I have mixed feelings about children’s birthday parties. Of course you want to properly recognize someone’s special day, but at the same time, some of that shit gets way out of hand.
I hate to show up with another typical plastic gift. I know that would probably make the kid happy for a few minutes, but I’d rather give a smaller gift and perhaps a little cash or something more sentimental. How many teensy little plastic parts can one household tolerate?
I decided for this five-year-old boy, I would make him a little portable art kit. It seems all kids like to create stuff and creativity should be encouraged as often as possible before they start censoring their work and saying “they are no good at drawing.”
This project will easily translate into a make up roll, or a portable art kit for an older child or adult. There are tons of internet tutorials for similar projects. I glanced at a few before starting the project but ultimately, I just made up my own as I went along.
Materials: 2 rectangles of fabric about 30″ by 24-28″ (will depend on how many supplies you want it to hold); 2 pieces of grosgrain ribbon (long enough to wrap around the fabric roll while it holds all supplies; scissors; sewing machine, iron, thread, assorted supplies to stuff in the kit.
Here’s How: Sorry there aren’t step-by-step pics. I was a little foggy at 5AM.
1. Take the two rectangles of laundered and ironed fabric and place them right sides together. (I used a piece of painter’s drop cloth and a fun cotton print). Sew around all edges of the fabric leaving a large enough opening on one side to pull the fabric right-side out.
NOTE: All the tutorials I saw used an interfacing. I’ve never used interfacing, didn’t have any on hand, and am lazy so I skipped it. The heft of the drop cloth was adequate for this project. If you are using two lighter weight cottons, you might need it.
2. Pull the fabrics right sides out and sew up the last open piece of the fabric (i.e., the hole you used to pull the fabric right sides out).
3. Creating the main pocket fold: Lie the fabric on a surface with the fabric you intend to be on the inside of the kit facing up. Fold up the bottom of the fabric towards the center of the kit. You want this pocket to be deep enough to securely hold the supplies.
4. Insert Ties and Sew main pocket: On the right and left sides towards the center of the kit and towards the top of the main pocket fold, sandwich the grosgrain ribbon between the two layers of fabric. I inserted about one inch of ribbon on the “inside” to make sure it was secure. Pin the ribbon. Sew up the right and left hand edges to secure the ribbon and the pocket. I backstitched the entire length of these edges to make sure it was very sturdy.
5. Create Individual Pockets: Determine what will go in the kit and where. I sort of just winged it and made several larger pockets and several small pockets. If you are more of a precise type, you can measure distances between your vertical stitches. Sew vertically up the main pocket fold to create the divisions. I completely backstitched these as well.
6. Lightly press the fabric and stuff with supplies. Done.
Here’s hoping little Johnny likes it!