totally trolleyed

Been stuck in struggletown, lugging home armfuls of grocery bags? Take a leaf out of Nanna’s book and grab a little two-wheeler to call your own.

nanna trolley body

approx. 200cm x 110cm of your chosen fabric
matching thread
2m of contrasting bias binding (1.5cm wide)
sewing machine
brown paper or newspaper for a basic template

NOTE: We’ll use the existing trolley fabric as our foundation, and cover it neatly with nicer fabric (plus an optional removable lid!).

1. Measure the basket part of your trolley (the bit you put everything in!). You need to measure the height, width and depth of it, so you can cover it with your fabric.

2. The width + the depth + 3cm = measurement 1
The height + 5cm = measurement 2

3. Cut a piece of fabric the width of measurement 1 and the height of measurement 2. This is the body piece that will go around the basket of your trolley. Place it on your ironing board with the wrong side of the fabric facing up and the measurement 1 edges at the top and bottom. Fold the top edge down 1cm and press with the iron. Fold it down another 1cm and press again.

4. Pin to secure the fabric and stitch it into place with a straight stitch on your sewing machine. This will form a neat top hemmed edge. Do the same with the bottom edge, then remove all pins and trim any loose threads.

5. Fold your body piece in half with the right sides facing in, matching the unsewn, raw measurement 2 edges. Pin along the raw edge, then sew a neat seam 1cm in using a straight stitch. Turn it out the right way and try it on your trolley. (It might be a tiny bit big!)

6. If it needs some cinching in, turn your body piece inside out again, and sew your seam a little further in to make it fit. It might take a bit of trial and error, depending on your fabric. Once it fits, sew over the seam to reinforce it and trim any loose threads. Then, pop it on your trolley. How good does that look?!


1. If your trolley has a vinyl or fabric lid, carefully cut it off and use the brown paper or newspaper to trace over the parts that made it up. It’s best to trace them the actual size of your existing lid, then pop them onto a clean sheet of paper and redraw them with an extra 1cm all around. A bit of trial and error may be needed again, and you can even make it out of scrap fabric first, to get it right.

2. When you’re ready, cut out the pieces for your trolley lid from your final fabric. Stitch them together to mimic the existing lid, using a 1cm seam.

3. If you didn’t have a lid, but still want to make one, our pieces were a large rectangle that neatly covered the top of the trolley (plus 1cm seam allowance), with two small squares cut out at the back corners to allow room for each side of the handle. We also cut a long, skinny rectangle (again, with a 1cm seam) which wrapped around the front and formed the ‘lip’ of the lid to close things up snugly.

4. Stitch the skinny rectangle around the sides and front of the lid piece. It’s best to pin it first so you can make sure the mechanics work. To make nice corners on your lid, pin and tuck your fabric into place until it seems neat, then hand-sew to secure.

5. Secure the lid to the handle

6. Cut the bias binding into 50cm lengths and zigzag stitch the full length of each piece to reinforce and form a tie or cord.

7. Pin a pair of ties at each back corner of your lid, then stitch into place so they form tieable closures that secure the lid around each handle. Alternatively, you can stitch the lid piece to the body piece and not bother with having ties at all!

8. From here, you could add a pocket, pom poms, paint your handle or iron on some patches. The sky’s the limit with your pimped-out trolley!

This crafty project comes from frankie issue 88, on sale now. Nab a copy here, or subscribe from $10.50.

subscribe for updates

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting updates, and offers.