In order to combat this mess, I've been meaning to sew (oh for only about 6 months now ) some cloth bags in which to store his puzzles. Puzzles come in their own boxes, but in my house those boxes are usually destroyed then added to the recycling bin. Recently, I saw Betz's tutorial and then saw how Blair used the tutorial to make her daughter some bags for her treasures. Heather Ross also has a pattern for drawstring bags in her new book, Weekend Sewing, but I don't have a copy of the book yet. On Saturday and Sunday, I has some kid-free time and a clean sewing table so I started on my own drawstring bags.
The bags were so simple to make. Even though I'm a slow sewer, I had 5 made by the end of naptime on Sunday. I used the 13X18 inch size from the tutorial for the larger bags, then raided my remnant stash for the smaller bags. Because these were "boy" bags, I was able to finish off some favorite fabric (Alexander Henry's 2-D Zoo) as well as some blue fabric I've never been very fond of. Betz used a serger to contain the inside raw edges of her bags. I don't have a serger, but a zig zag stitch with my Janome's overlock foot made a lovely serged-like edge. That was probably my favorite part of the whole project, because I learned how to do something new with my sewing machine. Or maybe it was the post-naptime clean room, with puzzles contained in pretty drawstring bags and put away in their labeled bin. I couldn't get Ely to use all of the drawstring bags for puzzles. He promptly filled one up with "sleep friends" (aka small stuffed animals), so he could easily take them with him in the car in case his baby sister fell asleep on the way to their grandparents' house.