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