Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo



Recycled beach ball tote

by: Chica

Recycled beach ball tote
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Even though most kids are heading back to school this month, I’m not ready to give up on summer. I’ve got a fun and easy project idea to share that will help keep that splashing, summer fun around a little bit longer. Inspiration struck at the lake last weekend, when I learned that the inflatable beach ball the kids had been playing with had a hole in it, and was losing air. Rather than toss it into the trash, Jo and I wondered if we could make something out of it. We brainstormed and decided it would make a pretty cute waterproof tote bag for holding wet beach items.

To start off, I stretched the ball out and cut off the end with the nozzle in it.

recycled beach ball tote bagrecycled beach ball tote bag

Delightfully, that’s all it took to make a bag shape!

recycled beach ball tote bag

To make a channel for a drawstring closure, I folded the edge in about an inch or so, pinned it, and sewed it with the machine with a long stitch. Despite my initial worries, the sewing machine did a fine job sewing the plastic, although I did have to sort of pull it through, because the feed dogs were sliding on the plastic and didn’t push it through with the stitches.

recycled beach ball tote bagrecycled beach ball tote bag

Because the bag is actually a curved sphere shape, I couldn’t expect the sewn edge to be particularly smooth or straight, but it didn’t really matter. It is just a plastic tote bag, after all! I used some scissors to cut a little notch in the outside of the channel, for my drawstring.

recycled beach ball tote bagrecycled beach ball tote bag

For my drawstring, I was once again inspired to recycle something beach-related. I grabbed an old bikini top that was destined for the trash anyway, and took out one of the strings. Perfect! I used our much-loved safety pin threading technique to feed the string through the channel and back out again.

recycled beach ball tote bagrecycled beach ball tote bag

With that, my bag was done and ready to be filled with a swim suit and other beach items.

recycled beach ball tote bagrecycled beach ball tote bag

Unfortunately, I don’t see any beaches in my near future, so I might have to head to the pool instead!

recycled beach ball tote bag

recycled beach ball tote bag

Recycled beach ball tote
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13 comments so far:

  • 1
    Dee 08/11/2011 at 12:36 pm

    This is so creative and brilliant. lOve it for all of those swim suits espeially after they get wet and you drive home.

  • 2
    Casey 08/13/2011 at 8:16 am

    GREAT IDEA!!!!! Thanks for repurposing!

  • 3
    Jennifer 08/13/2011 at 2:56 pm

    Did you locate the original hole in the ball? I wonder if the hole is in the part that you keep and use for the bag, if the hole will get bigger?

  • 4
    Chica 08/14/2011 at 8:29 am

    Jennifer, I did not search for the original hole, but I don’t think it would get any bigger.

  • 5
    Roudi 08/14/2011 at 1:58 pm

    WOW! I like this so very much. :D Great job.

    Much love,

  • 6
    Michelle L. 08/15/2011 at 11:16 am

    OMG, this is genius!!!!!! Possibly the most adorable tote ever created. Love!

  • 7
    Chica 08/15/2011 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks so much for the wonderful compliment, Michelle!

  • 8
    Dogpackmomma 08/23/2011 at 6:59 pm

    So clever! Thanks for sharing & happy trails!

  • 9
    Sarah 08/25/2011 at 12:46 pm

    so awesome!

  • 10
    TXMess 01/13/2012 at 4:08 pm

    This is a wonderful idea! And it could easily be fitted with a simple strap for carrying it over your shoulder. This will definitely be a project I’ll be making for our next beach trip; thanks!

  • 11
    nicole 04/14/2012 at 4:38 pm

    I wonder if sandwiching the ball between paper before sewing it would help with the slipping. the paper would just rip of afterward. I think I will try it that way anyway with the two beach balls that are losing air around here.

  • 12
    Connie 08/22/2012 at 12:38 pm

    Instead of going nuts with hemming by machine, I’m going to fold the edge over and attach small grommets through which I’ll thread my drawstring.

    I’ve found that placing waxed paper under and over the project I’m sewing will allow it to glide under the pressure foot very nicely. I do this particularly when sewing vinyl and leather.

  • 13
    Chica 08/22/2012 at 12:59 pm

    Sounds like a cool idea, Connie. And thanks for the tip about the wax paper!

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We are two best friends sharing our creative journey. You never know what we will be into each time you visit. We could be throwing a unique party, refinishing a flea market find, or whipping up a new cupcake recipe. We invite you to join us for the ride as we tackle life one project at a time!

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