Saturday, October 20, 2012

Mess Kit Tutorial - Dollar Store DIY

Ever thought about making a simple Mess Kit to use for camping?  I made this one for YW Camp.  I learned to make them years ago as a teenager.  They work great.  I wanted to share a quick tutorial so you could make one, too.  FYI this is a great project for a beginning seamstress.  It is very simple.

DIY Mess Kit

All the materials for constructing and filling the Mess Kit are available at Dollar Tree.  


  • Plastic Mug with snap-on lid
  • Two Dish Towels
  • Pie Plate
  • Fork, Knife, and Spoon
  • Shoestring
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine and thread (for machine sewing) or Needle and Thread (for hand sewing) 

Mess Kit contents


1. Cut one dishtowel in half so that you have two squares instead of one rectangle.  Stitch across cut edges to prevent them from unraveling.

2. Fold over, wrong sides together, one and one fourth inch across the long edge of the other dishtowel and stitch to create a one inch casing for your drawstring.

3. Fold dishtowel in half, right sides together, matching seam casings, and stitch around two sides, leaving casing side open.  Do not stitch through the casing.

4. Turn dishtowel right side out.

5. Pin a safety pin to the end of your shoestring.  Insert the safety pin into the casing.  Pull the safety pin and shoestring through the casing until you have shoestring extending from both sides.

6. Remove safety pin.

7. Even out the shoestring so there is an equal amount extending from each side.  Stitch the shoestring to the casing near the center of the shoestring.

8. Tie one or two knots near the end of the shoestring.  This will make it easy to hang up on a tree or a hook.  

Mess Kit contents

Usage Instructions

Use one of the matching two square dishtowels as a napkin.  The other can be used as a placemat.  After using the Mess Kit, wash the dishes using one of them as a dishrag to help clean your dishes.  Then place the dishes and the dry dishrag inside the mess kit and hang from a tree or post to dry.  Hang wet dishrag separately and return to Mess Kit when dry.

Pie plate, mug, utensils, napkin and placemat/dishrag easily fit in bag.

I already had the sewing machine, scissors, and shoestring.  The other supplies cost about five dollars at Dollar Tree.

Mess Kit with all contents inside.

Everything fits neatly inside.  It is just a little difficult to make photos when you have a big puppy dog that wants some attention.  Bruno is the alpha male amongst our dogs.  He is not easily dissuaded.

Bruno just wanted to play.

I hope you have fun making your own Mess Kit.  Please let me know if you have any questions about the tutorial.

This tutorial is shared at:

Cutesy Crafts: An Oldie but a Goodie #13 

Diana Rambles Pin Me Linky Party #25 

Gunny Sack Link Party #60 

Craft-O-Maniac Monday 

Skip to my Lou Made by You Monday 

Sew Can Do Craftastic Monday Link Party 

You are invited to visit the link parties and see all the wonderful posts.


  1. Hi! Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Love your tutorial! Enjoy your day!
    Best wishes, Annemarie

  2. Love how thrifty & organized this is. Also love your header - it's gorgeous!! Thanks for linking to Craftastic Monday at Sew Can Do:)

  3. Thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate being able to share on Sew Can Do!!

  4. Very cute, thrifty, and creative! Thanks for sharing. Stopping by from Small Things :)

  5. I made this tonight after striking out trying to find one in the store. Thanks so very much for sharing! My oldest is off to her first time at camp tomorrow :)


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