How to Make a Peg Bag

how to make a peg bag

Hello there, crafty folk!

After the epic writing and photo uploading of the patchwork tutorial, I make no apologies for a simple, quick and easy tutorial this time!

A peg bag is ideal for a speedy gift, maybe for Mothers’ Day or a housewarming gift, which you can easily make with just a little fabric and an hour or so of your time.

There are only 3 sections to this design and I’ve constructed it in such a way that you could use 3 contrasting fabrics if you wanted.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 fat quarters of cotton fabric (you’ll have some left over for smaller projects)

(You might want to use 3 contrasting fabrics, in which case you’ll need 3 fat quarters!)

a child size coat hanger (try your local pound shop for these!)

small piece of ribbon to trim the top when finished

Usual sewing kit, scissors, pencil, paper, ruler

How to create your peg bag template

You’ll want a large piece of paper, or sellotape some sheets of A4 paper together.

TIP:  I use a roll of  lining wallpaper to create my crafting templates.  It’s incredibly cheap to buy and it is thick enough to make a good sturdy template you can use many times over.

Take the coat hanger and position it on the paper so that you’ve got at least 2 inches clearance between the bottom of the hanger and the bottom edge of your paper.

Draw around the outside of the hanger to create a triangular image as shown in the photo below:

peg bag draw around hanger

Using a ruler, measure 2 inches / 5cm from the bottom rail of the hanger and draw a line parallel to the bottom rail of the hanger.  Then, ensuring you’ve got square corners at the bottom, draw from the outer edge of the coat hanger down to the line, both ends of the coat hanger.

Cut out this template : this is the TOP FRONT section of your peg bag, see below:

Now take your coat hanger again, position it at least 8 inches / 20cm from the bottom edge of the paper, and draw around the coat hanger as before.

peg bag cut out template

This time measure 8 inches/ 20cm  down from the bottom rail of the hanger, draw a parallel line as before.  Then draw the two adjacent lines from the outer edges of the hanger down to the parallel line.  As before, make sure your bottom corners are square.

Then label the pencil line for the bottom rail of the hanger as LINE A.   You’ll need to refer to this later on.

Cut out this template : this is the BACK section of your peg bag.

How to cut out the fabric sections for your handmade peg bag

Having laundered and ironed your fat quarters, decide which fabric you want for the three parts of the bag:  Back section, Front top section, Front lower section.

I’ve used two fabrics : one for the back and front top sections, and the other fabric for the front lower section.

peg bag draw around back template

Lay the template for the BACK section onto your fabric, on the reverse side of the fabric. See photo above.  Allow 1.5cm (5/8ths inch) around the template for a seam allowance.   Now draw around the template onto the fabric.

REMEMBER:  this line is your SEWING line, not a cutting line !!!

As shown in the photo draw marks to allow an opening for the hook of the coat hanger to pass through when your peg bag is finished.

peg bag leave opening at top for hanger

You need to allow 1.5cm (5/8ths inch) seam allowance around the shape you’ve drawn, so now cut out the fabric allowing for the seam allowance.

peg bag add on seam allowance

Then lay the template for the Top Front section onto the reverse side of your chose fabric.  Allow 1.5cm (5/8ths inch) seam allowance then draw around the template as before.  Make sure you cut out your fabric including the seam allowance!  Your drawn line is your SEWING line, not cutting line.

Mark a gap at the top for the coat hanger hook to pass through, just as you did for the back section.

peg bag cut out front top section

For the Front Lower Section:  Lay out your chosen fabric, reverse side up.   Take the Back section template and fold along Line A, so that you have a rectangular template.  Lay this template onto the fabric and draw around it.  Remember this is a SEWING line, not cutting line.  Allow 3cm (one and 2/8ths inch) seam allowance on the top edge and 1.5cm (5/8ths inch) seam allowance at the bottom and sides.  Then cut out, remembering to add on the seam allowance.

You should have three pieces of fabric as shown below.

peg bag cut out fabric shapes

How to sew the opening hems for your handmade Peg Bag

You’ll need to sew hems on the bottom edge of Top Front and the top edge of Lower Front, as follows:

Top Front section :  On the bottom edge, fold over 5mm (2/8ths inch) to wrong side of fabric and press with an iron.   Then fold over the same amount again to the wrong side of fabric and press with an iron again.   Pin hem into place, see photo below:

peg bag fold and pin bottom hem

On the right side of fabric, top stitch this hem in place.  I’ve used a contrasting thread for added interest to the finished item.  Press with an iron.

peg bag top stitch hems

Lower Front Section:  On the top edge, fold over 1cm (3/8ths inch) to the wrong side of fabric and press with an iron.  Then fold another 1cm (3/8ths inch) and press with an iron again.  Pin hem into place.  As before, top stitch on the right side of fabric to hold the hem in place.  Press with an iron.

How to sew your handmade Peg Bag together

On a flat surface, lay out the Back Section with the right side of fabric facing upwards.

Lay the Lower Front Section onto the Back Section, right sides of fabric facing each other.  Matching the lower corners, pin in place.

Lay the Top Front Section onto the Back, right sides of fabric facing each other.  The Top Front needs to overlap the Lower Front Section, then pin into place.

Check that all edges match up, and that there is an even overlap of the  Top Front and the Lower Front all the way along their overlap.

peg bag pin into place

Set your machine needle to it’s central position and start sewing at the gap at the top, (remember you marked a gap for the coat hanger hook to pass through).  You’ll need to  sew along the pencil line all the way around your peg bag until you come back to the top  again.

peg bag sew on pencil line

Remember to leave a gap for the hanger hook to pass through. Remember to sew a few reverse stitches at the start and end of your sewing.

peg bag ensure opening is clear for hanger

Trim the curved edges at the top, and cut some notches into the fabric as shown below.  The notches will allow the fabric to sit neatly when you’ve finished the peg bag.

peg bag trim and snip curves

Also trim at the two bottom corners of the peg bag as shown below:

peg bag trim corners

Press with an iron.

Finishing your handmade Peg Bag

Turn your peg bag the right way out.

Manipulate the seams with your fingers to make the corners and curves neat, then press with your iron.

peg bag press with iron

Slip the coat hanger into the bag and up into the Top Section.  Pass the hook of the coat hanger through the gap you’ve left at the top of the bag.

Again, twiddle and tweak the fabric, manipulating it to ensure the peg bag sits neatly on the coat hanger.

Pin the top hem of the Lower Section through all three thicknesses to hold everything together.

peg bag top stitch front to back

Then you’ll need to top stitch approximately 1 inch / 2.5cm in from the other edges.  See photo above.  You’ll be stitching on top of the existing top stitching, and stitching through all 3 fabric sections.   Trim away the thread ends.

TIP: Why do this?  This top stitching will hold the peg bag together and stop the coat hanger from falling out.    It will also define the opening of your peg bag for you.

Now take a piece of ribbon, tie it in a bow at the base of the hanger hook and with a few hand stitches, sew the ribbon to the fabric at the back, to hold it in place.  See below:

peg bag attach ribbon trim

Fill your bag with pegs and then go hang out some laundry!

peg bag how to sew a peg bag

IDEA: You could also use some fabric flowers to decorate the top of your peg bag, or tie three co-ordinating ribbons together … whatever takes your fancy!

IDEA:  A peg bag also makes great storage around the house.   Use it for socks or tights in the bedroom; spare flannels or headbands in the bathroom, etc etc.

COPYRIGHT:  Please note that this tutorial is the Copyright of Josie Crafter and Homemade & Happy.  It is for your own private use and is not to be reproduced for commercial purposes. Thanks.

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11 Responses to How to Make a Peg Bag

  1. Annie says:

    I remember making a peg bag like this at school when I was about 7. Completely hand sewn, it took a whole term of sewing lessons. Great tutorial.

  2. Josie Crafter says:

    What a lovely activity that would have been for you Annie!
    If only such things still happened for 7 year olds in mainstream schools …
    Happy Sunday to you 🙂

  3. Poppy says:

    I wish my sewing was better….. thank you for that…….

    Lou xxx

    PS. I’m loving your hand pictures! X

  4. Josie Crafter says:

    Thank you Lou !
    And I’m still thinking about how beautiful your workroom is 🙂 xx

  5. Pingback: Reuse: 20 Free Projects Using Old Linen | Green Foot Mama

  6. barbara says:

    thank you for this step by step guide. and this was just great to get me back and make my sister in law an home warming pressie.

  7. Kate says:

    Thank you for this lovely tutorial, I’ve just finished making one to take camping with us. The explanations are clear and concise, the pictures explain every step beautifully and all in all a very simple yet effective piece to make! Thank you very much!

  8. Josie Crafter says:

    Hi Kate
    It’s lovely to hear that you’re pleased with the tutorial 🙂
    Have a great camping holiday!

  9. Jan says:

    Thank you for your tutorials – so easy to follow…….. having an abundance of lavender in the garden wanted to make some lavender hearts – found just what I was looking for on your website – have made some – brilliant!

  10. Wendy Ely says:

    Thank you for a brilliant peg bag tutorial. I have been sewing for 30 plus years, but still get confused when doing anything that requires overlapping pieces of fabric ( and have several failed hot water bottle covers to prove it!) I’ve made skirts, dresses, duvet covers, reversible kids’ jackets etc, in my time, but the old “inside out, overlap” gets me every time! Your photos were great, especially because you used contrasting fabrics, with definite right and wrong sides, so very easy to follow. I have now made 3 peg bags from your tutorial, for friends, with another 2 requested! I’ve just used leftover fabrics, rather than buying new fat quarters, and trimmed all the openings ( including the hanger gap), with contrasting bias binding. Many, many thanks, from a very spatially unaware sewer!

  11. What a comprehensive and easy to follow tutorial! Your photos are excellent and make it really easy to understand each step. Great blog post too. I might try making the bag myself 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

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