2-in-1 Bag: Stroller Bag into a Messenger Bag

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Okay, stroller users.  
We need to talk about a few things.
Do you have one of these bag problems while strolling around with your little kiddo(s) in tow?
  • Your purse/bag handles aren’t long enough to fit over both stroller handles, making it difficult to find a place to hang your purse?
  • You decide to sling both straps over one of the stroller handles but it hangs too low and then wacks you in the leg each time you take a step?
  • Or maybe you skip the purse all together and just throw your wallet, some diapers, your keys and phone down into the storage basket below the stroller.  But then you arrive somewhere where you can’t take the stroller inside, so you have to grab your loose things from below, plus a squirmy child, and enter your destination.  Eek.
Can you relate?
Well, we are heading down to FL for a week getaway and my word, I’m tired of the bag/stroller dilemma.
So I needed a quick-acting conversion bag.  
So, here’s my solution.
This bag begins as a stroller bag with 2 snap on straps on each side, holding the bag up high and out of the way.  It also keeps the bag from slipping off the stroller handle(s).
The heavy duty snaps attach and release quickly, making the transformation speedy.
So when you’re ready to convert it into a messenger bag, just remove the permanently attached longer strap that is hidden inside of the bag while not in use…
Then un-snap the two side straps, removing the bag from the stroller.  
Next, sling the long strap over your shoulder and attach it to the short strap that was previously used as one of  the stroller straps.  
Then, just snap the two snaps, press the velcro into place (for added strength)………
………and you’re ready to go.  
The other short strap that is not in use, can be re-snapped into a loop and then used as a toddler handle if needed.  (Remember this post here?  Sometimes the little walkers just need something to hold onto.)
And then when you return back to the stroller, just quickly re-attach the side straps to the stroller, tuck the long strap back into the bag, and you’re on your way again.
And oh my, thanks to this sweet friend of mine for demonstrating her little guts out for me.  
Made it nice and easy for me.  
Thanks Lizzie.  You’re great.  And your spunk……..ahhh, it’s refreshing. 
Anyone in need of their own 2-in-1 Stroller/Messenger Bag?
Here’s how I made mine.
I started out with two outer pieces of fabric and two pieces of lining, all of which measured 12 x 22 inches.  (My outer pieces of fabric were very sturdy pieces of upholstery fabric.  The lining pieces are just plain ‘ol cotton.  Worked great for this project.)
Then I placed the two outer pieces of fabric together with right sides together and sewed along the short sides and along the bottom, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance……and left the top open.  Then I zig-zagged around those 3 sides as well.  I did the same thing with the 2 lining pieces.
Then, I grabbed one of the bottom corners, stuck my hand up inside the bag, and then opened up the fabric a bit so that I could fold the corner down like shown below.  Now the side seam of the bag is going up the front of this new point and the bottom seam of the bag is going directly down the back of this new point.  Make sense?
Then, keeping the folded corner exactly in place, I measured down two inches from the tip of the point, and placed a pin in place.
Then I sewed a straight line right across.  And then another line right above that, to secure it in place.  Repeat with the other corner and then both corners of the lining.
Then turn the outer fabric right side out and leave the lining inside out………and iron your seams flat as best you can.
Next cut out two pieces that are 17.5 x 14.5 inches, to be used for your bag flap.
 Place the two pieces together with right sides together, then sew along the sides (14.5 inches) and the bottom (one of the 17.5 inch sides).  Leave the top open.
Then clip the two bottom corners.  (Not sure why?  Take a look at why, here.)
Then turn the bag flap right side out, poke out the corner and then press flat.  Then top-stitch around the 3 sides, making a seam about an 1/8 of an inch from the outer edge.

 Onto the straps.
Cut out one outer piece of fabric and one piece of lining that is 43 x 3 1/4 inches.  And then cut 2 outer pieces of fabric and 2 pieces of lining that are 10 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches.
Then sew the two long pieces together along the sides and one end, with right sides together.  Then sew each shorter piece together with its matching piece of lining, with right sides together.  Again, sew along the sides and one end.  Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Then trim each corner on the one end of each strap piece, turn right side out, and press flat.  Then top-stitch around the 3 sides, making a seam about an 1/8 of an inch from the outer edge.
Now onto putting the bag together.
Take one of the short straps and place it face up on top of the long piece, which is also facing up. 
Match up their raw, un-sewed ends.
Then turn the two straps over and line up the exact middle of the 2 3/4 inch wide straps, right up with one of the side seams of your main bag piece.  See the two straps there, with the right side of the fabric facing the right side of the bag fabric?
And instead of lining up the upper edges of the bag opening and the raw edges of the two straps, raise the straps up about a half inch above the edge of the bag opening and then pin in place, making sure the center of the strap is still lined up with that center side seam of the bag.  (Doing this will allow you to have extra fabric to secure the straps to the bag, and provide you with more fabric to create seams to secure the bag strap in place.  You’ll understand better later on.)
Then attach the other short strap to the other side seam of the bag, raising the strap above the top edge of the bag by about a 1/2 inch.  Make sure to have right sides together and center the strap right along that side seam.
Next, grab your bag flap, turn it over, and attach it to the front of the bag with pins along the top……placing right sides together.  Make sure to match up the raw edges of the bag flap (the un-sewn edges) with the raw edge of the bag.  And also be sure to center the bag flap between the two side seams, along the front of the bag.
Once your straps and bag flap are all securely pinned into place, drop your bag down inside of the lining.  At this point, your bag is right side out and your lining is inside out……..making the two fabrics rights sides together after you drop it down inside.
Line up the side seams and the top raw edges, and pin it into place all the way around the bag.
Sew all the way around the top, securing the straps and bag flap into place but leave about a 10 inch opening along the front side, opposite the bag flap.  Use a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
Then turn the bag right side out, pulling it out through that hole that you left.  Then fold the raw edges of the opening down towards the inside of the opening hole, a 1/2 inch.  Pin into place.  Then iron flat all the way around the bag opening.
Then top-stitch around the top opening of the bag, making a seam about an 1/8 of an inch from the upper edge.  Even continue sewing all the way around to the back of the bag, keeping the back seam flat and in place.
Then, sew  a rectangle with an ‘X’ through it, adding extra strength to those side straps. 
**Remember that extra 1/2 inch that you added as you pinned the strap to the bag earlier on?  This allows the strap to hang down even lower so that you can create this rectangle with the ‘X’ in it.  There is no need to make the rectangle any lower than the strap ends that are inside of the bag……so feel for the ends of the strap and use that as a guide to sew your rectangle.
Lastly, adding the hardware.
I purchased these heavy duty snaps in a package of 8, at Walmart for a few dollars.  I added two snaps to the base of each of the short straps……and the back side of the snaps to the other end of the short straps.
So that I could snap the ends down to the base, creating a loop for both sides of the bag.
Then on the long piece, I added two snaps to the end.  Then on the short piece (that is on the opposite side of the long piece), I added the back sides of these snaps about 4 1/2 inches from the end.  Then I placed some wide velcro (also purchased at Walmart) along the underside of the long strap and then on the front side of the short strap.  This will give the strap extra strength when being used as a messenger bag.
And then when the long strap is connected to the short strap, it looks like this.
Lastly, add a bit of velcro to the under side of the bag flap and then along the front of the bag.  
You could add snaps or buttons instead.  Whatever you prefer.

There you have it.
All done.
And because life just got a little simpler, you may just find yourself completely excited to speed along your way with your new 2-in-1 bag.

Go on, get going.

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Filed under Accessory, Baby, Children, Gift Ideas, Sewing


217 Responses to “2-in-1 Bag: Stroller Bag into a Messenger Bag”
  1. 1
    Emine İncefidan says:


  2. 2
    Kelly's Korner says:

    Very cool tutorial! I am out of the stroller phase, but the tutorial for the bag was helpful for me!

  3. 3
    Cathy says:

    This is AMAZING!! Thank you for another wonderful tutorial.

  4. 4
    Daisha says:

    What an awesome idea and tutorial. If I get brave enough I'll give it a try!

  5. 5
    Auntie Louisa says:

    That's a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  6. 6
    Angie says:

    This is a great bag – what a cool concept.

  7. 7
    Mandy says:

    So I am leaving for a Florida getaway on Saturday, and now you've just convinced me that I need to made this bag before I leave, as if packing stuff for 4 kids wasn't enough to consume the week!! :)
    maybe we'll see you there….

  8. 8
    Brandy @ Gluesticks says:

    That is fabulous! I love it! I made this bag for my umbrella stroller a few months ago. It works great, but would be nice to convert it to a purse too. As usual, you think of everything! :)


  9. 9
    Queen Bee says:

    OMG! I desperately LOVE this but, unfortunately, I can't sew a lick!! Maybe you will put them in your SHOP?? PA-LEEEEEEESE????

    Your wonderful tutorials leave me, once again, hate being sew-handicapped! Umph!

  10. 10
    Valerie says:

    This is one of the greatest ideas…ever!

  11. 11
    Heather says:

    That is a super cool idea! :)

  12. 12
    Amanda says:

    Oh man, I need to make one of those! I have been trying to figure out how to make one, but haven't put enough thought/energy into it…thanks for doing that for me! You always have awesome tutorials! Thank you SO MUCH!!!

  13. 13
    Romberg Family says:

    That is the greatest idea!!! So simple and funny to think that no one has ever come up with something like that!!

  14. 14
    Rebekah says:

    Absolutely BRILLIANT! This would make a great shower gift.

  15. 15
    inday_adin says:

    Genius!!! I love this idea. Thank you so much for sharing. This would be great as a baby shower gift, don't you think? Love, Love, Love it!

  16. 16
    Lu says:

    Wow, LOVE! Combines two of my faves, strolling and messenger bags! Thanks for the tutorial. Can't wait to make one!

  17. 17
    Melissa says:

    Maybe you should have patented this one! Sure Genius! It is so stylish and functional. Amazing!

  18. 18
    Melissa says:

    You. Are. Brilliant. 'nough said.

  19. 19
    hsbc loan says:

    that's very handy, its really wonderful

  20. 20
    anhesty says:

    fabulous diy! thanks!

  21. 21
    caryn says:

    Dear Ashley, stop being so cute. Love Caryn.

    That's genius, Ash – how the heck do you come up with all of this stuff and have time to do it?!??

  22. 22
    Porche' says:

    Awesome tutorial! It was so easy to follow, even for a novice sewer like myself. You are incredibly talented. Thanks!

  23. 23
    Here I Am. says:

    LOVE this idea! I just ordered a new diaper bag for this reason alone and now I could have made this..oh well..still probably will :)Thanks for sharing!

  24. 24
    Bnmspanier says:

    I so wish i could sew! You should make them and people can order them!!!

  25. 25
    Olga says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea!!! How clever! Might have to make me one of those now!

  26. 26
    anne says:

    O my gosh! That is BRILLIANT! Can't wait to make my own. :)

  27. 27
    Aimee says:

    I am so impressed. How clever you are!

  28. 28
    Joseph's Grainery Recipes says:

    What a brilliant solution! My shins thank you!

  29. 29
    Antigone says:

    great idea! thanks a lot Ashley ;D

  30. 30
    Katie @ Not Just Decorating says:

    What a good idea. You are so creative. I've been reading your blog for a while and I'm always amazed at how many great ideas you come up with. You have inspired me to start my own and I just did. So I wanted to say thanks :)

  31. 31
    Mormishmom says:

    This is awesome!

  32. 32
    Laurel and Jeremy says:

    Yay! Thanks so much! And I love her shirt!!! where did she get it?

  33. 33
    WannaBcrafty says:

    This has to be the cutest thing EVER… Thanks so much for sharing :) Sooo super cute

  34. 34
    Allison and Mason: says:

    This idea is genius. I think it's my all time favorite. You should get a patient on it and you'll be famous because once mom's start seeing these out there they will want one!! You should sell them at your shop!

    Well done!!

  35. 35
    Goings on at the Glenn's says:

    perfect! My little sister mentioned that she wants a messenger bag on her last visit. I think this will be something I make for her for Christmas this year!

  36. 36
    lorchick @ ON{thelaundry}LINE says:

    k, you have no idea how nuts-awesome the timing on this tutorial is. Literally last night I was googling diaper bag and messenger bag patterns because I want to make my own diaper bag and I want that style. Mine will be sporting some pockets on the inside and I'm going to make the outer fabric a nice wipeable oilcloth, but that is tiny little adjustments to the perfect design, plus a bonus Brilliant Idea. I love it. Thankyouthankyouthankyou!

  37. 37
    Aubrey says:

    Hey Ashley.
    This is perfect!!!! I have another baby coming in January and this is exactly what I'm looking for!
    Have you ever thought of including a PDF file along with your tutorial so we can print these awesome instructions? I have a bit of a tough time getting my computer into my sewing room, that would help a ton!

  38. 38
    jehan says:

    I. LOVE. YOU….right now. Perfect. My next project (I hope)

  39. 39
    MNorman says:

    AWESOME!!! Is this something they actually make that you came up with your own "instructable" for??? or is this your idea? Its genius and you should totally sell these!!!! I can't sew that well — I would love to buy one! And I love the pattern of your bag.

  40. 40
    The Whitings in Philly says:

    Hi…I've been friends with Lizzie since our husbands both started dental school in Philly and she recently mentioned on her blog that she's friends with you. As soon as I saw that first picture, I wondered if it was Lizzie – I recognized her body! She's a great model, huh? Happy to see her on here. I agree about her spunk! And that is a great looking bag too. I love all your ideas.

  41. 41
    cuppycakey says:

    Wow, that is a great invention! You are super creative! Also, I just had to comment on the stroller! We have the same one with the double attachment and we love it! I have never seen another one in use so it's cool to see it here! :)
    So, I love your tutorials, they are so easy to follow, so clear, and make everything seem so do-able! Awesome job!

  42. 42
    halifax loan says:

    Thank you for this post. great tutorial.

  43. 43
    Michelle says:

    I LOVE THIS!!! I'm due with baby #2 next week and have a 16 month old, so going out without a place to store diapers and money and such is not an option. I can't wait to whip this up and make my double stroller look less frumpy and more awesome! Thanks :)

  44. 44
    Kristi says:

    Brilliant! I SO need to make one of these! {Love your fabric choices too : )}

  45. 45
    Наталя says:

    THANK YOU!!! I just think about sewing stroller bag. Your tutorial is great!

  46. 46
    Nikki - Lilybug_Designs says:

    This is genius! I might just need to make myself one.

  47. 47
    bethanndodd says:

    My stroller days are pretty much over but I still LOVE it!!! Have fun (and get some much needed relaxation) in Florida!!!

  48. 48
    Christy, Home-Mom.com says:

    awww this is beautiful, I love your fabric and this is going to "the list" of projects I want to attempt. Thanks ;)

  49. 49
    Kelley says:

    This is GENIOUS. I love it. I want it.

  50. 50
    Kimberly says:

    I'm really not this skilled as a sewer, but I am so going to try because I NEED this. Brilliant.

  51. 51
    Amanda says:

    Ummm…brilliant. I need one. But I don't sew. Would you consider selling these? I would buy one!

  52. 52
    Brenda says:

    Superb!! With a couple of tiny renditions this will swing perfectly from the bars of my walker. [due to arthritis and severe Fibro, and chronic fatigue even us younger than 50s' need some support!].

  53. 53
    Annette @ Designs By A Rose says:

    I don't have a baby or a need for a stroller, but I like the idea for an older child. At soccer games and football games, I have to tote all my daughters gear and pom poms. I found a rolling basket to carry stuff, but it would be nice to be able to "hang" my purse on it. I was thinking about making something similar. Thanks for the tutorial. Now I don't have to figure out how to make it!

  54. 54
    Lynette @ My Craft Discovery says:

    I love this idea. I will definitely hang onto this idea when I reach the stroller stage! What a great gift idea!

  55. 55
    Samantha says:

    I LOVE this!! My bosses wife is having a baby boy and is due this week! I wish I had time to make it for her!


  56. 56
    LEF says:

    Love this – thanks for a great tutorial! Now I just have to work up the nerve to actually try to make it.

  57. 57
    The Ostlers says:

    this is friggan brilliant!!! i love it! Im going to Joanns tomorrow! I have another project to keep in mind while browsing fabrics. :D

  58. 58
    Britney says:

    Genious! And so stinking cute! Where was this when I was hauling kids around in a stroller?

  59. 59
    Jen Ketcher says:

    This is one project I may actually have to do from all the crafting blogs I follow! Thanks for the great idea.

  60. 60
    Mrs B says:

    This would also work for thos of us looking after Older parents in wheelchairs.

  61. 61
    Adele says:

    Holy cow! awesome!! I cannot wait to make one of these!! Thanks!!

  62. 62
    Jessica says:

    I absolutely love this. We are expecting #2 in late February and a relative is expecting their first in January and this would be wonderful for both of us. Thanks for sharing such a great item :) Cannot wait to get it started!

  63. 63
    Lesa says:

    okay, that is CLEVER! I think you should be selling those! Thanks for the generosity to share the pattern idea!

  64. 64
    Goings on at the Glenn's says:

    I just spent the last little while making this bag. GREAT TUTORIAL! Very easy to follow and I love my bag! I am done except for the snaps and velcro. But that'll have to wait for my next run to the fabric store. Thanks again for this idea. I am thinking about a few additions I can make to it too! So fun! Thanks!

  65. 65
    Daisie says:

    LOVE IT!! GENIUS!! I'm thinking your model Lizzie just may have gotten so excited to speed along with her 2-in-1 bag that she forgot to put the baby in the stroller!!! (see last picture) hahaha! Something that I'd probably do for real! Thanks for the awesome tutorial!!

  66. 66
    Sara Marie says:

    Great idea!

    We're having a giveaway on our blog. Check it out!


  67. 67
    meagan says:

    This is every mom's dream bag. I'm a little worried to too advanced for my beginner skills though. Hopefully I can talk some one in the making (helping) one with me! Love the fabric too!

  68. 68
    The Wade Family says:

    This is the coolest idea that I've ever seen. Thank you SO much for posting it! I'm ordering fabric now so I can make it soon….

  69. 69
    Megan says:

    I have been looking for a messenger style purse and decided I am going to make my own… This tutorial is going to help out A LOT!!! Very creative!!!

  70. 70
    Sonya Cheng says:

    Great pram – we have the same one! Thanks for the Tute…it looks so easy to follow!

    Just a quick question: do you need a special machine to attach the snaps? I don't have one, but would still love to have a go at making it.

  71. 71
    the mama monster says:

    oh my goodness perfect! we are going to disneyland in 2 weeks and i was looking to make a stroller bag and i have a phil and teds so i know its going to work. is it ok for me to link over to your bag at my blog? i'm doing a traveling with kids week right now and i would love to feature this!

  72. 72
    Cammy says:

    Darling bag! Definitely going to go on my project list. The instructions looks so clear and easy, love that.

    Totally random but I think I cheered with Lizzie in high school. I was a junior and she was a sophomore. If it's her she looks just as good as she did in high school and it looks like she hasn't lost her cute spunk either.

  73. 73
    Katelyn says:

    great idea and love the last picture – she does have spunk!

  74. 74
    Christene from WhipperBerry says:

    What a neat idea! Wow!

  75. 75
    Bellis says:

    Wonderful tutorial!
    We have the same stroller :) greetings from Poland!

  76. 76
    Stefeven1 says:

    That is a great idea !! Love the print of the bag ….
    Can't wait to have another baby to make it :) well, I mean the bag !:))
    Keep going the great job !!


  77. 77
    Kendal and Alissa says:

    Love it! I have the exact same stroller, but I was wondering if you thought of putting an expandable pocket on the side to put a water bottle or drink in it? Since these strollers don't have drink holders. I would love to see how to do that.

  78. 78
    Tiffany says:

    OK I LOVE this bag! But I don't have an ounce of sewing ability…UGH. Maybe I can talk my mom into making one for me!!

  79. 79
    the Spartan says:

    Love it–and love even more that we have the same Phil and Ted stroller–the best, huh? Great tutorial–though by the time I get around to making one my babe will probably be in high school and definitely out of the stroller!

  80. 80
    Lil Bit says:

    Hi there! Guess what?!? I've given you an award! I just love all of your crafty decorations! Stop on by to check it out!

    Lil Bits, Big World

  81. 81
    ebkins says:

    Oh my gosh! That was totally me! I could have used this pattern ages ago! I was extatic when my little one no longer needed a stroller JUST so I wouldn't have to worry about it! ha! Oh well… I'll have to use this for my next one!

  82. 82
    Beth @ Sand To Pearl says:

    Such a cute idea! I've never actually have a real diaper bag (mine's been an old purse and now it's a back pack). My baby brother is sending me his old Army uniforms, I'm going to try to make this out of those. Along with some matching things for the kids, I'm so excited, now I'm going to have to bug him till he sends them out.

  83. 83
    B says:

    I love it so much! Making one for when we jet set to Florida in November. And I think I am going to use the same fabric, sorry I just love it so much!

  84. 84
    CraftyBrit says:

    This is FANTASTIC! I'll be going on a long awaited trip to Disney World in a couple weeks, for 4 days and with my kiddos/strollers this will be great! Thanks for the wonderful idea, and tutorial!

  85. 85
    Kristen @ ladybug-blessings.com says:

    love this idea!!

  86. 86
    Amy says:

    i am so going to make this- GENIUS

  87. 87
    Joyce says:

    Wow, one of the best ideas! I've had the same problem a few months ago. We have another stroller now, because the old one was broken with 2 handles, so you can use them apart. But the idea is still one of the best. Sorry my englisch is not so well.

  88. 88
    Jo says:

    I love this! I already have all my pieces cut out and im getting ready to sew everything together…heres to hoping my beginner skills can do this! I am a little nervous about putting on the snaps. the pack i bought have no instructions!

  89. 89
    Jo says:

    Just finished making it…took me four hours but i love it!

  90. 90
    Kibba says:

    I don't have little kids anymore, but this is totally cute. I think I need to make one for myself. Thanks!

  91. 91
    Genevieve says:

    brilliant! love this idea. totally need to make one before our next vacation too! and just as a side note- i knew lizzie in philly! how funny. say hi to her for me! :) and hope you're enjoying your fam vacation in fl!

  92. 92
    Fernanda says:

    Great idea! Thanks

  93. 93
    Amy Pinney says:

    Ok–so I made this bag last night and LOVE it! I made a few "customizations", like the occasional pocket here and there :) and I also did my strap a little differently–I only used two sets of snaps, and configured the long strap so that when the bag is attached to the stroller, the long strap snaps together at the end, creating a loop for older little ones to hold on to while pushing the stroller! It works GREAT. The bag itself is a *tad* wider than I'd like, so next time I'll adjust that, but I LOOOVE it!

  94. 94
    Amy Pinney says:

    P.s. For those of you having trouble installing the snaps–I did too! I found this video that helped a TON.

  95. 95
    Amy Pinney says:


    Would help if I posted the link right? ;)

    ^ snap installation video!

    • 95.1
      Caron says:

      Aww… the video is down! I am at the point of adding the snaps and would have loved to see it!

  96. 96
    Lacey says:

    I love this! Thanks so much for creating a fun piece that will work on a stroller! My sister is expecting twins and I think THIS will give her the confidence to take them both out at once! What a great idea!

  97. 97
    Rachel says:

    Holy Cow! This is GENIUS!!!!! kudos to you. Now I am off to start making this!!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  98. 98
    Emily says:

    Genius! And great instructions and photos too.

  99. 99
    Anonymous says:

    Oh my thank you so much for the stroller bag tutorial. I have needed something like that for a while. I will definatley be trying it out. Thank you!

  100. 100
    HSDesigns says:

    Oh this is AMAZING – And just what I NEED> Unfortunately for me – I have NO SEWING SKILLS> I wonder if this is something you might want to make and sell?? Just an idea…..lol