When the spunky family travels, the kids usually just carry their toys and supplies in a little backpack. I always make them take a coloring book and crayons but their crayons are usually just throw in the bag and they wind up broken all over the car seats and floor board by the end of the trip. I have the easy solution to that problem right here.
Now, I will tell you, I do not live on Pinterest like some people, so I had not seen these crayon roll-ups until very recently. I saw someone selling them on Facebook and I bought one for each of my kids. When we received them in the mail, they were not very good quality as far as the sewing goes and I thought, “I can totally make some of these!”
I found several tutorials and pieced them all together to make what I am sure is the perfect the crayon roll and now I will show you how to make this magical easy travel accessory!
There is an overdose amount of pictures in this tutorial and I will tell you why. I am a very visual learner and didn’t find many tutorials with a lot of pictures. Plus, I am in the beginning stages of sewing and wanted to be very detailed for those like myself. If you don’t need or care for all the pics, scroll through them.
The first step in any good sewing or crafting escapade is always to turn on some good music! I am so much more productive when I can rock out to some P!nk or NewWorldSon. So get some tunes rockin’ and get ready to have some sewing fun!!
All pieces of fabric are 16 ½ inches wide by 6 inches long.
You will need a piece for the outside (basketball fabric), a piece for the inside (orange), a piece for the crayon pocket (basketball), and a piece of fleece or flannel for the inner lining (my yellow piece). You will also need coordinating thread, a hair elastic, and a coordinating button (I use button kits to make my own).
Once you gather all your materials, the first step is to spread out each piece of fabric and iron it smooth. My kitchen table is glass so it is safe to iron on but make sure the surface you are ironing on is heat safe.
Now, as far as measuring and cutting the pieces, I make so many of these that I decided to make a pattern/template out of poster board. All I have to do is lay it down on the fabric and trace around it. However, you don’t need a template, just use a ruler or measuring tape to mark each piece 16 ½” by 6”.
I must admit, I use a sharpie to mark my fabric because I have not found a good sewing marking pen that I like, and let’s face it, the lines either get cut off or sewn over, so we don’t really see them anyway.
Outline and cut out all four rectangles pieces.
The Fleece lining layer (my yellow piece) goes down first and then you place the inside layer (orange piece) right side up on top of the liner.
Take your pocket piece of fabric, fold it in half, and press it (iron it) flat.
Lay the pocket piece on top of the inside piece with the opening matching up at the bottom.
Now, we need to attach these layers and make the pockets for the crayons. Find the mid point on the pocket fabric. It should be at the 8¼” mark if your measurements are the same as mine. Make a mark at that spot. For the pocket lines, I use a white chalk pencil because the lines blend with the fabric and will rub off fairly easily. However, I usually just use my trusty sharpie and sew over the lines to camouflage them.
Turn the ruler around and use it to make a straight vertical line through the first mark you made (only draw the line on the pocket piece of fabric).
Using the first line and the ruler as a guide, mark vertical lines all the way left AND right that are approximately 1 inch apart.
Once all the lines are drawn, pin the layers together so we can start sewing.
Are you ready to sew? Me, too!
Before we get started, here’s a tip that seems obvious but I just became aware of: If you are trying to sew a straight line and you actually have a line to follow, you can line it up with the space in the presser foot and as long as you keep it lined up, you will have a straight line!
Starting with your center line, sew from the bottom to about an inch above the pocket piece.
Don’t forget to backstitch at the bottom and top to keep the little pockets secure while all the crayons are being jabbed in and yanked out.
It makes the most sense to me to start sewing the line in the middle and then work my way out to the right.
After you finish going right, start again with the center line and sew the lines to the left. Instead of having to turn my pocket upside down, I roll the piece up so it doesn’t get in the way.
This is what it looks like when all the pocket lines are sewn:
The liner, inside, and pocket pieces should all be attached now. This is the backside:
Now it’s time to attach the hair tie to the bundle of fabric so you will be able to close the roll. I bought a cheap pack of like 50 hair ties at the Dollar Tree but I have also used some of Sassy’s. Just use what you have or what you can find, no biggie! Cut the metal piece off or cut the hair tie open (depending on the kind you are using).
Line up and pin the two cut ends of the hair tie right above the pocket on the right-hand side of the fabric.
Now sew the hair tie on. My sewing machine does not like to cooperate on this step so I usually go back and forth over it quite a few times to make sure it is secure. It doesn’t really matter how pretty it is because you wont see the line once the piece is complete.
Time for the backside! There should be three layers sewn together and you should have one rectangle of fabric left. This is your backside. Lay the piece RIGHT SIDE DOWN on top of the inside pieces.
Pin the two pieces together all the way around leaving a gap (2-3”) on the short side opposite the hair tie. You will use the gap to turn the piece right side out.
Don’t freak out – this is just the backside of my piece! It’s easier to see the stitching on this side.
Trim around the edges (making sure not to cut your seam) and snip the corners so they turn out better.
Time to turn your roll right side out! I usually leave myself an opening big enough to stick my hand through but if you’d rather make your opening smaller and use a chopstick or ruler, be my guest!
Iron the piece flat so that the edges are on the right side that they need to be on.
Now to attack the unsewn side! Turn the edges inward, pin them together and sew them shut.
In order to have a more uniform look, since you are basically already top stitching the one side, go ahead and top stitch around the whole piece.
My kids have like a thousand crayons but I’m telling you, finding fourteen that were good-looking enough for these pics, was a job in itself! But I found some, so, GO ME!
Put a crayon in each pocket in order to measure where the closure will be placed.
Now, roll it up! I usually don’t roll it super tight because what kid really does that anyway? Once you have it rolled, stick a straight pin or something in it to keep it closed while you figure out where the button goes.
Now pull the hair tie around the roll as far as it can go WITHOUT stretching and stick a pin in the fabric to mark your spot.
I find it hard to sew the button on while it is rolled so unroll it (keep the pin in the fabric so you don’t lose your button marker).
Sew the button on and then you’re done!
Roll it up, hook the hair tie onto the button and look how awesome it is!
One problem that I had with the ones I bought off of Facebook was that the crayons would fall out of the top, so I designed a roll that was taller. The height and padding smooshes (my all time favorite word!) together to form a barrier that keeps the crayons safely inside.
So now my kids (and yours) can have a cute travel pack of crayons to take in the car or use at restaurants, and us cool grown-ups can say, “Aren’t I awesome for making that?!?!?”
I hope all the pictures and steps didn’t make things look too hard, it’s really super easy and your kids will love it!
Don’t forget to post pics or give me some feedback in the comment section below!