how to make an art kit

This art kit was simple to make. So for you beginner sewers, try this! It is versatile in that you can make it to fit any notebook or sketch pad and a variety of art supplies. Try crayons, colored pencils, or for older children charcoal pencils, oil pastels, paint brushes, etc. Start with your wool felt. I think you'll like the quality and durability of wool felt over crafter's felt which is synthetic and flimsy. I get my wool felt at JoAnns or a fabric outlet: any fabric store will stock it. For the outside fabric, oilcloth or a more durable fabric are best, like a home decor fabric or such.

Cut out a large enough size rectangle of felt and fabric, it should be at least 1.5 inches taller than your sketch pad and wide enough to cover your sketch pad over with a slight lip when closed. This sizing part is really up to you of how big you want the art kit.

As seen above, also cut out a square or rectangle slightly wider than the cardboard backing of your sketch pad but a couple inches shorter: this will be where the notepad backing is slid into. Pin this piece on the left side of the large felt rectangle (mentioned above) with the notebook in place, to insure the notebook will be able to slide in and out snugly.

Sew the two sides and bottom into place to create a pocket.

Now, with the other side of the large rectangle of felt, sew in the art supply slots. Take another felt rectangle, roughly the length of the other rectangle you just sewed, and any height (I like this rectangle to also be like the other one because I'd rather see more wool then more brushes or pencils sticking out-- your preference, though.)

Sew the farthest right end of this rectangle onto the large rectangle felt (the base). Take your first art supply, in my case, a colored pencil, push it into the felt snugly against the seam you just made, and while holding it tightly in place, sew a seam right next to it all the way down. Repeat with all of your supplies. They will fit snugly which is important so as not to fall out of your art kit.

With your sketch pad and supplies each having their own pockets, now you can sew the fabric (the cover) to the wool.

For this particular art kit I simply but the wrong side of the felt on the wrong side of the fabric together, pinned, sewed a seam to close the two fabrics with a zig zag stitch as close as possible to the edge, all around the four corners. Then, sewed a dividing seam down the middle of the art kit. If you're using a ravely-type of fabric for the outside of the art kit, I would initially use a slightly larger piece of fabric so you could fold in the edges, pin them down to the felt and then sew the finishing seam.

Take 2) 10 inches of ribbons and, one at a time, fold the raw edge, pin into place, and about half way up the side of the art kit on the felt, sew down the ribbon with a square pattern. Do this on both sides of the book so that when it is closed you can tie the ribbons closed. (An alternative: sew the ribbon into the seam when you did the initial zig zag stitch to bind the book together.)

Your art kit is essentially complete. I free handed the word "art", using embroidery floss, a large needle, and coming up the back of where the sketch pad would be on the inside--so no one sees the stitching. You could also embroider the person's name, or "nature", "create", or simply a person's initial.

The art kit is a great gift idea for Christmas which is around the corner. Sons, daughters, teens, and adults would appreciate having an art kit to inspire creativity anywhere. More ideas for the art kit:

  • Keep one in the car per child for those long trips "over the river and through the woods", for drawing scenery, playing games together like tic tac toe, or drawing a collection land marks as they pass by them.
  • Keep one per child in a tote my the door for when you head out to the outdoors with your children and blanket in hand to draw animals, nature and changing seasons.
  • Make a kit for everyone in your family with different art supplies in each kit plan times to trade and try out someone else's art medium.
  • Make an art kit for a niece or nephew for Christmas and give them something that is homemade and will grow with them, unlike lots of bright flashing toys that lose batteries and excitement with maturing and age.

Try a variety of different colored fabrics and felt, too. I can't wait to try a more feminine art kit for my little ones. Happy creating!