Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Felt Mini Crayon Roll Tutorial

My twins are in their first year of preschool and we just encountered our first "Valentine Exchange".  I know a lot of parents are trying to watch what their children eat and personally the last thing we need in our house is another bag of mini candy!  So I decided to put on my craft hat and make a mini crayon roll to give out with our personalized "color in" Valentine cards (we gave out these and these).   I had purchased a few boxes of crayons on wicked sale at the beginning of the school year, I grabbed some ribbon from my ever growing stash and I had a ton of felt left over from the Halloween costumes I made last fall.  So besides picking up a new spool of thread for my new sewing machine, the cost for this project was pretty minimal. 

Supply List

Felt (I used off the bolt felt)
Ribbon (cut into strips 10in long)
Scissors or a rotary cutter
Pinking Shears
Marker or fabric marker

I first started to cut my felt with scissors, then quickly discovered I suck at cutting straight lines.  So, ultimately, I broke down and bought a new small rotary cutter and mat.

For each roll I cut two squares of my main color (in this case, chocolate brown) 7in x 6in.  For the pocket color (red) I cut the square 8in x 6in.

{here is where I'll disclose that I was VERY generous with measuring out my felt squares.  I am a beginner with my new sewing machine, so things like "seam allowance" and sewing in a straight line aren't yet 2nd nature for me.  So I gave myself extra room for mistakes.  If you are an experienced sewer, you might want to go a little smaller.  My finished crayon roll measures 6in x 5in or so).

Fold the pocket piece in half, with the fold at the top.  I used a special ruler with slots for an inch, etc. to mark out my crayon pockets, but you could easily use a regular ruler (or straight edge) to mark out the pockets & lines.  I started the first one 1 1/4in in, then marked an inch for 3 pockets and the last pocket should have another 1 1/4in from the other side (see, here I go showing off my lack of sewing skills again.  Basically, I measured out where my outer seam would be, then marked for the inside pockets.  In total, there should be 5 pockets for crayons).  

Take a piece of your main color felt and line it up behind the pocket color.  Sew down your markings for the pockets.  I made sure to back-stitch at both the top & the bottom of each line.  I only stitched the four inside lines for the three inner pockets as the other pockets will be created when you sew your two main color pieces of felt together. 

Line up the second piece of main color (brown for mine) behind the piece you just sewed with the pockets.  Now you will sew all around the roll.  As you approach the right side, slip two of the cut ribbons in between the main color felt -- I placed it just as the red pocket color started.  I made sure to back stitch a few times over the ribbon spot as to make sure it is secure. 

Once you have sewn all around the mini roll, break out those pinking shears and cut around the edges.  {here is where I tried to make up for any unstraight lines!  Pinking shears are my new BFF!}  Be careful as you near the spot of the ribbon -- I had to cut into it from a couple of different angles to make sure I didn't accidentally snip up the ribbon.

Insert crayons and VOILA!  You now have a mini crayon roll - perfect to stash in backpacks or mama's purse.  Or hand out as party favors or Valentine's "treats". 

  This is a great beginner sewing project (it was only my 2nd time using my machine) and I was finished with 8 rolls in an evening (which explains the poor quality of pictures -- the lighting in my basement isn't the best and the only time I have to craft is after my kiddos are in bed). 

As I like to say, if I can master this project, ANYONE can!