big ol’ beach bag

From the first beach day of the summer, I knew I needed a new beach bag.

Scratch that. I knew I needed A beach bag.

We’ve set a record for beach-going this year (I’d say an average of once a week), so I was able to envision what I wanted every time we plopped ourselves down on a fresh patch of sand.  No bag that I currently own could fit what I wanted: two large towels, a beach blanket, a lunchbox for snacks, reading materials, sunscreen, cases for sunglasses, and a change of clothes for at least two people.

Our most frequently used bag was actually Pete’s backpack. It barely fit both towels, never mind all the other stuff.  So, we were those people at the beach: slowly galumphing along with a backpack, a bag, two chairs, a blanket, a cooler, and an umbrella slung to our backs. If it is this annoying for two people, I can’t imagine how it is with children. No wonder people buy those (admittedly smart) metal beach carts.

I went to a few stores trying to find a bag big enough for my purpose, but I found that large bags can be a little pricey and all the other bags are just too darn small. Finally the crafting lightbulb went off: of course! Make my own! I found this tutorial online for an enormous bag and decided to give it a whirl.

Bag in progress.

Bag in progress.

I tweaked the pattern a little because I didn’t want to make my own straps (I also didn’t feel like dealing with that secret waterproof pocket, although  it is a cool feature). I figured I’d do it L.L. Bean tote style, and have the straps go on the outside all the way down the side of the bag. This proved to require a little more thought than I’d anticipated, but in the end turned out just fine.

This beach bag took about 5 hours to complete, but I did it over two days and I made a few mistakes that I had to go back and correct.

That is one oversized beach bag.

That is one oversized beach bag.

It’s fully lined and has an inner pocket. It’s dimensions are about 19″w x 21″h x 9″d. In other words, IT FITS EVERYTHING. I had to run around the house trying to find stuff to put in it just to keep it from being too floppy for the pictures.

Currently holding: one lunch box, two oversized beach towels, two changes of clothing, a magazine, a kindle, a purse, a bottle of sunscreen, and there's still room for MORE!

Currently holding: one lunch box, two oversized beach towels, two changes of clothing, a magazine, a kindle, a purse, a bottle of sunscreen, and there’s still room for MORE!

Too bad it took me this long to get myself in gear and undergo this project! Luckily, I’m sure there are still a few decent beach days left this summer. As a bonus, now that Labor Day has passed the vacationing crowds will have finally left and we’ll have the beach to ourselves; there will be no end to our Frisbee-throwing and kite-flying! And what’s more, the Frisbee and kite will fit in this magnificent bag.

Pardon my jammies.

Pardon my jammies. But this bag is as big as I am!

Fall might already have unofficially arrived, but I’m not ready to say goodbye to the beach just yet. 🙂

 

On a semi-unrelated note, we’re going on a mini-vacation starting TODAY! Lakes, kayaks, an adorable motel, a wedding with friends…it’s going to be a great New Hampshirey time. And we’ll give this here bag a test-run.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

 

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