Today’s roundup of some of the internet’s best free quilting patterns and sewing ideas with Back to School in mind.
It is hard to see summer come to an end, but I have to be honest: I love sending the kids back to school! I now have 2 in elementary school with my toddler still at home full time. Controlled chaos over here. So giving the kids a routine + fun activities + new friends + fewer meals to fight over + and more alone time for me = win-win-win-win. (See what I did there with the math symbols? Yeah, I get pretty punny sometimes. I’ve decided it’s a good thing. Just roll with it.) 😉
Having the kids at school also inspires me to give them some creative touches. Here are some ideas I’ve rounded up to personalize school time with PRACTICAL projects.
1: MUST have reusable snack/sandwich bags from TheDIYMommy using laminated cotton. I recommend Pro-Soft FOOD-SAFE PUL fabric (available here) or do your research and make sure you feel comfortable with potential hazards from using commercial PUL.
If you don’t have the time to make your own, you can buy some cute ones here.
2: Make your own lunch bags. The Patchwork Posse gives a lineup of patterns. I prefer to make mine insulated using Insul-bright and waterproof with rip-stop nylon. I find the nylon easier to sew with without puckering or shifting. Make sure to use a Teflon sewing foot and a good sharp needle like Schmetz’s Microtex. Using a nice leak-proof Bento box helps to organize everything.
3: Cord Keepers from scraps from Leafy Treetop. Even my Kindergartner is issued an iPad!! These are handy holders to keep earbuds and charging cords tidy. I think I’d try to close with a Velcro dot or a decorative snap.
4 and 5: Hand Sanitizer Holders and Keychain Chapstick Holders from SewMuchAdo. I love a little pop of color that also keeps germs at bay! I’m not a germaphobe, but elementary schools are basically recess-loving petri dishes. I strap a hand sanitizer to each backpack and make them wash their hands the SECOND they come home.
6: DIY roll-up sleeping mat from Pretty Prudent. My kindergartner gets to bring in a blanket, but is already complaining her mat isn’t very soft. Mama’s sewing to the rescue! A basic quilt, but lined with a built-in pillow and velcro straps to roll it up, the simple pattern should make a big difference!
7: Pencil Pouches from Crazy Little Projects. Every kid likes to have a special place to store stuff and these easy zipped pouches are perfect for a few pencils or crayons. It doesn’t take a lot of fabric, and with zippers in a rainbow of colors, you can make a bunch for all the kids at the bus stop!
8: Cat Zipper Pouch (or what I call my daughter’s “Backpack Bling.”) from Bernina’s We All Sew. I love a friendly cat and this is the perfect size to spiff up a backpack without weighing it down. You’ll need your favorite fabric and some batting scraps, plus a few notions: Key rings, a zipper, and some embroidery thread to finish the face.