Monday, August 19, 2013

More Back to school Projects to make

With my youngest starting back to college in a week, I was cleaning my computer and discover this blog I started.  So, the first project is to do with one of my favorite subjects Upcycling. Upcycling t shirt backpack is one of the great ideas below. Beside making note book and journal covers and school supply caddies.

Backpack Shirt 

The child might want to use a t-shirt that he/she use when they was younger. We make T-shirt blankets and had some left over and did pillows; but this is a different way of using them and Upcycling!!

NOTE:  This project calls for an eyelet or grommet kit, which may require an adult's help to use.

Materials:  T-shirt, Sharp scissors, Needle and thread, large safety pin, Clothesline cord, about 6 times the width of the shirt, 7/16-inch eyelet (or grommet) kit (see tip below)


Turn the T-shirt inside out, and then cut across the shirt from armpit to armpit. You'll need only the bottom section.

Use the needle and thread to sew a simple stitch across the shirt, about a half inch in from the cut edge, to seal what will be the bottom of the bag.

Turn the shirt right side out. Snip the shirt's hem almost all of the way through (do not cut any stitching) at the midpoint between the two side seams. Attach a large safety pin to one end of the clothesline cord. Feed the cord, safety pin first, through the casing of the hem.

Follow the eyelet or grommet kit instructions to add eyelets to the bottom corners of the bag.

Thread the ends of the cord through the eyelet holes and double-knot them to secure.
An eyelet or grommet kit can be purchased at craft stores or online for around $15. In a pinch, you can cut the holes with scissors and seal the cut edges with fabric glue, but the result won't be as neat or as sturdy.

New Free Full Size Back Pack Pattern

Make Your Own Binder Cover

Materials:  to cover a 1″ binder, 2′ fabric, 2′ lining fabric (You can use felt because it’s nice and sturdy), and ribbon (optional)

Open your binder and lay it on your fabric. Add about 4″ on each side for the pocket. Add about 1″ on the top and bottom (if you’re using something thinner than felt for the lining, you can make this part smaller). Cut the fabric and the lining.
 With right sides together, pin the two pieces of fabric together. Stitch around the four sides, leaving about a 2″ gap between your starting and stopping point.

Turn right side out and then pin and top stitch around the whole rectangle of fabric.

Fold Side 1 over about 3″ (remember, now that you’ve sewn the side seams, you’ve lost an inch). Pin and sew the top and bottom. Try to follow your top stitch as much as possible.

Once Side 1 is sewn, fold Side 2 over. Make sure you give yourself a little wiggle room to slide the binder in and out. You may need more wiggle room if it’s a hard binder. Sew Side 2.

Optional:  Fold the ends of your ribbon over. Top stitch your ribbons to the front of your binder cover.

School Supply Caddy


To make one for an extra special teacher (or student) in your life, you'll need:
-a 13"x19" rectangle of fabric
-a cloth napkin (well, just part of a cloth napkin, really); the finished edges make it an ideal candidate for the large pocket
-a fabric pen

-a 9"x12" piece of felt or wool felt (for the mini pocket)
-a yard of thin ribbon
-14" of thick grosgrain ribbon
-school supplies to fill the caddy up


Fold your long rectangle of fabric in half, right sides showing. Position your cloth napkin on one half of the rectangle as your main 'pocket.' With a fabric pen, mark the cloth napkin. Cut out the rectangle you marked. This will be your main pocket. 

Sew the two sides and the bottom, as well as little 'channels' for pencils and sharpies and dry erase markers (make these a little wider to accommodate the larger markers). Be sure to leave the top edge open so these channels can be used as pockets.

Fold your long rectangle in half again, right sides facing in. Iron the 9" edges under and match them up. Then sew across the top 13" edge and the bottom 13" edge (one 9" edge will be a fold and the other will be your ironed under, matched up edges).

Turn right side in. Tuck the middle of your thin fabric into the center of your open edge and pin. Stitch your open edge shut.

To make your small middle pocket, fold a 9"x12" piece of felt or wool felt in thirds (like an envelope). Iron in place. Then stitch up the two sides, leaving the top open. Add Velcro on either end, so your pocket will stay shut.

Iron your main rectangle in half, like a book. Wedge your small middle pocket into the crease in the middle of your 'book.' Pin your thick grosgrain ribbon along the outside crease, like the spine of a book (Iron in half first to make it easier to work with, and also ironed the raw edges on the top and on the bottom of the grosgrain under as well) and pin in place. Stitch up this edge, securing your ribbon binding in place and also securing your middle pocket in place.

Velvet Journal

They look delightfully fancy and teens will love them.

Materials:  Blank hardcover book or notebook, Ruler and scissors, Velvet, Fabric stamps, Ironing board and iron, Tacky glue and Flat ribbon

Measure the cover of your book, and then cut out a piece of velvet that's just slightly smaller.
Place the fabric stamp on your ironing board with the stamp side up. Put the velvet over the stamp, fuzzy side down, and then spritz the back of the fabric with water. With the iron set on high, press down evenly for about 25 seconds (a parent's job). Carefully lift the iron, peel the fabric back from the stamp, and let the fabric dry. To add more patterns, repeat this process.
Put glue on the back side of the velvet and attach it squarely to the front of the journal. Cover the rough edges of the velvet by gluing a strip of flat ribbon on top of them.
Although cotton and polyester velvet do work, rayon and silk velvet make the best prints. Use fabric stamps (which cost about the same as rubber stamps) because they are tested for use with high heat.


Share your ideas on this or anything here on the blog either here or e-mail me at I look forward to hearing from you!

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