Whether "Back To School" means the continuation of remote learning or a return to an actual school building amongst your peers this year, shopping for school supplies has always been a classic activity for the end of summer. So I've put together 3 essential school supplies that you can DIY at home for a simple and fun activity to get you through these last dog days of summer. First up will be a pencil case to keep all of your writing utensils in order. After that will be a book sock to protect your textbooks in. And last up will be a bookmark so that you never forget where you left off in your studies. With such fun supplies to get your school year started, hopefully the sting of saying goodbye to summer and hello to homework will hurt a little less.
Part 1: Pencil Case
- 1 yard duck canvas fabric (I used the 15 oz. but 10 oz. would also be good and probably a little easier to sew through)
- 1 yard linen fabric (since the canvas was a little thick I pulled out some leftover linen from the paperbag waist skirt I made last year as my lining fabric so that my pouch wasn't too bulky)
- Fabric scissors
- Marking Tool
- Acrylic paint
- Paint brushes
- Thread to match
- 9" zipper
- Sewing machine
2-3 hours (not including time for paint to dry)
- Cut out two rectangles that measure 12" x 8" out of your canvas. You can choose to immediately carry on to the next step or if you'd like a fun activity for your kids to do, get some some acrylic paint, paint brushes, a cup of water to rinse off your brushes in and a smock so that they don't get paint all over their clothes. Mix in a tiny bit of water with your paint to thin it out a little and then let their imaginations run wild! (I used my favorite mug as inspiration to paint my fabric.) The great thing about this fabric is that it absorbs the paint really well and I didn't really have any problems with paint leaking through, but leave some cardboard underneath just in case. It dried fairly quickly but I still let mine sit overnight just to be safe. Once it is dry, press it with an iron to heat set your paint.
- Cut out two pieces of canvas that measure 2.5" x 3". Match the shorter ends together and press in half. Then fold each of your shorter ends in towards the center and press again. Pin one rectangle to each end of your zipper and top stitch.
- Find the center of your zipper and match it to the center of the top end of one of your canvas rectangle pieces. Pin in place and stitch down. You will probably have excess hanging off the edges of your zipper from the rectangles you covered the ends with in step 2. You can trim these down.
- Cut two more rectangles that measure 12" x 8" out of your lining fabric. Take one rectangle and pin it, right sides together, to the top edge of your canvas rectangle from Step 3. Your zipper will be sandwiched in between. Stitch down. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the opposite side.
- Press all fabric down away from the zipper. Pin in place and top stitch down 1/8" from the top edge.
- Unzip zipper. Flip your fabric so that the right sides of your canvas are facing each other and the right sides of your lining fabric are facing each other. Pin in place all around, leaving about a 3" gap along the bottom edge of your lining so that you can flip your pouch right side out later on. Stitch 1/2" away from the edge all around except for that 3" gap you left.
- Clip your corners. Flip your pouch right side out and pin shut the gap you left in step 6. Top stitch down. Push lining inside bag. Grab a scrap piece of ribbon if you would like and loop it through your zipper pull to make opening and closing easier.
Part 2: Book Sock
- Measure the length and height of the book you would like to cover. Cut one rectangle according to these measurements. Then cut two more rectangles using half of your length measurement and your full height measurement. For example, I cut one rectangle that measured 14" x 9" and two smaller rectangles that measured 7" x 9". Serge or zig zag stitch one long edge of each of the smaller rectangles you cut.
- Pin your smaller rectangles to your larger rectangle, right sides together, making sure the finished edges from step 8 are facing the center. Serge or zig zag stitch all around.
- Flip right side out and you are ready to cover your book!
Part 3: Book Mark
- Cut two rectangles out of your canvas fabric that measure 2.5" x 8"
- Pin them one on top of the other and stitch in place all around 3/8" from the edge
- Take your pinking shears and pink all the edges so that they don't fray. If you don't have pinking shears, zig zag stitching all around will work as well.
- Paint your bookmark as you did earlier for your pencil case.