How to make a Desert Bag

‘A little piece of the desert’ is a fundamental resource for the telling of many of the Sacred Stories in Godly Play. If you are handy with a sewing machine, you might like to make one yourself.


[For more detailed instructions, with diagrams, download the PDF below]

You will need: 105cm x 125cm of strong upholstery fabric in desert colours

  • 105cm x 125cm of thinner but tightly woven fabric in desert colours
  • 6m thick upholstery cord

How to make the bag

  1. Use 105cm x 125cm strong upholstery fabric in desert colours. A lining in desert colours may prevent the sand leaking out through the fabric. Stitch the lining fabric and the upholstery fabric together.
  2. Double hem all sides to 10cm. Leave a good mitre opening at each corner.
  3. Thread 6 m thick upholstery cord through the corner holes to create a drawstring bag. If you use really thick cord this should create some firm sides for the bag when it is opened up.
  4. Loop the cord in each corner when it is equally distributed around the sides of the bag.
    Reinforce the corner openings with hand stitching.
  5. Tie the loose ends of cord together.
  6. Fill the bag with dry play sand from a toy shop or builders’ merchant. If the sand is damp, leave it in the open bag in a warm place to dry out. This may take several days. Don’t leave the bag with damp sand enclosed in it.
  7. Pick up the four corner loops of cord to gather the bag together for storage. Open it out when you want to tell a story.
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