Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Compact, Portable, Stationery Kit. I'm all about Compact and Portable, Aren't I?

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm in the process of sharing the rest of the crafts I did for SYTYC.  This project was for Kids Can Do, and that's the week I was booted so you only have to see one more post related to SYTYC projects! (Since I had my Hardware Store project done already...)

I admitted earlier that I was a little bummed I went out on this one.  Had I gone out on the Sun Tent, I honestly would have understood because while it wasn't a fail, it also wasn't awesome.  But I really fell in love with this craft for Kids Can Do, and one of the things I liked best about it was that it was something the kids could DO - as in MAKE - and something the kids could DO - as in USE.

Now, before I carry on, I have a sad little tale for you.  During the run of SYTYC, my daughter pulled my camera off of the table and broke it beyond repair.  I didn't have another camera, and was using my iphone for all my pictures.  (That's just the exposition.  Now that you're all caught up, the real story starts here):  I began work on this baby by carving the erasers into shapes - to make sure I could actually do it.  I had lost my x-acto and was using a rather unwieldy craft knife.  Well, what happened next is documented here and resulted in stitches.  No matter!  The show must go on, right?!  So I persevered.  I was taking photos with my phone as I went, so I could make a nice little tutorial for you.  Now, here comes the REALLY sad part.  In the midst of all this hubbub, my phone died its final death.  It's still a mystery as to what actually happened, but there was absolutely no hope of resuscitation.  While I waited for it to be fixed, I used my husbands phone for pictures.  When I got my phone back, they informed me that there were several things that were irretrievable, among them many of my photos.  You see where this is going, right?  Alas, the truly devastating news is that the tutorial pictures were erased.  I must, therefore, do my best to describe the method behind my madness while showing you close ups that - while fairly decent for a phone camera - aren't nearly as good as they could have been had mini not broken my camera in the first place.  Phew.  The End.

I started with two very old books I had stashed away for the purpose of repurposing.  I laid everything out on top of one to make sure it would all fit.  One of the biggest things to pay attention to is the spine - is the book thick enough to accommodate the thickness of everything you'll attach inside?  The second book must be smaller than the first.  Both need to be hardcover.  When I was sure it would not only fit, but also CLOSE, I forged ahead.  

First I carefully cut around the binding inside the book and removed the pages all at once.  I did this with the smaller book as well, then cut apart the front and back covers (only on the small one).
After measuring fabric for the outside of the book, I sprayed the outside with spray adhesive.  I laid the fabric down and wrapped the edges over the edges of the book, wrapping the corners like a present.  I made sure everything was secured with spray adhesive.  

For the closure, I cut a piece of elastic long enough to stretch in a loop from the back to the front of the book.  I used hot glue to glue it to the back edge in the center.  I also hot glued a piece of fabric over the elastic to hide the glue mess.  I tried to kind of line up the little piece with the rest of the fabric as far as pattern.

I cut a small strip of fabric and fed it into a button using a big, fat needle.  I tied it in a double knot.  I thought this looked a little more "finished" then just gluing on the button.  Then I used hot glue to adhere it to the front of the book, right across from where I hot glued the elastic.

The elastic stretches around it to hold the book closed.

I then measured some fabric for the inside of the book - giving myself some "seam allowance" so I could fold all of the edges to the backside of the fabric and have finished edges on the front side.  I sprayed the back of the fabric with spray adhesive and folded the edges over.  Then I sprayed the inside of the book and stuck the fabric down.

In the following pictures, you can see the inner pocket on the left hand side of the book.  I used the front cover of the smaller book to make this.  First I used spray adhesive and fabric to cover the uh, cover.  Then I used complimenting fabric and cut a rectangle that was just a bit shorter than the cover and about 3 inches wider.  I used spray adhesive to fold all of the edges under for a finished edge.  Then I sprayed the middle and bottom of the front of the book cover and placed the fabric rectangle on top so it was centered.  The edge of the rectangle overlapped the sides and bottom of the book cover, but fell short of the top by about 3-4 inches.  I used hot glue to secure the fabric edges to the inside of the larger book.  The reason I did the pocket this way?  I wanted to staple the elastic on for the colored pencils so the pocket had to be really sturdy and thick.  But I wanted it to open a bit for easy access which is why I didn't just glue around the sides of the book cover itself and instead glued it on with the fabric rectangle.
And now, I'm going to stop talking about that because I think I'm making a mess of the english language and everything I type is coming out as gobbledygook.

Now that you've got the bare bones of the kit done, you can assemble the innards.

The pocket behind the colored pencils (did we sufficiently cover the pocket construction, do you think?) is perfect for stickers, postage stamps, and a list of important addresses.  I just printed off the addresses my kids would most likely need on a piece of heavy card stock.  

I cut a length of elastic and first glued between the colored pencils, then removed the colored pencils and stapled for extra security.
The mini rubber stamps include: a heart, circle, star, moon, smiley face, diamond, leaf, teardrop, line and an "X" and "O" (you know, hugs and kisses?).  The idea was that they could be stamped in different combos and ways to make different things... the teardrop could be rain or flower petals, for instance.  The line could be a flower stem or rays on the sun.  Etc.

On the other side of the book, there's room for a pencil sharpener (a MUST with colored pencils, am I right?) and a fancy schmancy eraser.

 Can I just talk about these mini stamp pads for a second?  Because while I think it's a little odd to harbor such feelings for an inanimate object - especially one such as this - I kind of love them.  I made two because I just couldn't decide on only 5 colors.  Here's how:
I used the plastic containers that little hair elastics come in at Walmart.  (The hair elastics you find in the kids department, not the hair department).  Since all of those elastics now live in the tackle box, I had some containers lying around.  I cut a sponge into rectangle that fit inside the spaces.  I wrapped the sponges in white linen material and hot glued it.  I poured a little paint into the box, got the linen wrapped sponge piece wet, stuck it in the box and smooshed it around until the paint was all over the sponge.  I did this for each box. Now, to answer your question, it works quite nicely, thank you!  And to answer your other question: over time, these do dry out.  Fortunately, it's easy enough to add a bit more water or paint or both when you need it.

Because I made two ink pads, I couldn't just hot glue it in like I had been planning.  I used two hair elastics, hot glued them down and then hot glued two pieces of fabric over them to keep them in place.  Then ink pads slip through both and because the elastic is so skinny, it slides right in between the boxes and doesn't interfere with opening/closing the lids.

When you're done using your stamps, you need to clean them off, though, so what to do?  We don't want to make a mess!  The first box in each stamp pad collection is actually not paint but just a fabric wrapped sponge with water  in it.  You can rub the paint of right on the sponge!

The final item in the kit are the cards and envelops.  I had photos so I could show you how to resize your envelops to fit any card you have... but you know what happened to those, soooo... moving on...

Once you and your child have the kit all assembled, you can get it out to write some awesome notes to friends and relatives.

Perfect for thank you's, how are you's, I love you's, and so much more!

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!

1 comment:

Crafty Mischief said...

What a great idea! Especially the "stamp pads". Brilliant! All three of my kids would love something like this, but especially my ten year old daughter. She has a birthday coming up, maybe I'll give this a try. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

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