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 and cucumber hat 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.
If you’re looking for more ways to live a more eco-friendly life, check out this post of 31 Easy Ways to Live More Sustainably.
Other DIYs you will love:
Quilted Laptop Bag Tutorial
DIY Patchwork Baby Blanket
Zero Waste DIY Produce Bags
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!
If you liked this DIY you should also check out this one: Easy Quilted Coffee Cozy Tutorial
Feel free to leave any questions in the comments!
This is such a cute idea! I may have missed something, but can you tell me what that purple trim is in the 2nd photo? I love your ideas! You’re so creative… Thank you!
Hi Cheryl, You didn’t miss anything! The purple trim was just the edging of the towel I repurposed. It got cut off. 🙂 Thanks for reading!
I am a little confused on the intial measurements, when you ‘squared it up’ did you just even the edges or turn it into something like 18×18?
Hi Sarah, I just mean that I evened out the edges so that everything was straight. 🙂
Kathleen G LaFlure says
In your directions you squared up the fabric so how can you have a shorter side? It says to fold up the bottom along the shorter side?
Ashten Johnson says
I think she straighten the material along the grain.
marjorie herbert says
Thank you for this I will try and make this for presents for family and friends xxx
I love Stacked Fabrics too, and bonus – they’re located in my town 🙂
Nana K says
What a fabulous idea! Thank you so much for posting. It is so awesome I have included your link in my 10 Awesome Travel Accessories to Sew post. You can check it out here! https://whatsnanamaking.com/travel-accessories-to-sew/
Lori G says
I made something like this many years ago because of the icky zipper bag situation as well. Now I need to make a few again. Thanks for the tutorial!
Definitely need to make a couple before our trip to Montreal! I think sewing the ribbon piece along the back will make a good way to keep from losing it too (I loose enough hair ties as soon as I take them off to know I’ll do the same with a ribbon lol)
Riley Smith says
What type of needle did you use? I’m having trouble finishing due to how thick the fold is.
We travel quite a bit and I’m making this before our next trip. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.
I use mine whenever I travel, it’s so handy! 🙂
I wanted to ask where the materials are, where to buy them from. and what is the name of the fabric. I would be very happy about an answer
The outer fabric is a quilting cotton, which is available at most fabric stores. The inner fabric is just an old towel I had that was getting worn out. It’s terry cloth, which you can also purchase at fabric stores though.
Grandma B says
I wish I had seen this sooner! I work overnight shift at the hospital emergency room, and we are always looking for ‘different’ items to gift each other at the holidays. The fact that most of us work 12 hr shifts and live in our lockers . . . this is perfect!!! Can’t make to make up a bunch for this year. Thanks 🙂
I loved this project and have made 2 so far. I just didn’t due the top flap due to lack of material. I used a hand towel. The only problem I ran into was the outsides being to thick, so when I folded the bottom flap up it was very thick and hard to get under to sew. Do you have any suggestions?
Elizabeth Tanner says
I am having the exact same issue it is extremely thick on the sides. What do I do?
Terri Kaufman says
Would loosening the top tension on your machine help?
Hi Hannah, You could try pressing the heck out of it with your iron to try to flatten it down a bit!
Pamela Hoelscher says
You could use an old towel or wash cloth for the terry cloth, and your fabric stash for the outside fabric.
This is a great idea for Military or frequent flyers, or campers.
I’ll be making a few. Thanks for the idea!
It’s a great ‘stash-busting’ project! I’ll be taking it camping this summer for sure!
I love this idea for carrying toothbrush etc. since I am a beginner at sewing, I had a hard time understanding the first part of the process. Would you please be able to put it into steps for beginners?
This is great
I followed the link to your friends store for the cheese bandanna, the main reason was I thought it said cheese banana LOL no idea why I thought it said that and you know cheese banana who wouldn’t follow the link. Now I know what a cheese banana / bandanna is LOL
Hahaha, Nicole that’s hilarious! 😀
Great idea! This would be super cute quilted and may suggest to add the ribbon sandwiched between the two layers to have it sewn in.
I need to make this ASAP. This is a game changer.
It really is! I use mine every time I spend a night elsewhere. 🙂
Navya Davy says
This is so nice, simple, practical and useful. Thank you so much!
You’re welcome! Glad you like it!
Merriam Phillips says
I love the idea, we travel a lot and this will keep everything together. Hope you used a rotary cutter and ruler and mat for your cutting, sure makes everything go faster!
I’m guilty of never measuring anything and totally winging it. Haha! But when I need to be more precise I do pull out my rotary cutter!
Cindy Ferrell says
Would this for an electric tooth brush?
It might, you would probably have to make the slots a little wider. 🙂
Roz Hamre says
Love it, I’m trying to go the whole no plastic thing and have been converted to beeswax wraps, made using off cuts so a bonus. We travel a lot as expats going to make some of these for the family and Christmas gifts.
What are the dimensions of the final project? I love this idea!
Stacy Clark says
Love!!! I am making some for stocking stuffers! My Mom and I also have a side business of handmade items. These may sell well too. Is it okay if we make some to sell?
Hi Stacy, I’m so glad you love the wrap! What is the link to your business? Or do you sell in person instead of online?
I would love to buy a few of these. Do you have a shop on Etsy?
I’ve done something similar when I bring my own washcloth – no sewing, just wrap toothbrush etc inside washcloth, fold over the edges, and roll.
This project is a clever way to keep things a bit more organized than my way, and fits more too!
Flossie McCowald | SuperMomHacks says
LOVE this idea – so clever! #wanderingwednesday
Thanks for stopping by!
Mosa Cortez says
Lindo! Belo trabalho, inspirador….. abraço
Muito legal mesmo. Gostei.
Very nice job. I like it.
Lori | Choosing Wisdom says
Love this! Such a great idea – the fabric vs. the plastic in my current travel bag is a game changer. The sticky mess can just be washed up in the laundry!
Exactly! Makes travelling just a little more pleasant. 🙂
Tracy Albiero says
What a simple and cute idea! #wanderingwednesday
Michele @ Confessions of Parenting says
I so love these! I totally need to make like 10 of these! #WanderingWednesday
Haha, they would make great gifts!
Jennifer Wise says
I LOVE this!! What a genius idea. Pinning! 🙂 #wanderingwednesday
Oh thanks so much! I used it on a recent trip and it was super handy!