Water Bottle Carrier Tutorial

This water bottle carrier was inspired when I found myself carrying everyone’s water in my backpack for the 4th of July parade. Next time, everyone carries their own! This is my first tutorial so please feel free to send me corrections or comments on how to make it better.

1. Cutting Instructions

Cut one piece of fabric for the exterior and one piece for the interior each 10 3/4 wide x 8 inches tall. I’ve pieced my exterior fabric with two coordinating prints in the tutorial pictures.

Cut 2 circles of your lining fabric, the circle should have a 3 3/4 inch diameter. The diameter of the circle stitching line is 3 inches. Add an additional 3/8 inch seam allowance making the cut circle diameter 3 3/4 inches.

Cut one piece of Insul-Brite 9 x 7 inches. Cut one Insul-Brite circle with a diameter of 3 inches.

For strap, cut one length of twill tape and one length of ribbon, both 42 inches long. This fits my 8 and 11 year old daughters. When I sized it for myself I cut it 50 inches long.

2. Sew exterior to lining along the top edge only, right sides together using a 3/8 inch seam.

3. Press open seam.

4. The Insul-Brite is going to get sandwiched between the exterior and the lining. Pin Insul-Brite to the wrong side of exterior fabric, aligning and centering top of batting with the joined seam line. Pin in place about an inch down to keep batting from sliding around. Fold over the the lining fabric and pin some more. Top stitch 1/4 inch along the top edge. This provides a baseline anchoring of the batting.

5. Pin entire sandwich like a quilt, securing as needed to keep layers from puckering when stitched. Stitch all layers as you please. Repeat this for the bottom circle. Finish bottom edge of top and edges of circle with a zigzag stitch or serger.

6. I used a French seam to join the side edges of the carrier. A French seam is two steps which result in the raw edge being trapped inside the second seam. Use some scraps and do a practice seam if this is the first time trying this. This seam is great for fairy skirts too!

Step One: Pin WRONG sides of sides together and stitch a 1/4 inch seam. Don’t press seam open, you want them to lay flat together.

Step Two: Turn tube wrong side out. Pin again along the edge, RIGHT sides together and stitch a 3/8 inch seam. This seam will ‘trap’ the previous seam inside. This gives you a nice clean finished edge for the inside of your carrier.

7. Leave tube with lining turned to the outside. Pin bottom circle to tube’s raw edge, right sides together. Clip edges of the tube to make fitting easier. Only clip about 1/4 inch into seamline.

8. Stitch using a 3/8 inch seam.

9. Turn carrier right side out.

10. Attach twill tape to ribbon with a single stitch down the center.

11. Turn up 1 inch of strap raw edge and attach to inside edge of tube, centering ends on either side of the carrier side seam. (After making this I think it would have been easier to attach the strap before creating the tube.)

12. Enjoy watching your kids carry their own water bottle.


This carrier fits a small 500 mL bottle of water. I used a Crystal Geyser bottle that was 8 inches around. The finished tube is 9 inches in circumference and 7 1/4 inches tall.

The formula for sizing the diameter of the bottom circle is: the circumference of the circle divided by 3.14 (or pi). The circumference is measured by laying the top part of your bag flat, measuring the opening from one side to the other and then doubling. I usually round up the result of the formula just to keep things simple and add for a little shrinkage that will occur when the circle is quilted. I then add a 3/8 inch seam allowance or a total of 3/4 inch to the diameter measurement. In this example, a 9 inch circumference divided by 3.14 = 2.866, I rounded to 3 inches and added 3/4 of an inch for the total seam allowance.
Insul-Brite is a thin batting with a thin layer of foil. It will hold in heat or cold. If using it for potholders it’s recommended to use two additional layers of regular batting. I purchased mine at JoAnns.

Go to Whip Up and see all the other fabulous entries for this round of the Whip Lash Challenge. My entry is for the Tutorial category.

220 Responses to Water Bottle Carrier Tutorial
  1. Administrator
    May 12, 2007 | 4:46 pm

    Here’s a link to the website for Insul-Brite:


  2. […] Pink Chalk Studio » Blog Archive » WhipLash Challenge – Water Bottle Carrier […]

  3. […] Today’s feature is from Pink Chalk Studio with the tutorial to make a Water Bottle Carrier This carrier fits a small 500 mL bottle of water. I used a Crystal Geyser bottle that was 8 inches around. The finished tube is 9 inches in circumference and 7 1/4 inches tall. […]

  4. Ansley
    May 18, 2007 | 10:37 am

    It came out soo cute! I love that you used insulation too.

  5. […] Water Bottle Carrier (pink chalk studio) […]

  6. Quilted Water Bottle Tutorial
    May 23, 2007 | 6:12 pm

    […] Here’s a cute quilted water bottle made by Pink Chalk Studio for last year’s Whiplash Challenge. Why do I always gravitate to green? I love the mix of green prints and the fun ribbon strap. [ via ] Link. […]

  7. […] Cotton Spice is celebrating their one year anniversary with a round up of free patterns. High quality patterns. Not that free stuff you get to from an obnoxiously blinking pushbutton. This is good free stuff. My Water Bottle Carrier tutorial is in there too. […]

  8. […] June 3, 2007 · Filed under sewing I’m working on a couple of sewing projects for end-of-year gifts for the kids’ teachers.  They’ve both had really great school years and I wanted the kids to help me figure out a gift that says thank-you.  Q has had the same teacher for the last two years and she is so fabulous.  They are always doing projects and plays.  She has continually gone above and beyond to make sure the kids are learning and having fun.  So when I mentioned making Mrs. Erickson a book bag he told me what we should make her a bag to carry a water bottle.  And he’s right, every time I’ve seen her lately, she is carrying a bottle of water with her.  Not that I envision her using this at school, but maybe on field trips or on walks.  Q helped me pick out the fabric and I had him help do a bit of the quilting on the top.  Both the older kids have been asking for me to teach them how to sew, so I think we’ll figure out a couple easy projects to do this summer.  I found the tutorial at Pink Chalk Studios.  The tutorial is fairly easy to follow.  I bought an aluminum water bottle to Wal-mart, which was bigger than the disposable water bottle that the tutorial showed.  I ended up making two — the first one just a bit too snug for the new water bottle, and the second one that provided the appropriate roominess.  I’ll just consider the first one a “rough draft”.  I plan on making more for the kids for our own summer camping trips.  […]

  9. Stephanie
    June 3, 2007 | 10:48 am

    Have you ever done a double chamber carrier? I’m thinking it would be nice to hold both a water bottle and a inhaler. Both my older two are asthmatic and it would be nice for them to carry their own inhaler. It has a big opti-chamber attachment to it, so it ends up being the same size as a water bottle. Any idea on how to do this? I think I could figure out how to make just a small oblong bag — but how to make the divider part of it?

  10. yogurt cozy at blog da batixa
    June 6, 2007 | 12:00 pm

    […] Inspirada pelo Water Bottle Carrier decidi fazer um cozy para colocar o frasco do iogurte (quando faço iogurte manualmente) para que este possa arrefecer lentamente. […]

  11. Paula N.
    June 26, 2007 | 12:01 am

    I love this! We just did cub scout day camp and man could I have used this then! I plan to make one for my daughter and I. My son actually has a carrier for his water bottle, and I doubt DH will want a “girly” looking carrier so I’ll have to scrounge for manly prints. LOL. Thanks! Oh, I am from Washington State also, Kennewick to be exact! Great to see another Washingtonian on the ‘net!

  12. Stephanie Hawkins
    June 28, 2007 | 9:18 am

    Have you ever considered making something that can hold a water bottle and can be attached inside a regular purse. I always carry a water bottle with me and it often falls over and leaks inside my purse.


  13. Sharen
    July 4, 2007 | 5:44 am

    Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial. I’m off to make a few right now! Happy 4th!

  14. Annette
    July 23, 2007 | 7:39 pm

    Fabulous tutorial… saving it for my daughters who love this type of thing! Thank you!

  15. […] Strap is a length of twill tape covered in ribbon. Just like the water bottle carrier. […]

  16. gloria
    October 9, 2007 | 4:39 pm

    Wow! Most explicit with directions and pics to boot. This is the best.

  17. Tracey
    October 22, 2007 | 8:46 pm

    Just Stumbled Upon this, and it’s darling!!!

  18. […] Pink Chalk Studio’s Water Bottle Carrier […]

  19. Fall Swapies « Distracted by Something Shiny
    November 10, 2007 | 11:00 am

    […] Fall Swapies I just finished teaching a Photoshop workshop and thought I’d tell you about my recent crafty endeavors before I run some errands. Mostly lately I’ve been working on projects for my Fall Swap partner. She loves the outdoors and goes hiking a lot so I used this tute to make her an insulated water bottle carrier: […]

  20. lisa
    November 10, 2007 | 10:26 pm

    Very cool. I am soooo gonna make one. Maybe more!!

  21. Beth
    November 13, 2007 | 10:26 pm

    Ok, so I just finished my first one of these and my son loves it! Thanks so much for such a practical item and so easy to make! Your instructions are very clear.
    Thanks again!!!

  22. […] Water Bottle Carrier By Kathy, Pink Chalk Studio We love Kathy’s Water Bottle Carrier Tutorial! Wouldn’t this be a great gift tucked away in a tote? You could also adjust dimensions to fit reusable containers like the cute SIGG bottles. […]

  23. Elaine
    December 7, 2007 | 9:47 am

    Oh! These are fabulous! Thank you for taking time to share this with us!
    I can’t wait to make some!
    God bless,

  24. Katy
    December 8, 2007 | 9:19 am

    I am going to make this for my parents who are going on a mission trip to Central America for Christmas. Thanks for the idea!

  25. kylie
    December 20, 2007 | 5:15 pm

    Thanks for sharing this tutorial!

    I made one today and as it was going to be for a handbag i didnt do a strap i made a smaller wrist strap by sewing a strip of material in half then topstitching it. To add it to the bag i sewed it while sewing the two front pieces together. I might have to make another for my mum for the gym so it is easier to hold and keeps her water cool!

    Thanks again for sharing!

  26. SewDelish
    January 20, 2008 | 6:20 am

    Sooo Cool! Will just have to give this a go. Thanks

  27. shebaduhkitty
    January 28, 2008 | 8:25 pm

    that looks awesome! I will have to try that out

  28. […] I can’t stand having my water bottle floating around in my bag, so I think I’ll sew up one of these stylish carriers to keep it separate from my valuables. This will be a great accessory to take to the gym! Get the handy-dandy tutorial at Pink Chalk Studio. Link. […]

  29. Waneta Toyama
    February 4, 2008 | 12:33 pm

    This is a good pattern and looks easy, going to make some for Christmas gifts next year. I received one this year that is so fancy, made of gold material with beads hanging all around it and a gold strap. Too pretty to carry. To make one for a man I think I would denim as it would not look sissy plus could stand the wear.

  30. Gwen
    February 11, 2008 | 7:18 pm

    Thanks for the great tutorial, I will definatley be making one or more of these cute little carriers! You tutorial is very clear and easy to understand…..Thanks

  31. Arden
    February 20, 2008 | 10:00 am

    I’m confused by your website. I just want to see what I can purchase and how much it costs. I’m very interested in your beautiful water bottle carrier. How do I order one?

  32. Dennis
    March 14, 2008 | 10:26 am

    Great Work! this really works great for our time, i just bought 3 plastic water bottles that i expect my kids to reuse instead of adding to our environment issues of plastic bottles in our landfills, this is a great way to have our kids carry a reuseable bottle with style!

  33. Aly B
    March 14, 2008 | 7:27 pm

    If you are concerned with sizing the holder, you could sew it slightly large and add a draw-string top to it, then any bottle could fit in it but still be secure.

  34. […] Spotlight Post: WhipLash Challenge – Water Bottle Carrier This water bottle carrier was inspired when I found myself carrying everyone’s water in my backpack for the 4th of July parade. Next time, everyone carries their own! This is my first tutorial so please feel free to send me corrections or comments on how to make it better. […]

  35. Kristi
    April 30, 2008 | 11:36 pm

    Fabulous! I’ve made both my kids one so I don’t have to hear them whine about carrying their water bottles at the zoo! Thank you!! I’m also making them for teacher gifts to put in the insulated lunch totes I’m making!

    How do you get the bottom so round and perfect? Mine are lumpy and more “freeform”!

  36. Administrator
    May 1, 2008 | 6:46 am

    Kristi: I clip the fabric a little around the edges, both the bottom circle and the cylinder as needed, basically where ever it’s not wanting to lay flat. My motto is also “you can never use too many pins”. This is definitely the trickiest part of the construction process. Thanks for your nice note, Kathy

  37. Teddi
    May 3, 2008 | 8:22 am

    Kathy, thank you so much for this tutorial! I’ve had it bookmarked for a while and finally put it to use! I made some straight from the tutorial and they turned out perfectly following the directions ‘as is’. My dilemma: the little ‘half pint’ bottles that are 8 ounces. We are going on vacation and my 3-year old likes the little ones – so hopefully you won’t mind that I took some liberties and altered the pattern/tutorial to make the carrier fit a shorter bottle. I also added a strap w/velcro that goes over the top of the bottle to hold it in – you know 3-year olds, they can get a bit rambunctious and I was afraid it could fall out. If you’d like to see pictures you can check them out on my blog http://www.tlcandmore.blogspot.com. Thanks again for a wonderful tutorial. It is going to be a lifesaver for us all (including 7, 3-5 year-old girls) during a family trip to Disneyland next week.

  38. Ute Meier
    June 17, 2008 | 2:49 am

    Thank you for the nice idea!

    Greetings from Berlin

  39. MsK
    June 18, 2008 | 9:58 pm

    I will be trying to make one of these (hopefully tomorrow) for my kiddo. He brings a bottle to school but hates when it sweats on his desk. We’ve been using an old baseball sock, but now I can make him something with camo, dragons, or flames! Thanks for the insulation tip. I have some darling fabric that I’d like to use to make a lunch bag for myself, now I have an excuse to buy the insulation! Thanks!

  40. Carol H.
    July 16, 2008 | 8:42 pm

    I read Marcia Hohn’s(quilter’s cache) newsletter yesterday & she mentioned your water bottle carrier. What a wonderful tutorial!
    I made the bag this morning. It was fun & thanks to the great instructions it was easy!

  41. Samantha
    August 7, 2008 | 11:09 am

    I just made one of your bottle carriers- easy peasy and SO CUTE!!! Directions were straight-forward and easy to follow. One Christmas present down, however many more to go………..

  42. Fran
    August 20, 2008 | 10:49 am

    Can’t wait to try this! I’m thinking of making it for the gym, with a little pocket on the side to hold my keys and headphones. I always end up walking around the gym gathering up bits and pieces. Thanks!

  43. jacqui jones
    September 25, 2008 | 9:03 pm

    this is great
    i made a different one….but will be giving this one a go next
    tell me where i could find the insulation stuff???
    i used quilt pellon for the first one i made

  44. Michelle
    September 26, 2008 | 9:43 am

    This is great! Thanks. I see one of these for every family member in my future!

  45. […] -Water Bottle Carrier This would be great with a stainless steel bottle. […]

  46. Tutorial craze « The annotated life
    November 4, 2008 | 3:48 pm

    […] para carregar garrafa d’água: http://pinkchalkstudio.com/blog/2006/07/10/whiplash-challenge-water-bottle-carrier/ Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Debugger for […]

  47. Beth
    November 5, 2008 | 11:35 am

    Kathy–I made two of these last night while watching election results come in. (I was so nervous that I sewed and ate Halloween candy for hours!) The pattern came together quickly and easily, and I found the insul-bright at my local “Jo Ann fabrics” without a problem. I made mine with a short strap and a very large snap–the pieces that I cut for the strap measured 11″X2″, and I used 1/2″ seam to sew it wrong sides together, and turn, then attach to the inside and sew the big snaps on by hand to the outside of the carrier and the other end of the strap. I made these with the short strap so that my girls can hang them from the saddle when they ride horses! Thanks for a quick, fun, cute tutorial. And, Obama all the way!

    November 23, 2008 | 1:45 pm

    […] Passo passo – porta bottiglie fai da te in stoffa […]

  49. […] Water Bottle Carrier: This is quite a sweet project for making a water bottle carrier. If someone on your list is a big sports/fitness/activity person, I’m sure they’ll love having one of these (along with anyone else who’s a big fan of bottled water). There’s a strap to hang over the shoulder and the bottle rests at the hip. Posted at Pink Chalk Studio. […]