I know in many parts of the country, school's been underway for a week or more. But out here on the left coast, we're still in the school-starts-after-Labor-Day camp. Our kids have a white-knuckle grip on these last few days of summer. To help you ease the transition from Summer to Fall, we collected a dozen of our favorite back-to-school projects. From organizational ideas to book bags to craft aprons, you'll find something fun to send you back-to-sewing.
Fall is a great time to load up your shopping cart with beautiful new fabrics
We turned to our fave fabric friends in the Sew4Home Marketplace to shop the latest fall trends. Below are a few of the "must-haves" we came across. Click the image to go to the fabric.
From Fat Quarter Shop:
From The Ribbon Retreat:
12 projects: please make all twelve by Friday and prepare a 3-page essay on your results
(sorry for that little homework flashback; you can crawl out from under the table now)
If you were to host an archeological dig within most lockers, I think you might discover lunch bags from the Paleolithic period as well as innumerable overdue library books. Force a little organization on the chaos with this super cute locker caddy. There's just a little bit of sewing and a whole lot of glueing.
Color Me Happy Placemats
These clever placemats are perfect for pre-school work tables or as study mats for homework time. They're quilting cotton on one side, super cool chalk cloth on the other. You can write on chalk cloth with regular or liquid chalk, then wipe it clean with a damp cloth or baby wipe.
Arts & Crafts Apron
This handsome half apron, made in a heavy cotton duck or canvas, would be perfect for teachers and their helpers. The extra-long waist ties make it one-size-fits-all. It will protect your clothes from paint-covered handprints, and there are plenty of pockets and loops to hold tools and more.
Kid Friendly Project Smock
Kids need aprons too! Ours is sized for a toddler, but you could certainly enlarge the pattern for older children. There are so many wonderful laminated cottons available now. In fact, the challenge isn't finding, it's picking just one favorite from all the choices. Check out our Marketplace for more ideas.
For the older scholars on your list, turn a plain spiral notebook into an inspiring journal with our step-by-step instructions. This project is a bit more advanced than many you find here at Sew4Home, but we've included lots of pictures and careful notes about measuring and assembling.
Roll-up Nap Blanket
Our soft and sweet nap time pad features its own built-in fleece blanket, and rolls up with a handle-tie strap. It's the perfect portable snooze pad. Soft flannel and cushy batting make for sweet daytime dreams at school or home. What a great chance to shop for fun flannels and fleece!
Slouchy Book Bag
This terrific tote is one of the all-time favorites here at Sew4Home. It's easy to make, stylish when done, and is the perfect project for all those great heavyweight fall fabrics, like printed corduroy, heavy cotton/linen blends or even wool. Consider doing the strap in leather for a unique look!
Maybe you don't need a book bag because you have all your books on an iPad! Our cool carry-sleeve features a bike-bag style crossover strap in cotton webbing, tough pockets front and back, and a soft fleece lining. It would be easy to re-size it up for a laptop or down for an e-reader.
Keep track of everything from permission slips to hot lunch menus to soccer schedules with a fabric covered pin board. We have one that is large (a full 24" x 48") and simply wrapped; and a smaller one (16" x 20"), beautifully framed and finished with a decorative hanging bow.
Laminated Toiletry Bag
Give your kids a cool way to store (and keep track of!) shampoo, soap and more in their gym lockers. Our classic zippered pouch features wipe-it-clean laminates inside and out. Grab it from the locker and toss it in the team duffle for off-campus games and practices.
Key fob with secret pouch
A perfect size to hold student body cards, cash, even keys... all on a removable lanyard. The secret back pocket is held together with Velcro so nothing will tumble out. This is a great ScrapBusters project; mix and match three fabrics (maybe school colors!) to create a custom look.
Faux Leather Handbag
Okay... this isn't an "official" back to school project, but it is a fabulous fall bag! Clean and casual enough for the office or school, but still sleek and sophisticated, so it works perfectly for a night on the town. Plus, affordable faux leather is better than ever; it's soft, supple and fun to sew.