“The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful.” Problem is, you can only sing that song if you have enough wood to keep the fire burning bright. That’s where our sturdy and stylin’ firewood tote comes in… literally. Use it to haul in a generous load of wood. We used a double layer of indoor/outdoor fabric, which is not only tough, 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.
We selected our fabric from the indoor/outdoor selection at Fabric.com. Follow the stripe/solid pairing we chose or browse for your favorite combination to best match your own décor. Today’s indoor/outdoor fabrics come is a wonderful variety of patterns and colors, 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.
Sewing Tools You Need
Fabric and Other Supplies
- 1½ yards of 54″ wide outdoor fabric in a wide stripe for the outside of the carrier body: such as Premier Prints Indoor/Outdoor Stripes in Rojo
- 1½ yards of 54″ wide outdoor fabric in a coordinating solid for the carrier handles and the inside of the carrier body: such as Richloom Solarium Outdoor Solar in Praline
- Coats Outdoor Living Thread in colors to match fabrics: we used both brown and red
- Three feet of 1″ wooden dowel, cut into two 18″ pieces
- See-through ruler
- Tape measure
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Fabric pencil or marking pen
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Straight pins
- Iron and ironing board
- Pressing cloth, optional but recommended when working with outdoor fabric
- From the carrier body outside fabric (the Stripe in our sample), cut one piece approximately 21¼” wide x 37″ long.
NOTE: We 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 – or you may not have a stripe to fussy cut at all, 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.
- 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.
- Also from the solid fabric, cut FOUR 12″ x 9″ rectangles for the carrier handles.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Create the handles
- Find the four 12″ x 9″ handle rectangles.
- On one, turn under one 12″ side ⅜” and press.
- Turn under an additional ⅝”, press again.
- Pin and topstitch ¼” from the outside folded edge. Your piece is now 12″ x 8″.
- Turn under the opposite 12″ side ⅜” and press.
- Turn under an additional ⅝”, press again, but do NOT topstitch. Your piece is now 12″ x 7″.
- Fold the 12″ x 7″ piece in half so it is now 6″ x 7″.
- Topstitch the previously un-topstitched edges together, through all the layers, ¼” in from the folded edges.
- Insert the dowel until the end hits the seam line you just stitched and one side rests against the fold. Measure 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 or the heat of an iron.
- Stitch along the drawn line to create the dowel channel.
- Repeat to create the remaining three handle pockets.
- Slip a handle pocket on each end of each dowel to create two finished handles. Set aside.
NOTE: As shown above and below in the drawings, the inner edges of the handle pocket (the edges you hemmed at the beginning) are not stitched together – just the outer edges. We felt this made it easier to manipulate – especially when removing the dowels should you wish to launder the the carrier. However, if you want to stitch the inner edges closed that is perfectly acceptable. Simply follow along in the previous edgestitching, but make sure you don’t stitch the dowel opening closed.
Create the body
- 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.
- 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.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch both 37″ sides.
- Turn right side out through the open ends and press well.
NOTE: Remember, as mentioned above, consider using a pressing cloth when working with indoor/outdoor fabric.
- Fold in the raw edges of both ends ½” all the way around. Lightly pin in place.
- Topstitch ¼” from the edge along both long sides (the now 36″ sides).
Attach the handles to the body
- 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″.
- Pin in place.
- Topstitch the handle units in place, which also closes the ends.
- Topstitch again directly on top of your first line of stitching for extra reinforcement of the handles.
- Press well.
- 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. Slightly lengthen the stitch. Stitch slowly, gently holding the fabric to prevent shifting.
Project Concept: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Natalie Lawrie