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Noel Home: 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 all the indoor/outdoor fabric for this project. They have the exact prints we used in stock and ready to ship, as well as a great selection of other options, like dots, medallions, leaves, even a very cool schooner print. For more tips, take a look at our article on how to work with and select outdoor fabrics.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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  • 1½ yards of 54" wide outdoor fabric in a wide stripe for the outside of the carrier body: we used Premier Prints Indoor/Outdoor Vertical Strip in American Red from fabric.com
  • 1½ yards of 54" wide outdoor fabric in a coordinating solid for the carrier handles and the inside of the carrier body: we used Richloom Solarium Outdoor Solar in Praline from fabric.com
  • Coats Outdoor Living Thread in colors to match fabrics: we used both brown and red; you need one color to match the handles and a second color to match the outer-most stripe of the body
  • Three feet of 1" wooden dowel, cut into two 18" pieces
  • See-through ruler
  • Tape measure
  • Seam gauge
  • Fabric pencil or marking pen
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins
  • Iron and ironing board

Getting Started

  1. From the carrier body outside fabric (the stripe), cut one piece approximately 21¼" wide x 37" long.
    NOTE: I say 'approximately' because it's most important to fussy cut to center your 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), 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 3/8" and press.
  3. Turn under an additional 5/8", press again, pin, and stitch ¼" from the outside folded edge. Your piece is now 12" x 8".
    Diagram
  4. Turn under the opposite 12" side 3/8" and press.
  5. Turn under an additional 5/8", press again, but do NOT topstitch. Your piece is now 12" x 7".
    Diagram
  6. Fold the 12" x 7" piece in half so it is now 6" x 7".
  7. Topstitch the previously un-topstitched edges together, ¼" from the folded edges.
    Diagram
  8. Insert the dowel until the end hits the seam line you just stitched and the 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 1-5/8". 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
  9. Stitch along the drawn line to create the dowel channel.
    Diagram
  10. Repeat steps 2-9 to create the remaining three handles.
  11. Slip a handle pocket on each end of each dowel to create two finished handles. Set aside.
    Diagram

Create the body

  1. Re-thread your sewing machine with thread to match your stripe in the top and thread to match your inside 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" inside and outside 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.
    Diagram
  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.
    Diagram
  6. Topstitch ¼" from the edge along both long sides (the now 36" sides).
    Diagram

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.
    Diagram
  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.
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    Contributors

    Project Concept: Alicia Thommas

    Sample Creation: Natalie Lawrie

    Other machines suitable for this project include the Elna 3210 Jeans and the Pfaff hobby 1142.

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    Comments (7)

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
    @ WestMI - We made our carrier from heavy-duty outdoor fabric, which is meant to be wiped clean not machined washed. However, you can wriggle out the dowels. It's not easy, since we didn't intend them to be removed, but the channels are open on the one side and so you could scrunch up the pockets and wriggle the dowel out of one side and then the other. But again, I'd really recommend a durable canvas or outdoor fabric for this project - both of which would be best wiped-clean. A little bit of ScotchGuard would also help keep it clean.
    WestMI said:
    WestMI's picture
    Can the dowel handles be removed for washing? Is there any way to make this possible?
    jeanne s said:
    jeanne s's picture
    I made two of these for Christmas presents and they look great.
    Jami said:
    Jami's picture
    I whipped one of these up last night. Great project. Thank you so much. I think i will make few more for christmas gifts.
    Marlene's Mom said:
    Marlene's Mom's picture
    This will make a great homemade Christmas gift for my husband! Thanks!
    clark2000 said:
    clark2000's picture
    This is the best idea! Now I can check off the hardest person on my list to get anything for. Thanks
    bairdmtn said:
    bairdmtn's picture
    Thank you so much for posting this pattern! I have a carrier just about like this that sits in a cast iron holder that is just about worn out! Now I can make a new one!!!

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