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Sturdy & Stylin' Firewood Carrier

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"The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful." Problem is, you can only sing if you have enough wood to keep the fire burning bright. That's where our holiday firewood tote comes in... literally. Use it to haul in a generous load of wood. We used a double layer of tough indoor/outdoor fabric, which is not only sturdy, but also stain and water resistant. And those dowel-pocket handles look fancy, but are super easy to sew. This would be a great gift for all the lumberjacks on your list.

Our thanks to our friends at Fabric.com who supplied the great indoor/outdoor fabric for this project. They have the exact prints we used for our pretty sample in stock and ready to ship, as well as a great selection of other options, such as: chevrons, medallions, leaves, even fun nautical prints

For more tips, take a look at our article on how to work with and care for outdoor fabrics.

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Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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Getting Started

  1. From the carrier body outside fabric (the Stripe in our sample), cut one piece approximately 21¼" wide x 37" long.
    NOTE: I say 'approximately' because it's most important to fussy cut to center the striped fabric so you end up with a full solid stripe on each outside edge. If possible, the ½" seam allowance should extend into the next stripe beyond each outside edge stripe, so when seamed, the edge stripes will be full width. This will totally depend on the unique width of the stripes on your fabric, which is where the 'approximately' comes in. There's no hard and fast rule about the size of firewood carriers; a little bigger or a little smaller will be just fine.
  2. From the carrier body inside fabric (the Solid in our sample), cut one piece to exactly match the outside; 21¼" wide x 37" long in our sample.
  3. Also from the solid fabric, cut FOUR 12" x 9" rectangles for the carrier handles.

At Your Sewing Machine

Create the handles

  1. Find the four 12" x 9" handle rectangles.
  2. On one, turn under one 12" side ⅜" and press.
  3. Turn under an additional ⅝", press again.
  4. Pin and topstitch ¼" from the outside folded edge. Your piece is now 12" x 8".
  5. Turn under the opposite 12" side ⅜" and press.
  6. Turn under an additional ⅝", press again, but do NOT topstitch. Your piece is now 12" x 7".
  7. Fold the 12" x 7" piece in half so it is now 6" x 7".
  8. Topstitch the previously un-topstitched edges together, through all the layers, ¼" in from the folded edges.
  9. Insert the dowel until the end hits the seam line you just stitched and one side rests against the fold. Measure across the dowel to determine the width of the channel you will need to hold the dowel. Ours measured 1⅝". Remove the dowel and draw a line at this measurement.
    NOTE: You are drawing on the right side of the fabric so make sure you are using a fabric pen or pencil that will wipe away or vanish with exposure to the air.
  10. Stitch along the drawn line to create the dowel channel.
  11. Repeat to create the remaining three handle pockets.
  12. Slip a handle pocket on each end of each dowel to create two finished handles. Set aside.

Create the body

  1. Re-thread your sewing machine with thread to match your exterior in the top and thread to match your interior fabric in the bobbin. In our sample, that meant red thread in the top and brown thread in the bobbin.
  2. Place the 21¼" x 37" interior and exterior body pieces right sides together, matching the raw edges on all four sides. Pin in place along both 37" sides.
  3. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch both 37" sides.
  4. Turn right side out and press well.
  5. Fold in the raw edges of both ends ½" all the way around. Lightly pin in place.
  6. Topstitch ¼" from the edge along both long sides (the now 36" sides).

Attach the handles to the body

  1. Slip a handle unit into each open end of the body of the carrier. The raw edges of the handle unit should extend down below the folded ends of the carrier approximately 1".
  2. Pin in place.
  3. Topstitch the handle units in place, which also closes the ends.
  4. Topstitch again directly on top of your first line of stitching for extra reinforcement of the handles.
  5. Press well.
  6. If you feel your main panel fabrics are slipping against one another, you can add a few, widely-spaced lines of stitching across the width of the panel. Keep your machine threaded with thread to best match the exterior in the top and the interior in the bobbin. Stitch slowly, gently holding the fabric to prevent shifting. 


    Project Concept: Alicia Thommas
    Sample Creation: Natalie Lawrie


    Comments (6)

    BeginnerSewer said:
    BeginnerSewer's picture

    Thank you for this awesome pattern! I just made my 2nd one and it was just as easy as the first one I made 5 years ago for our cabin. The original one was made in a floral fabric I picked out, which was a really bad idea considering my husband uses it more than me. My siblings called it "the wood purse". I finally got around to making the poor guy a more manly looking one. :-)

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @BeginnerSewer - You are so welcome -- I'm still laughing over "the wood purse" - that's classic! Congrats on making another successful project. We hope you'll be back for more!

    Colette B said:
    Colette B's picture

    Like the pattern but 1.5 yards of 54" fabric seems like a lot for the size of the carrier.

    Am I missing something?

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Colette B -- you will end up with extra fabric, but in order for our directional stripe to work, we cut a 21-1/4" wide (fine with the 54" wideth) but 37" high, which meant more than a yard and the next increment available at Fabric.com was a half yard. Same with the solid. As always, we indicate cuts to exactly match our samples so people can achieve the same look with the same fabric. That said, we also encourage people to read through the instructions completely prior to starting so they understand the cuts and can adjust as needed to fit their specific situations. 

    Theresa Turner said:
    Theresa Turner's picture

    What a great idea.  I love it. Going to make this for my husband who usually carts in the wood  but  it may attract others to bring in wood.  Thanks for the pattern. 

    sewfar01 said:
    sewfar01's picture

    I love this pattern!   :)

    I am going to try to make it this weekend since it is going to be a rainy one.