After seeing the price tag on a gorgeous designer beach bag, I decided to make my own, plus add a few improvements. While this did take a bit of trial and error, the end result was well worth it.
Old pair of Jeans
Plastic tote bag(s)
The original bag that inspired me was terrycloth and denim, and the design I had in mind was to cut up a pair of old jeans and use the back pockets on each side of the bag, and use a beach towel for the front, back and bottom. Keep in mind that I'm self-taught when it comes to sewing. I've never used a pattern and I kind of plan as I go, so feel free to share ways to do this easier!
One thing missing from the inspiration bag was that it was not waterproof. My plan was to purchase a clear plastic tote bag and simply sew the cut towel and denim pieces to the outside of the bag, however I couldn't find one large enough for what I wanted. My workaround for this was to purchase this 2-pack of totes I found on Amazon and make them into one.
I wanted it to be one large compartment to have room for beach towels, etc., so I cut off the handles from both bags and then cut off one side of each bag. I then sewed the two open sides together, slightly overlapping to create a strong seam.
Once sewed together, the lining was complete and I was ready to add the outside pieces of the bag.
I cut the towel to the size of the front, back and bottom as one continuous piece.
Next, I sewed the towel onto the outside of the bag. I left two sections on each side that I did not sew together, so I could insert the handles in those spots - stay tuned for the handles later on. I sprayed some basting adhesive in between the towel and the plastic liner to help hold it in place along with pins.
When the towel was secured to the front, back and bottom of the bag, I moved onto the sides. This is where it starts looking good! I cut the back pockets off of an old pair of my husband's jeans (bigger jeans = bigger pockets for more storage).
Once I had the correct size to match the sides of the bag, I sewed one back pocket to each side.
With the leftover pieces of towel, I took two long strips and sewed them into what would become the shoulder straps.
As I said earlier, I left two sections on each side in between the liner and outside for the handles. I inserted them on each side, then sewed together.
The more pockets the better as far as I'm concerned, so I took the front of the leftover cut up jeans and sewed them on the insides of the front and back of the bag.
I love this bag so much! It's waterproof and has two exterior pockets, two interior pockets and room for everything!