Wednesday, October 9

Day 9 - Travel Coloring Kit

Welcome back, friends! This month we're working on 31 handmade gifts for everyone on your list. You can find links to the full series here.

This week we're working on gifts for the kiddos. Today's project can be pretty versatile as far as ages and can work for both boys and girls. It's a travel coloring kit!

This is super handy because it closes up like a neat little suitcase. It's great for grabbing on your way out the door for long car trips or any time you need to keep your kids busy and... you know... at least a little bit quiet. :)

Here's what you need to make a coloring kit (I used quilting cottons):
  • 1/2 yard outer fabric
  • 1/2 yard inner fabric
  • 1/2 yard pocket fabric (you can get multiple fabrics if you want different colored pockets)
  • 1 yard medium weight fusible interfacing
  • 10" of  3/4" velcro
  • crayons, coloring books, etc.

Start by pre-washing and drying your fabrics. Cut out the following pieces:

1 outer body piece (dogs) - 14 x 22"
1 inner body piece (green) - 14 x 22"
2 interfacing - 14 x 22"
1 large pocket (yellow) - 14 x 18"
1 medium pocket (yellow - 14 x 12"
1 small pocket (dogs) - 14 x 7"
2 handles (green) - 4 x 11"

Apply interfacing to the back side of the two body pieces.

To make the first handle, fold the fabric in half lengthwise and press.

Fold both long edges in toward the center crease and press.

Fold on the center crease and press. Pin the layers together.

Stitch right along both long edges of the handle. Repeat to make the second handle.

Now take each pocket piece and fold it in half width-wise (so each pocket should be 14" wide with the folded edge at the top). Press.

Stitch along the folded edge with a 1/4" seam allowance

On the medium sized pocket, go ahead and add a 10" strip of velcro. Set it up 1.5" from the bottom edge of the pocket, and center it with 2" of space on either side. Sew around the edges of the velcro to attach it. (I forgot to do this and went back to add it at the end. It was doable, but it will be much easier if you put it on now. That's why this pic looks totally out of order. You're welcome.)

Now arrange the pockets on the inside body fabric (you'll want all these right-side up, this is the layout they'll have when you're done.) On one end of the body piece, line up the large pocket so the bottom edge is flush with the end of the body piece. Lay the medium pocket on top of the large pocket and line it up the same way. It should look like this:

Now fold the body in half to find the center and mark it with a couple pins.

On the small pocket, fold both bottom raw edges under 1/2" and press (you'll want both edges folded in to the wrong side of the fabric, so both will be tucked inside and no raw edges will be visible. Hopefully that makes sense. I didn't take good pics of that part.)

Line this pocket up so the bottom edges is just above the center line you marked. Pin it in place.

Stitch right along the bottom edge of the pocket to attach it. Now you need to stitch a bunch of parallel lines to make the crayon separators. The first and last spaces should be 1.5" wide, and the rest of the spaces should be 1" wide. Draw the lines with a fabric pen, then stitch along each line.

Now you can go ahead and add the other side of the 10" strip of velcro to this end of the body piece. Set it in 1.5" from the end of the body piece, and center it with 2" of space on either side. Sew around the edges of the velcro to attach it. (I also forgot to do this and went back to add it at the end. The only difference in doing it now is that you're stitching won't show on the outside of the bag when it is closed.)

Now pin the handles on. You want them pointed in toward the center of the bag, with the raw ends flush with the edge of the body piece. Each end should be 4" in from the sides.

Put one handle on each end. It will look like this:

Lay the outer body piece on top face down and pin it in place.

Sew around the edges with a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving a 4" opening on one side for turning.

Clip the corners.

Flip the bag right side out through the opening. Tuck the raw edges under at the opening and pin the opening closed. Top stitch around the outside of the bag with just under a 1/4" seam allowance. Make sure you catch all the layers at the opening.

Now you just need to fill it up crayons and a coloring book or two and you're done!

Or for a bigger kid you can use colored pencils and a notebook or journal.

This is about what it cost me to make one:

$4.00 - outer fabric
$2.80 - inner fabric, 30% off
$2.80 - pocket fabric, 30% off
$1.00 - interfacing, on sale
$0.00 - velcro (left over from another project)
$3.00 - crayons, coloring books, etc. from Dollar Tree

Total: $13.60

You can get two coloring kits out of the 1/2 yards of fabric (you'll need more interfacing, velcro, and crayons) so for me it turned out to be more like $8.80 for each one.

You just need to change the fabric print and you can make this work for just about any age boy or girl. This is a great quite time activity to encourage creativity for the kiddos. Little ones can color or draw, and bigger ones journal or write stories (you can fill your pack with mini-storybooks we'll be making tomorrow). You could even fill it with cards for writing letters to grandma!

Any other ideas for what you could fill it with? :)

Good news, grandmas! Time for more B!

He wanted to try out baby A's bed. Just like before "yoo gow up!"

Hard to believe how much he's grown. :)

Come back tomorrow to make some write-your-own-story books!


  1. Another great project. You are really helping me stick to my budget for Christmas presents this year. Can't wait to see what else you have planned. Thank you so much.