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Tin Can Carrier – free pattern

Last Updated on April 25, 2018 by wendigratz

Tin Can Carrier - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

Holy cow – what a week! My husband writes children’s books and organized a writing retreat with other children’s book writers. I volunteered to cook for the group all week long while my sewing machine was in the repair shop (ack!).

It was a fabulous week full of good food, book talk, and lots of laughing. We rented a cabin in the mountains and the only bad thing about it was that the internet connection ranged from feeble to dead. I got home last night, slept for 12 hours solid, and now I have a mountain of email and other computer work to tackle. AND a freshly tuned sewing machine just begging me to play with it. What to do?

Well, of course I’m going to play on my sewing machine. After I answer the most important emails. 🙂 But first I want to tell you about that weird-looking thing up there. That, my friends, is my newest free pattern and you can find it over at Sew, Mama, Sew! I call it a carrying can. It’s a terrific toy (and toy tote) for kids.

It’s a pineapple juice can, completely covered with fabric, with a small, elasticized opening in the top making it easy to reach in and grab toys, but hard for toys to fall out when you’re just carrying it around.

It’s fun to stuff large, squishy toys through the small, stretchy opening, and rocks dropped in the hole make a satisfying clanging sound when they hit the metal can. 🙂 The instructions are for a short carrying handle, but you could easily lengthen it to an over-the-shoulder strap.

(If you’d like to make the snake you see wriggling out of the can you can find the free pattern here.)

A couple of commenters at Sew, Mama, Sew! expressed concern about the sharp edge of the can. I find that most can openers actually leave a pretty clean edge on the can itself. (The lid that you remove is another story.) Check it, of course. But be aware too that the construction of the thing makes it pretty hard to get your hand on the edge of the can once it’s all put together. The fabric wraps around tightly enough that you can’t shift the elastic too far away from the center of the can. If you’re worried about it (or if your can opener does leave a jagged edge) you can substitute any straight-sided cylindrical container with a flat bottom – like an oatmeal container. I give instructions for how to measure for an alternate-sized container. But an oatmeal container won’t be as durable as a tin can – and rocks dropped in won’t make the same cool sound. 🙂

edit – One reader over at Sew, Mama, Sew! recommended just running a quick strip of duct tape over the edge of the can if you’re concerned. That’s a GREAT idea.

Head on over to Sew, Mama, Sew! for the tutorial and more info.

Happy sewing everyone!



  1. I came over because one of your embroidery videos was posted on a Russian blog! Amazing the world-wide blogging community. Thank you for the videos, which I’ve recommended for new crazy quilt stitchers on one of my yahoo lists. I looked at quite a few and found them very helpful!

  2. Cute! And yeah, the plunk sound is better on a metal can!

    • Thanks so much for the info!

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