Inevitably, the night before a trip as I’m packing up our bags I realize that I have yet again forgotten to procure a better solution for transporting toothbrushes than the trusty ziploc bag. But not this time! In an effort to reduce waste and not have to put a damp toothbrush in a plastic bag (ick) I made a diy toothbrush travel wrap instead! (I didn’t know what else to call it, a toothbrush burrito maybe? lol)
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Since my usual crafting style is just to wing it and hope for the best, this isn’t a comprehensive DIY but more of an intuitive one. More art than science if you know what I mean. But with a little sewing knowledge you shouldn’t have any trouble following along.
Or you might be cursing me the whole time. Sorry.
A little note on waste reduction. I’m downright uncomfortable with the amount of waste my family produces. Trying to go zero-waste in a cold turkey sort of way can be totally overwhelming and incredibly time consuming. But I find tackling the problem one item at a time is much more manageable.
I’m hoping to eliminate the need for ziploc bags entirely in our home if I can. First I made a few washable snack bags for the boys, I have beeswax wraps for food, and I purchased a cheese bandana from a friend which is nothing short of brilliant! Now I’m trying to avoid using plastic while traveling.
(I’d love to hear any of your tips for replacing ziploc bags with more sustainable options! Share them in the comments!)
Taking it a step further, I repurposed a baby bath towel for this project instead of buying brand new terry cloth fabric. The boys have outgrown those little towels but the fabric is still in good shape. I might turn the rest of them into washcloths or hand towels.
I also used a cute cotton print from Stacked Fabric Company as the outer fabric. It’s fat quarter sized (18″x21″) which is all you need for this project. I just discovered Stacked and I’m in love! They’re Canadian and their fabrics are delightful! I’ve been using them to make a couple of baby quilts for friends who are expecting. I’ll share those in another post sometime. 🙂
DIY Travel Wrap
First I trimmed the fat quarter so it was totally squared up.
Then I placed a mark at the quarter and halfway points along the shorter sides of the fabric. I marked 3/4″ in along the halfway point and the top and connected them with a straight line. Then traced a line from the halfway point to the edge of the fabric at the quarterway point.
Holy moly I don’t think that made any sense! Hopefully the photo helps….
Trim away the fabric along these lines and cut out the terry cloth in the same way.
Sew the two fabrics together, right sides together, along all the edges with about 3/8″ – 1/2″ seam allowance. Leave a 3″ gap on either the top or bottom edge so you can turn the fabrics right sides out.
Trim the corners, turn the wrap then topstitch the top and bottom sides only.
Fold up the wider bottom edge to meet (approximately) the halfway point and topstitch down each side to create a pouch.
At this point I probably should have measured and lined things up properly, but I didn’t. The toothbrushes won’t know the difference.
Here’s where things get a little finnicky.
Now you want to create the slots for your toiletries by stitching down the pouch at intervals. We’ve created excess fabric by tapering the edges of the wrap. That way you’ll be able to slide in your toothbrush easily without warping the shape of the wrap.
So first stitch down the very center line.
As you move along to the next lines, make sure you distribute the excess fabric evenly so each slot has a little give to it. Make sense?
See the happy toothbrush!
Using the toothbrush, or another tall toiletry, fold down the top of the wrap to cover it. Mark where the fold should be to comfortably cover your items.
This will create a nice barrier between your various toiletries so nothing is touching! Plus the terry cloth will absorb any moisture.
Topstitch this fold about 1/4″ in.
Add some ribbon to one side of the wrap and you’re done!
I’ve got 3 trips planned in the next 6 weeks, so I’ll be putting my toothbrush burrito to good use! I love that it’s totally washable and I will never have to reach into a wet ziploc back ever again! Plus this size is big enough to contain the whole family’s various toothbrushes and toothpastes!
Feel free to leave any questions in the comments!