Summer heat is upon us, which means regular trips to the pool! But if the thought of hauling all those poolside essentials for you and your kiddos is weighing you down, try toting them in this easy DIY poolside organizer instead.
You’ll stay organized and easily transport all those pool toys, sunscreen, swim goggles, snacks for the kids, a book for you — you name it! — not to mention it makes for a cute accessory. And if you really want to up your pool game, try some of these delicious make-ahead snacks for kids.
Make sure your littles are ready for the pool or the beach by teaching them these 10 water safety tips.
DIY Poolside Organizer
- 2 1/2 yards terry fabric
- Bias binding (you’ll need a total of 50 inches)
- Sewing machine, pins, rulers, and thread in colors corresponding to your fabric and binding
- Optional: Decorative fabric for an exterior pocket
- First you’ll need to figure out the dimensions of your pool chair. I used a fairly standard deck chair which seemed to translate well to most others. You’ll measure the width of the chair and the height from the chair to the ground. Multiply the height by 4, and add it to the width for the total length of fabric you’ll need. Cut the fabric to this calculated length by 25 inches wide. In my case, the width of the chair was 29 inches and the height of the chair from the ground was 12 inches, so I added 29 + 48 to get a length of 77 inches.
- Be sure to use threads that match the color of your fabric and bias binding throughout. Zig zag stitch along the two long raw edges of the fabric to seal it and prevent fraying. One end of my terry fabric was already finished so I only stitched the other.
- Pin the bias binding along the shorter sides and stitch in place, sewing close to the open edge but being sure to catch both the front and back of the binding.
- Fold the ends in by 12 inches to make the pockets, pin along the edges, and sew the edges together using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Turn the pockets right side out.
- Now fold the body of the bag by folding in the pockets, then folding the entire thing in half.
- To make the individual pockets, mark straight lines with pins, then sew along these straight lines from top to bottom. You can make the pockets any size you want, depending on what you usually carry to the pool. I made one side with 7, 11, and 7-inch pockets and another with 9, 7, and 9-inch pockets, just for variety.
- Next you’ll make the bag straps. Cut two 5×26-inch pieces of terry fabric from the remaining fabric. Fold them in half lengthwise and stitch along the long edge using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Turn the straps right-side out.
- Fold the short open ends of the straps in about 1/2 inch and pin them in place where you’d like them on your bag, making sure they’re symmetrical. I pinned my straps at about 7 inches in from the ends of the bag
- Stitch the straps in place by sewing a small rectangle at the base of the straps, catching the folded-in edge.
- If you’d like to add a decorative pocket, cut a 10×8-inch square of fabric. Fold one long edge in by 1/4 inch and iron, then 1/4 inch again and iron, then topstitch it in place. This is the open top of the pocket.
- Fold the other three raw edges in by 1/4 inch and iron, then pin the pocket to the body of the bag where you’d like it to be. Top stitch around the three edges of the pocket.
- Voila! Fill the pockets of your poolside organizing tote with whatever you like: Toys, books, sunscreen, water bottles, and even smaller towels. Fold up, transport, drape over the pool chair, and lounge.
This summer, you can actually enjoy all those trips to the pool. This terry tote is cute and practical, making it easy to transport those pool (or beach) essentials for the whole family. And you can make it in whatever colors suit your summer style!
Your turn! Tell us what you think about Pippa’s DIY Poolside Organizer project, or share your secrets for keeping it all together when it’s time to take the kids to the pool.