdy, Cotton Duck fabric – definitely a good choice. While you’re choosing fabric, pick up 3 yards of a strong cording that coordinates, too. None of that wimpy cotton cording, please, something poly or nylon will be best.

DIY for the College Bound Laundry Bag pocket

This DIY for the College Bound laundry tote has terrificly practical features. You’ll love the interfaced, zippered outside pocket for change, a phone, keys and that kind of thing. Choose a 7” zip that coordinates and pick up spools of Dual Duty XP thread that match your fabrics, too.

DIY for the College Bound Laundry Bag bottom

The instructions for the Laundry Bag were written by Julia for Sew 4 Home and they’re terrific. There are a few tips that are super important – you may want to file them for future reference. This is a bag with straight sides and a circular bottom that can be tricky. To start you off right, Julia details how to cut a perfect circle for the bottom. Her step-by-steps for stitching the circle to the bottom of the laundry bag are supreme. Be sure to follow all of her instructions and don’t rush just to get it done. Things like stitching an X where you attach the strap and making a French Seam in the bag body are super important to the durability of your bag. Click here for the tutorial!

DIY for the College Bound Makeup Organizer finished

The A-Frame Makeup Organizer designed by Marni of Haberdashery Fun is stunning!  In a small space, organization is everything and since dorm rooms don’t often come with a private bathroom, portability is key for grooming essentials. My daughter used a tote full of pockets for her bath must-haves, but heading for the bathroom with a stand for your makeup sounds like pure collegiate bliss!

DIY for the College Bound Makeup Organizer supplies

If you’re making a Laundry Tote for your college girly, you could plan a Makeup Organizer to match. You’ll want to plan a quilting cotton weight fabric for the pockets, though. Choose prints or solids in her favorite colors – ½ yard each of two colors and a couple of scraps to go with your choices. You’ll also need extra firm fusible stabilizer (the kind you’d use in a purse), hook and loop tape, fabric glue and general sewing supplies.
DIY for the College Bound Makeup Organizer open

Okay, let’s stop here. What about the guys heading off to school? Would this work in a leather-look fabric, too? I think so! It could be a great organizer for shaving supplies, toothbrush, toothpaste and a comb. Just a thought while you’re thinking DIY for the College Bound!

DIY for the College Bound Makeup Organizer interfacing

You’re going to love Marni’s method of creating “natural” fold lines with the interfacing pieces. This makes it SO easy to get the dimensions correct and create an Organizer that goes together well. You’ll be doing lots of measuring and marking to make sure the pockets, tab and everything else fit correctly. Again, don’t skip any steps if you want a fabulous organizer when you’re done. Click here and chant “follow the leader” as you use Marni’s tutorial!

And, here’s the secret about DIY for the College Bound: sending your precious child off to live at college is tough stuff! So, handmade gear for the dorm room is more than just practical. It’s a personal, loving reminder of home and family they can enjoy while they’re off exploring the big, wide world. Now, get sewing – you’ve got important things to make!

About the Author


Annette Millard began sewing at the age of three, made her first dress at ten and is always happiest with needle, fabric and thread in her hands. Annette feels very privileged to have spent most of her work life in the sewing industry and loves teaching, making her own handmade wardrobe and writing about sewing. She spent over ten years as the newsletter and web site content writer for the Pacific Northwest's largest locally-owned family of fabric stores and is now thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for sewing with the Sewing Secrets community. Follow Annette and more of her sewing adventures on her own blog, www.sewfullife.com.

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