Jan 30, 2009

Valentine pouches

I saw the idea for these on the show John and Kate Plus 8. She had purchased a little Valentines back pack for each of her kids that she strapped to the back of their chairs at the dinner table. While they were napping she filled them with pencils and stickers and other goodies. I thought they were so cute and wanted to recreate something like them for myself. Now I am not usually the kind of sewer who dares to venture out on my own without a pattern but I decided to let my creative juices do the work this time and this is what I came up with. I am including a tutorial on how to make them. (it does require sewing) It is a bit lengthy as I wanted to be as detailed as possible so if you are not interested but want to see a few more close ups just scroll down to the bottom. These are really not that hard to make and you can do all kinds of things to dress them up. Enjoy!!

You start with a 12x18 1/2 " sheet of fun foam. (Side note; did you know that you can sew this stuff on your sewing machine? I didn't know that but thought I would try it and it works really great. That opens up a whole new realm of possibilities. It is cheap and easy to cut and use. Now you can sew it. Who knew?)

Cut a 2" strip off of each side of the foam. You will use these strips to make the sides of the pouch.
With your remaining piece vertically in front of you mark up 5 1/2" from the bottom on both sides. Then measure 7 3/8" up from the bottom and mark again on both sides.

These are what the markings should look like.

Fold up from the bottom on the first set of markings (5 1/2") and press with your finger to make a crease.

Using your sewing machine stitch a 1/4" seam along the fold. You don't need to back stitch at the start because it is a bit hard to get going when you start sewing. (I usually ended up with a few stitches in place). Back stitch at the end. I used a stitch length of 3.5

A closer look. (All seams for the project are 1/4")

Now fold up on the second set of markings and stitch the same way. This is creating the bottom of your pouch.

What the bottom looks like. Before you continue sewing you should attach any decorations that you will want to have sewn on the front. I stitched a "T" free hand on my machine but didn't like it so I cut one out of felt and covered it up. I also drew the A freehand and cut it out but I hand sewed it on. You could glue first then sew but I just held it in place.

Next measure the side of your pouch from the stitching line up to the top of the front piece. Mine was about 5 3/8". From your left over 2" strips that you cut, cut two pieces 5 3/8" (or whatever measurement you got).
Cutting my side strips.
Start by attaching the side strip to the middle of the bottom of the pouch. Stitch in between the two bottom seams you already sewed. Seam is 1/4". Don't forget to back stitch. (My Home Ec. teacher side coming out)

Now sew the side seams also at a 1/4". It is kind of tricky to sew the bottom corners but the great thing about the foam is you can bend it however you need so I just folded mine over (see picture) and sewed it. Sew both side seams on both sides of the pouch.

How the sides look when completed.

A close up of my letter T.
Once both sides are sewn your pouch is done and ready for more decoration and for you to decide how to close it. (I have a few suggestions I will share below)For the "Bee Mine" pouch I made some bees out of some extra fun foam I had. I just free handed my bee body shapes, cut some strips of black a bit longer than the width of the bee and cut out some hearts for wings.

I glued my bees together using white glue. I found that it works the best on fun foam. It takes longer to dry so you will want to do these ahead of time.
At the last minute I decided my bees needed some stingers so I cut out some small triangles and added them and I also added an eye with a black fine point pen.
On the "A" pouch I drew a scalloped design on the flap and cut it out. Then I used a small hole punch to add the holes. I used a regular sewing needle and thread and sewed on some assorted buttons. I glued a piece of white felt behind the whole thing. You can really decorate in any way that you want. Just remember if you are gluing things on that you have to have some drying time. For the closures I used sticky Velcro for the "A" pouch. I have to say that I hate everything about sticky Velcro. It gums up my sewing machine needle, but is too hard to sew by hand and it is not sticky enough to hold on it's own. I would recommend regular Velcro that can be sewn on with a sewing machine and never ever buy sticky Velcro. For the bee pouch I sewed a large button on the front and cut a slit a little larger on the flap. I like this but you have to sew the button on very securely as it can rip off very easily (that happened to me).

Now to make the hangers I used some extra ribbon that I had in my craft room. I cut 2 pieces 22" long. I folded those in half and placed them just a bit higher than the height of the front of the pouch (5 3/8") but on the back. I placed them an 1 1/2" in from each side and sewed across the fold on my machine.
Now you are done and ready to hang them up and fill them with cute goodies for your kids.

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  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! I was glad to hear you like the Police Beat reports.

    These Valentine pouches are super cute. I have some heart shaped envelopes made from paper and laminated that I have been using for three or four years. Maybe it is time for an upgrade...

  2. You are so amazing. I know why I'm not a home ec teacher. Love the Valentine Pouches.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Oops I hit delete by accident!

    These pouches are super cute! I don't have any kids, so I'll have to make one for myself :) THanks for the tutorial.

  5. Cutest thing EVER!!! I saw a chair back from pottery barn and yours are WAY more adorable. You could make a year round version of these for the playroom and fill it with art supplies?


    You rock!

  6. It's so cute. I guess things like this is the reason why I always want a daughter, so I can make these lovely things for her.

  7. The bee is just too cute for words!


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