Monday, July 11, 2011

Chair Pockets


Happy Summer everyone!

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted. I’m enjoying my summer up in Canada visiting my family. I have a few school projects I want to work on, but for the most part I am enjoying my vacation! My mom and I finished my first summer project: chair pockets. I have to give a shout out to Mrs. Merchant for introducing me to these. She made a few sets for the first grade to use the last few years. I have LOVED them. They help keep my class and kiddos clean and organized. My favorite. The ones I had started to get a little dingy and worn out (4 years and 85 kids later…) so I wanted to get new ones. Since I don’t sew AT ALL, I was just going to buy the ones from Really Good Stuff. I was going to save my summer money to pay the big $150 for a class set. Then my wonderful mother (who is an awesome seamstress) offered to help me make some. So long story short, for under $50 we have made some super cute chair pockets! If any of you are interested in making your own version, I tried to include a tutorial of how we did it for you. It’s hard to explain in words how to make something, so hopefully with the directions and pictures, you can figure it out. :)

First we bought 6 ½ yards of blue twill (54 inches wide), 1 yard of 8 gauge plastic (3/4 would have been plenty, but they were only sold by the yard), and matching thread.

We needed two sizes of the fabric – a small piece (10 inches tall 14 inches wide) and a large piece (21 inches tall 14 inches wide). This size fits perfectly over our little school chairs. I used the measurements of a Carson-Dellosa desk plate to decide how big to make the plastic name tag. We cut the plastic 10 inches by 4 inches. Once everything was cut, we taped the plastic pieces in the center of the small piece of fabric.



The plastic was the worst part. It moves around like crazy. We taped it down on all four sides, and then sewed around three sides using a zig zag stitch. A longer stitch seemed to help. It still wasn’t perfect.




Next, clean finish the top edge (the 14 inch side) however you want. We turned and zig zagged. Then, take the longer piece and clean finish the 14 inch end, as well.



Lay the shorter piece over the longer piece with the plastic on the inside. Line them up along the bottom, with the two finished edges face up (as in the second picture below).  Clean up the sides. 




Pull the longer piece down behind the shorter piece, about 3 ½ inches. Pin the sides.




Sew around the three open sides. Be careful not to sew over the folded side.


Miter the bottom two corners (or if you are a non sewer like me, basically cut them at an angle, but don’t cut over the sewn part).



Flip it right side out.


Iron the edges flat. Top stitch the final edges on the top sides.


Insert the super cute name tag of your choice, and voila!



Don't you love my homemade name tag and over sized chair?  :)  I don't have any of my school stuff here, but I'm going to order the frog ones I linked to at Carson-Dellosa above.  Just one more thing to add to my frog themed room... 

*I ended up with 28 completed pockets and a few scrap pieces*

If you have any questions or comments about the pockets, let me know.  Good luck if you try them! 


15 comments:

Busy Bees said...

I bought the ones from Really Good Stuff last year and they did not hold up. So, we are currently having some made this summer almost exactly like the ones you made. You are right...so much cheaper and better quality.
BusyBees

Rachelle said...

I love this idea! What a great tutorial! :)
-Rachelle
whattheteacherwants.blogspot.com

Bouncy Brenna said...

These are so impressive!! Will you come make some for us? I'm not as crafty as y'all! :o) Thanks for sharing...I KNEW there was a way to do this without spending $20 for each one. I know your students will love these.

So Then There Were 2

Lauren Blackmon said...

Love them!!! Good for you on saving money and using your resources. Those things get pricey. I love all your posts..they are so creative. Thanks!
-Lauren
www.weeklyhive.blogspot.com
Come follow and share with me

Jill said...

Wow! Thanks for the tutorial. I saw these in a classroom once and loved them. I totally want to make these now! :)

Marvelous Multiagers!

YearntoLearn said...

Popping by to say Hi. You were spotlighted in my Blog Mix Linky Party.

Yearn to Learn Blog

Littlest Learners said...

This brings back flashbacks of the year I made them with my mom. Yours are way cute with the plastic nametag holder.

❤Jodi from...
★★The Clutter-Free Classroom★★
Helping Teachers Get Organized

vickia said...

I cut some out to make 2 yrs ago - still have them cut out! lol! After seeing yours I'm going to cut mine down, they were way too big for the chairs and had double pockets and a place for pencils - very complicated when you have to make 25!
I'm worried about what happens to them when chairs get stacked at the end of the day. Do you have to do this?

Janae said...

Vickia, those do sound a little more intense! I took the easy way out. :) We don’t stack our chairs... we just stand them up on top of each desk. I don’t think they would hold up as well.

Katie said...

I would love to make these for my Head Start classroom... where did you find the 8 gauge plastic?

Janae said...

Katie - I just bought it at a regular fabric store.

vickia said...

Thank you Janae! I'm going to try having my kids sit their chairs on the tables at the end of the day and see how it works! I cut our 25 using your directions from the fabric I bought for the last ones and still have enough left to make more if needed or to replace!!! I'm so excited they look so much easier. Tell your mom thank you too!!!!

Barbara said...

These look awesome! I wish I was crafty. You must have a wonderful mom to help you make these pockets! Thanks for sharing

Barbara

Cassie Hebert said...

About what size are your chairs? I'm making some and want to make sure they'll fit on my chairs.

Janae said...

Cassie,
Unfortunately I'm not at that school anymore, so I don't know the exact size of the chairs. They were originally made for my first grade classroom, so I'm assuming they would fit most primary chairs. Sorry!