Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How to make a travel crayon pouch

I made this for myself and my daughter to eliminate a frustration I had.  She loves to color and will do well coloring at restaurants and places where we have to have her sitting for awhile, but keeping crayons in a diaper bag is not practical.  I had seen many crayon case tutorials online, most of them were rolled up in little spirals and tied with ribbon.  I thought about it and realized I would need something for her to draw on and the paper will get mangled and lost in the diaper bag. So I made a slight modification to what others had done and made this pouch. This way I can keep a small notepad or even folded coloring pages in there and not worry when I get somewhere that she needs paper.   

Difficulty = Easy
Minimal sewing skills are required, just basic knowledge of your machine.  Must know how to make a straight stitch and back stitch, thread and load a bobbin and thread the machine.  Depending on the material of the place mat, mistakes can be easy to disguise.  The type I used is great for hiding flaws.  It is ribbed in texture which helps provide guide lines to follow when sewing and mistakes are not evident if the thread matches.

*A cloth place mat, the kind I've been using is available at Walmart (sometimes) and Target (in solid colors)
*A 16 count box of crayons
*a small note pad (I got a 3 pack of Mead 4"x6" memo pads from the grocery store for about $1)
*Grosgrain ribbon in a coordinating color in 1/4" to 1" width depending on preference or what you have available (black works well for most and a small roll would be under $2)
 *Thread that blends with the place mat
* sewing machine
*Ruler or tape measure
* pins

 1. Fold up the long side of the place mat 3 inches.  Sew along the existing seam or as close to it as you can on both sides.

2. Measuring from that first seam, mark four 1 inch sections for the pockets. 

3. After the 4 pockets measure 4.5 inches from the last seam.  This will make your notepad pocket. 

4. From the end of the 4.5" pocket continue measuring every inch to the last seam on the right side.  If the place mat isn't measuring perfectly within the inches adjust each one slightly to make the pockets look about the same size.  Also, I noticed with the first pouch I made, my place mat was not as long as the subsequent ones I bought and I had to eliminate a whole pocket from it.  It doesn't matter too much because fitting 12-14 crayons will be enough variety for most kids.

5. Sew each line from the top of the flap down to the fold.  Make sure to back-stitch at the beginning and end of the line.  If you're fast and did all your measuring/pinning,  this should only take about 10 minutes..

6. Pin the ribbon tie to the back of the pouch just above the slot openings (about 3 1/4" up from the fold.)

7. If you can, adjust the width of  your stitch to the narrowest width so you can get close to both edges of the ribbon.  Sew ribbon staying about 4 inches from the edge going to 4 inches from the other edge.  Flip around and sew again if you are using a wide ribbon.  For 1/4 inch, one pass will be fine.

Sorry I just couldn't take a clear picture here but you see how close the needle is to the right side (sort of.)

8. Fold the top flap down to meet the slot openings.  Pin this to secure.  Sew right along the top fold to make a permanent crease (less llikely crayons will fall out and more likely it will easily fold to put away.)

9. Insert crayons and pad and fold up.  You're ready to color on the go. :o)

P.S. Suzanne, if you read this, Zach is getting that blue one for Christmas. ;o)

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