Thursday, September 15, 2011

Child's Art Portfolio (Tutorial!)

My sister wanted an art portfolio for her daughter to use on their upcoming road trip, something to carry crayons and paper in that would make it easy to color on the go.  She'd found a picture of something like she wanted, but didn't know how to make it. While I was visiting her over Labor Day Weekend, she showed me the picture and I figured out how to make one for her.  And, I took pictures as we went along, so I'll show you how, too!

You'll need:
2 pieces of 12"x18" fabric (coordinating or matching, whichever floats your boat)
12 1/4" x 4 3/4" fabric piece for the crayon pocket
12 1/4" x 9" fabric piece for the notebook pocket
12" x 5 1/2" fabric piece for the sticker pocket
Iron-on interfacing for the two larger pieces, the crayon pocket, and the notebook pocket.
20 inches of webbing strap
(There is velcro in the picture, because I originally planned to put a velcro closure, but decided to omit it)

We used this lovely vintage floral fabric that used to be our mother's (from the late 60s or 70s).  It's very mod and fun.  We matched it with a basic red broadcloth.

After you've cut your fabric and interfacing, fuse the interfacing to the fabric, following the manufacturer's directions.
Press down a 5/8" hem on each of the pieces of fabric intended for pockets.

Stitch the hems.
Pin the larger pocket to the bottom of one of the larger rectangles of fabric (the one you want to be the inside of the portfolio).  Match the edges of the slightly bigger-sized pocket to the slightly smaller edges of the large rectangle (you want there to be a little extra room in the pocket, since it's designed to fit a composition notebook.
Stitch the pocket to the rectangle with about 3/8 seam allowance.

Fold the rectangle in half, short sides together, to find the middle.  Mark the middle and then mark a line 5/8" above it (on the half that doesn't have the large pocket).

Take the piece of fabric you're using for the crayon pocket and place it right-sides-together with the unfinished bottom along the top of the two lines you just drew.

Sew the pocket on with 5/8" seam allowance.

Fold the pocket up and press your seam closed.
Sew the sides of the pocket with 3/8" seam allowance.
Measure off 1-inch increments in your crayon pocket and mark with chalk or whatever method you use to mark your fabric.
Stitch on the lines you drew.  These slots will hold the crayons.

Position your "sticker pocket" on the bottom half of the "notebook pocket."

Pin it and stitch along the 3 edges (again with a 3/8" seam allowance).

Now take the other large rectangle (the outside of your portfolio) and fold it in thirds, lengthwise.

Using the creases you made as guides, mark each third (this will guide you to know where to place the handles).

Cut your webbing straps in half.  Loop into the shape of a handle, placing each end of the webbing at the places you marked when you folded it in thirds.  Make sure your loop is facing towards the middle of your fabric rectangle.  Do this on both ends.  (And, don't be like me and pin it crooked.  It's not straight in this picture, which I didn't notice when I was doing it and ended up with a crooked handle.)
Stitch on your straps.
Your outer rectangle should now look like this:
Place the rectangle on which you sewed all the pockets and place it right-sides-together on your handle rectangle.  You now have a handle and pocket sandwich.  :)

Sew around your rectangle with a 5/8" seam allowance, leaving enough space open to turn it right-side-out (about 5-6 inches).

Trim your corners so you have nice corners when you turn it right side out.

Turn.  (Sorry for the blurry shot!)

Push out the seams and the corners to make sure they all look nice and then iron it (making sure to fold in the seam allowance of the hole you left to turn it through).

Stitching close to the outer edge, stitch close the hole you used to turn the portfolio.
And, you're all done!  You can put crayons in the slots, a composition notebook in the big pocket, and other small treasures like stickers in the smaller pocket.

My niece thoroughly enjoyed checking it out and carrying it around.  She even drew me a couple of pictures.

I think she's going to enjoy her new art portfolio!


Susan said...

Great tutorial!

Jamie said...

What an excellent idea!!

Please feel free to link your children's portfolio up to my Make Yourself Monday blog hop! :o)

For Love of Cupcakes

Caroline (La Belle) said...

I just want to say to you a big big thank for the idea!

I make a lot of portfolios for this year Christmas with your Tutorial that I modified a little bit to add a zipper.

If you want to see it, my blog post it's over here :

Sorry for my english ;-)

Happy new year 2012 :-)

Unknown said...

Thanks for this tutorial, I intend on making a few. One for our little one and a few to donate.

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