Summer is in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere. And what goes hand in hand with summer? Water. Beaches, pools, lakes, rivers, sprinklers, slip ‘n slides, water rides at theme parks—the list goes on and on. 

And what’s the best way to keep your dry things from getting wet? A functional, fashionable wet bag.

Whip up your own wet bag in about 30 minutes with these four easy steps:

What you need

I used this adorable, printed waterproof Oxford fabric from Printy! Fabric. They have a variety of designs that are waterproof on both sides, so there’s no need to have a separate liner. PUL (Polyurethane Laminate) could work too, however, Printy! Fabric’s website cautions that PUL fabric stretches and breathes. 

Choose a zipper slightly larger than the width of your cut fabric. I used a 14” “Fancy Zips” zipper from Missouri Star Quilt Company, but Sallie Tomato also has drool-worthy zippers in a myriad of colors and finishes.  

For the handle piece, get a 12” piece of webbing or strapping of your choice. I used this gorgeous gold faux leather strapping from Joann (and used a 50% off coupon!), but I just saw that Printy! Fabric also has coordinating webbing for some of its designs. 


Wet bag: Step ONe

Determine what size you want your bag. Cut your waterproof fabric piece 1” wider and double the length of your desired finished bag size. For example, my bag finished at 12” x 14”, so I cut the fabric 13” wide x 28” long. The Oxford fabric is 58-59” wide, meaning I was able to get four bags cut from a single yard. 

If desired, finish the two short ends of the fabric to provide a nice, clean edge for the zipper. I did an overlock stitch that disappeared into the external zipper design, but you can alternatively fold under 1/4” twice and topstitch.

wet bag step one

Wet bag:Step TWo

On the two short sides of your fabric piece, sew first one side of the zipper and then the other with a straight or zigzag stitch, backstitching at the start and end of each side. Be sure the bag sides will align with each other when the zipper is zipped. It will take a bit of rolling/finessing the fabric and zipping/unzipping the zipper around the presser foot when sewing the second side. 

Because my zipper was external, I sewed it on top of the right side of the fabric. An internal zipper could be used as well, just be sure to sew the zipper under the fabric in that case.

wet bag: step three

Turn the bag inside out and adjust the fabric so that about 2” is above the zipper and the rest is below. If you want a thicker top piece or have a larger bag, eyeball what looks good to you.

Trim the excess zipper edges. From this point on, be careful that your zipper pull doesn’t slip entirely off the zipper.  

Fold the handle piece in half and slip it in between the bag layers above the zipper, raw edges aligned with raw edges. You should not be able to see the handle piece. I promise this is correct even if it doesn’t look like it!

wet bag: step four

Double check that your zipper is at least halfway UNZIPPED at this point. Again, don’t let the zipper pull fall completely off. 

Clip or pin the sides in place, being sure to catch the handle pieces.

Sew each side with a 1/2” seam allowance, backstitching at the beginning and end of each side.  

Turn bag right side out and voila! 

Let the fun begin!

Put wet swimsuits or gym clothes inside the wet bag to keep everything else dry. Or, put your phone and keys in the wet bag so they stay dry while your pool or beach things are getting splashed. 

And even when the beach bag’s packed away and the kids are back in school come fall, keep this wet bag handy year-round for all the accidents that are part of raising the younger generation. 

Now, go and conquer the rest of summer, and don’t forget to brag that you made the bag yourself when people compliment you on it. 

Blog Post written by Casey Cline.

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