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How to Make a Walker Caddy: Photos and Sewing Instructions

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Peggy served as caregiver and patient advocate to family members for over a decade. Here is some of her best advice.

Fabric Walker Caddy

Fabric Walker Caddy

What Grandma Could Really Use: A Helpful Walker Caddy

Beyond providing seniors the thing they want most, a visit from you, if you're looking for a gift your friend or senior will really appreciate, put your sewing skills to work and make this fabric walker basket. You'll be pleased by how much they like it and how many of their friends stop them to ask where they got it.

One of the biggest challenges when using a walker is having a place to carry small items when both hands are occupied. This organizer is something you can make in a few hours that will be put to good use to carry small notebooks, pen or pencils, nail clippers, cough drops, tissues, letters, photos, and other lightweight items.

Watch for sewing patterns to go on sale. This $16.95 pattern sold for 99 cents at the fabric store.

Watch for sewing patterns to go on sale. This $16.95 pattern sold for 99 cents at the fabric store.

Where to Start: Buy a Pattern

If you like saving money, look for a fabric store or hobby barn that runs specials on patterns. The $16.95 regularly priced pattern in the photo above was on sale for 99 cents. Ebay is another good source for hard-to-find patterns.

Ask your senior what their favorite color is. Do they like flowers, plaids, stripes, or animal prints? The fabric store is a great place to get ideas.

How Complicated Is This Project?

For the dedicated and experienced person who sews, this project will take a few hours depending on skill. Mostly, the stitches are straight and simple, and there aren't too many pieces to cut out.

This organizer attaches to the walker with fabric straps held in place by Velcro strips. It gets used every day.

This organizer attaches to the walker with fabric straps held in place by Velcro strips. It gets used every day.

Equipment Needed

  • A good pair of sewing scissors is important when cutting through double thicknesses of this polyester filled broadcloth. Many fabric stores promote scissors on special pricing at the checkout.
  • A flat surface and good lighting helps the project move along. It's best to have an area dedicated to sewing that doesn't require everything to be put away after use. Putting it all out of sight demotivates me from finishing a project.
  • Nearly any model of sewing machine will work. There's no zig zag stitching required.
  • A good fabric marking pencil helps when it comes to marking the spots that need to be matched up. Even a number two pencil or eyebrow pencil will work in a pinch.
  • A measuring tape is useful in placing the pattern on the fabric evenly and straight pins are essential.
  • Notions are listed on the pattern consisting of thread and double fold bias tape, along with sew-on Velcro for fastening the straps.

1. Purchase the Fabric and Notions

Once you have the pattern in hand, check how much fabric you'll need for the project. This pattern called for double-sided, quilted fabric. Be sure to buy enough for matching any designs if you choose a fabric with stripes or a distinct pattern.

Purchase notions like thread, Velcro tape, and double-fold bias tape in a color that matches your fabric. If you plan well, you might find the fabric on sale and save a bundle of cash.

The first part is to lay out the pattern on the fabric and cut it out.

The first part is to lay out the pattern on the fabric and cut it out.

Reading the directions before making the cut is important.

Reading the directions before making the cut is important.

2. Organize the Pieces

Begin by ironing the pattern pieces flat using a warm setting on the iron to get out the creases and folds in the paper. It really makes things easier.

Determine the specific pattern pieces that you'll need for your project and put the extras back in the envelope. It's a good idea to cut apart the individual pieces that are printed on the same sheet. That helps when laying out the pattern on the fabric.

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Matching the design and cutting out the pieces takes a bit of planning.

Matching the design and cutting out the pieces takes a bit of planning.

Marking the dots and sewing notations on the fabric speeds up the assembly process.

Marking the dots and sewing notations on the fabric speeds up the assembly process.

3. Adjust the Design to Match the Equipment

The most time-consuming part of making the organizer is turning the straps after stitching. This takes a small amount of patience and a keen eye. There are devices made to assist in this part, although not essential. A heavy-duty needle can be used to help turn the fabric right side out along the narrow straps.

To accommodate this particular walker, an extra strap was needed. Rather than one strap fastened in the center, the design of the equipment made it necessary to make a strap for either side of the center support on the walker.

After the straps are turned right side outward, Velcro is added and the straps are attached to the main body of the bag.

After the straps are turned right side outward, Velcro is added and the straps are attached to the main body of the bag.

4. Attach Straps for Holding the Bag in Place

After the straps are turned right side outward, Velcro is added and the straps are attached to the main body of the bag. Pictured above are the top straps and the side strap that holds the organizer to the leg of the walker.

Notice how the pattern of the fabric is matched to the pattern on the bag bodice.

This is one of the pockets with the bias tape applied after the insert is sewn. Next the pocket is stitched to the bodice.

This is one of the pockets with the bias tape applied after the insert is sewn. Next the pocket is stitched to the bodice.

5. Improvise as Needed

The biggest obstacle in putting the organizer together was the lack of directions when it came to the side straps. A little bit of improvising was necessary to cover both of the raw edges around the strap that attaches to the leg of the walker.

Notice along the side seam where the strap extends from the main body.

Notice along the side seam where the strap extends from the main body.

6. Make Adjustments

Notice along the side seam where the strap extends outward from the main body. The instructions say to encase the raw edges with the bias tape. That proved to be difficult since the strap is in the way.

The challenge: Encasing both of these raw edges was not possible with the strap in the way.

The challenge: Encasing both of these raw edges was not possible with the strap in the way.

I cut an extra strip of double fold bias tape about two inches long to affix to the unfinished edge left after attaching the strap to the main body of the organizer.

There was no way to enclose both sides of fabric around this strap without adding another piece of bias tape.

There was no way to enclose both sides of fabric around this strap without adding another piece of bias tape.

There was no way to enclose both sides of the fabric surrounding the side strap without adding another small piece of bias tape to cover the unfinished edge.

Enclosing the raw edge of the fabric here gave the  strap a more finished look.

Enclosing the raw edge of the fabric here gave the strap a more finished look.

My Workaround

Attaching this short piece of bias tape along the edge of the pocket insert will alleviate the issue.

After stitching the extra piece of bias tape.

After stitching the extra piece of bias tape.

Stitching the decorative tape around the strap was easier after that.

Stitching the decorative tape around the strap was easier after that.

The Joy of Giving This Organizer

This is one project that is truly worth the time invested. The walker organizer receives a lot of interest from the residents at the nursing home. Several people have asked if I would make one for them as well.

If you're looking for a worthy project to make as an act of kindness, this is one that will bring happiness to the both the receiver of this gift and to you as the giver. The cost to make the entire project is around forty dollars depending on the fabric pricing, buying the notions and pattern on sale and of course, not counting your time.

Walker Tote Bag Video Tutorial: No Pattern Needed

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2015 Peg Cole

Comments

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on January 22, 2016:

Thank you, RTalloni, I've made two of these now in different fabric colors. It's fun to change them out with the seasons and gives me a chance to wash them between times. Thanks for stopping in.

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on January 22, 2016:

Hi DzyMsLizzy, It is so tough to do things when both hands are tied up trying to move the walker. My hubby had back surgery and afterward depended on a walker to get around. It's amazing how tough it is to carry anything from a glass of water to a laundry basket. Well done on your innovative solution to the problem. Very creative!

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on January 22, 2016:

Hello Moonlake, My mom really does love her walker organizer. She gets a lot of comments from the other residents asking where she got it. It's handy to carry her pen, tissues, cough drops and assorted things so she can keep both hands on the wheel. Thanks for dropping in.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on January 21, 2016:

What a great idea! I could have used one of these a couple of years ago, when I temporarily used a walker after my knee replacement surgery.

As my husband was then also going through a bad spell with his heart condition, I did not want to ask for a lot of help. He laughed at me one day, when I was trying to bring laundry to do. My walker did not have a seat, so nowhere to park the laundry basket. My solution was to t