Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hot Wheels Car & Truck Tote-n-Play!

This is a fun project to store little hot wheels & matchbox cars in! A great 'grab and go' toy for long waits, restaurants or car rides.

I made 4 of these using only 1 yard of bottom weight fabric (1/2 yard of 2 colors). Two are for my boys - Angie, guess who the other two are for? J&E's birthday - surprise! I hope you love them!

I rated this project intermediate since there are so many steps and this took several hours for me to put each together after the cutting and finishing. Pictures are below each step.

  • 17x10" bottom weight fabric color of choice (main/outside color).
  • 17x6" bottom weight fabric (car pocket color - I used outside color again).
  • 17x10" bottom weight fabric (inside color).
  • Scrap fabric for applique car/truck.
  • Steam a seam or other for applique.
  • 17x3" black cotton or felt for road.
  • 6 - 1x3/16" yellow felt for dashes.
  • Ribbon or elastic for attachment loop (I used a hairband).
  • 2 Buttons for car wheels/attachment.
  • Handle material - ribbon 10".
  1. Cut all pieces to correct size. Fold bottom weight fabric in half length wise and iron. Attach wrong side of scrap fabric to steam a seam, draw a design of choice on paper and cut.
  2. Pin and sew raw edges of folded 17x6 fabric to bottom raw edge of extended 17x10 fabric.
  3. Next sew car pockets: mark lines of pockets before sewing. Starting at 1/4" from the outside and measure 2.75" for each pocket. There will be 6 ending with another 1/4" seam allowance. Sew vertical lines through all 3 layers (2 of pocket and 1 interior), back stitch or double sew each pocket.
  4. For the road; pin and sew black 17x3 road piece centered on top of the inside fabric. Here is where the pre-fold comes in handy. Follow this step by pinning and sewing the dashes onto the road.
  5. Sew in strap next along the left edge near the bottom of the black road fabric, fold the ribbon in half and pin, be sure to reinforce the stitches and place the handle facing inward for correct placement after turning, set the interior fabric aside after this and move on to the next.
  6. With the exterior 17x10 bottom weight fabric, iron on the applique/steam a seam design. Place centered in the bottom half of this fabric approximately 1/2 inch from the fold you made in the fabric. Stitch around applique, if desired. Sew buttons onto car/truck. Template Here.
  7. Sew in closing elastic of choice in line with the button on either the right or left side. If sewed on right side the closure will be on the left of the car/truck, and visa-versa. I sewed mine on the right side of the bottom fabric.
  8. Place finished 17x10 pieces with right sides facing each other. Sew around to attach, leaving room to turn. TIP: do not leave corners as a turning point as this will be harder to finish later as the fabric is heavy. Also, ensure you stitch on the inside of existing stitches or they will show when turning.
  9. Turn, and sew around 1/4" to finish and close opening shut (pin opening first). I also like to iron this before sewing to get a good crisp edge. Next, sew along the center folded crease, to help keep construction of the folded tote.

You are now finished, add cars and enjoy! Here are folding directions and a few more photos!

Variations for this project: use Velcro or ribbon tie as a different closure. Stencil onto pockets or exterior using freezer paper to number the pockets or write letters/name. Sew in road signs, stop light, stop sign using felt in coordinating colors. Using similar method make a roll for crayons, doll and clothes or other toys - adjust pocket size accordingly. If you need help with sizing I am happy to assist!

Leave me a message if you have any questions or other suggestions about this project!


  1. Heather, you put me to shame! This project is brillant! How do you find the time to do these adorable things? If I had the skills my two year old would love this.

  2. You are just brilliant! WOW!

  3. I LOVE these!!! What a great idea!! You are super craft woman! Can't wait to use them :)