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Free large beach bag pattern with pockets

I don’t know about you but a trip to the beach always contains a little anxiety – I dread the thought of my car keys becoming lost in the sand!! A recent trip to the charity shop found me eyeing up beach bags, my daughter stopped me in my tracks by asking “Why aren’t you making your own, it will be better”. Her prompt led to this large tote beach bag pattern. 

This large beach bag comes together quickly but you will need a little patience re the eyelets. The advantage of making your own large beach bag is that you can make it to your own requirements. This bag is designed around my desire for a zip pocket for car keys and slip pockets for suntan lotion and drink bottles.

Sew your own large tote beach bag, learn how to make a zip pocket for your car keys plus slip pockets for suntan lotion, drinks etc.. #totebagpattern #DIYbag

Sew your own large tote beach bag, learn how to make a zip pocket for your car keys plus slip pockets for suntan lotion, drinks etc.. #totebagpattern #DIYbag

Personally I am rather passionate about bag making – if you are new to bag making I have the perfect Beginners Bag Making Course for you which covers so many essential skills for bag making, and includes many free bag tutorials. 


Large Beach Bag Pattern

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Main fabric:-

Side panels 17 by 7″

Front panel 4 by 19″ and 10 by 19″ main fabric – contrasting panel 4 by 19″Back panel 4 by 17 and 12 by 17″ main fabric – contrasting fabric 4″ by 17″,Base 19 by 7″ main fabric

Fusible fleece:-  two side panels and base as above plus two pieces 17 by 19″ for front and back

Lining Fabric:-

Two panels 17 by 19″

Two side panels 17 by 7

Bottom 19 by 7 ”

Strong iron-on interfacing as above for lining.

Internal pockets:

zip pocket 17 by 10 ”

slip pockets – one piece 20 by 12″

Zip 8″

2 meters rope

4 Screw together grommets 3/4″

Start by creating the front panel. Lay the right sides together of accent fabric to main fabric. Stitch 1/4″ seam allowance. Press seam open. Repeat for the other long side of the accent fabric. This will create a panel 19 by 17″.

Repeat for the main back panel.

Iron on fusible fleece to all main fabrics.

Large Beach Bag pattern,

Iron on interfacing to all lining pieces.

Sew the main bag together. Sew each side seam stopping a quarter of an inch before the bottom of the seam.

Large Beach Bag pattern,

Pin in your base fabric, sew each seam stopping a centimeter before the edge.

Lining – let’s start by creating your pockets. Fold your long pocket fabric in half long ways. Press, then top stitch.

Mark the fabric in three places (quarter, middle, three quarters) along the top, mark the lining fabric at the middle and then in quarters. Place the pocket fabric onto the lining long edges matching. Pin in place. The fabric will be not quite flat. Sew down the pocket fabric along each marked place to create four slip pockets.


Large Beach Bag pattern,

Add small pleats along the base of the pockets so the pockets lie flat against the lining. Baste in place.

Place your zip pocket fabric  4 1/2″ in from the side and 1″ down from the top, right sides together.

Mark a rectangle 7 by  1/2″ as your stitch guideline.

Large Beach Bag pattern,

Stitch round the rectangle. Cut along the middle of the fabric as marked. Turn the lining fabric through to the wrong side. Press the edges of the opening. Place your zip behind the opening and tack in place.

Large Beach Bag pattern,

Machine stitch in place. With the wrong side facing turn up the zip pocket fabric so the bottom and top edge align. Pin.

Large Beach Bag pattern,

Sew round the three open edges to enclose the pocket.

Sew the lining pieces together as you did for the main bag. Place the outside of the bag and the lining right sides together.

Stitch around the top of the bag leaving a turning gap. Turn the bag right side out. Pin in the opening and top stitch along the of the bag.

Lastly lets install the screw in grommets – arguably the most important step in this bag!

Mark the position of the grommets, 4″ from the side seam and 1″ down from the top of the bag. Mark the size of the grommet hole, drawing round the inside of the grommet. Cut out fractionally wider.

Cut a little wider for the screw holes. Screw the grommets in place.

Cut the rope in two equal lengths, thread through the grommets. Tie a knot on each end, wrap thread around the end of the rope to stop it unravelling.

If you have any questions regarding the large beach bag pattern please do ask. Hope you have luck finding old curtains to make yours out of.

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Saturday 23rd of July 2022

I love this bag. That was fun to make and I discovered grommets with screws that gives a real professional finish. Thank you for sharing.


Thursday 18th of March 2021

What type of fabric did you use or suggest?


Monday 22nd of March 2021

I used old curtains - a sturdy fabric like canvas would be good.


Saturday 21st of April 2018

I'm so confused on the measurements, how can you have 17" bottom and sides when your bag is 19" across even with seem allowances it still doesn't make sense. The front and back panels don't match in size either? What am I missing? Love the design.


Sunday 22nd of April 2018

Hi Kathy, My apologies you are correct the measurements do not add up. My apologies - I have relooked and amended this morning. Any more questions please do ask, enjoy your sewing, Vicky

Joanne Goranson

Wednesday 18th of October 2017

Love this bag and all the bag tutorials I've seen on your site. We live in the US in the state of Minnesota in the summers and in Arizona in the winters, now that my husband has retired. We live in a 55+ Community with over 400 homes and there's a large pool. I have looked all over for a bag to bring all the supplies I need for my trips to the pool with friends but anything that I consider "quality made" costs more than I want to pay. I am a professional Art Quilter (aka "The Thread Lady") and also make and sell mixed media products so most of my time is spent on my business. However, sitting in front of a sewing machine and making fun stuff that I like and need is a form of relaxation for me and since recycling is a passion of mine I'm thrilled to have found your blog. I'm planning on making this bag as soon as we get to our house in AZ sometime at the beginning of November. I don't have a blog or a website (other than my page on because it's just too time consuming and I'd rather be doing something fun! I'll send a photo of my bag once it's done.


Wednesday 18th of October 2017

Lovely to hear from you Joanne - I am looking forward to seeing your bag:) We too are in the process of moving home, I hope your move goes well.


Monday 3rd of July 2017

Hands down Vickie for this fabulous bag. I can imagine your daughters happiness to see their mum creativity, after all your daughters gave you an idea. Hands down, the pattern looks too good. With the instructions being clear and concise it will have a beginner sewer feeling like a professional in no time!! Thanks ton for coming up with this post.

XXX Hannah


Wednesday 5th of July 2017

Thanks so much for your kind words Hannah:)

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