Pencil Pouches

I came upon this technique by accident. My team buys each child a pencil pouch each year (among several other things) and I was looking for ways to curb costs. I was planning on using clear vinyl and I was looking for ways to best sew on it, when I came across this technique where you fuse plastic bags together to make vinyl. I’m not one to keep plastic bags in the house, so I went to the dollar store and got some clear plastic gift bags and some yellow plastic table clothes and this is what happened. Here’s the link for the album.

Cut the bottoms off the cellophane bags and slit them up one side. I got a piece that measured about 11″ x 16″. That was the size I cut the table cloths into. For each piece of vinyl I needed 1 bag cut open and 4 pieces of table cloth.

Line it all up and put it between two sheets of wax paper. Heat the iron up to somewhere between polyester and rayon. I started out higher and the more I did, I lowered the temp.

You can use the wax paper multiple times. AND all ironing work must be done between the wax paper.

Iron until the sheets are completely fused. If you can pull the sheets apart at any place, that area needs some more work.

Now I have a stack of sheets to make into pencil pouches.

Yes, that is the trash can in the chair! I was doing some trimming and got tired of bending over!

Next, I folded every edge to the back and pressed them down.

I folded the bottom up a little more than 1/3. The part that will be the flap is shorter.

For this bag with the confetti on it, I made a v-shape for the flap. You’ll see in the final picture that on the car pouch, I just folded the flap twice.

I left some room below the top fold so I could top stitch it down across the top so it would stay down and not keep flopping open. At this point, I top-stitched up the sides and the top and trimmed them up. Here are the two types I made:

From the video I watched using plastic bags, they sewed the inside seam and turned. I did that on about half the confetti bags and the more I looked at the vinyl, the more I thought that for this project, top stitching would be faster. I was making 30 pouches after all!

I also found out that it is crucial to use a dry iron. I was going back and forth between projects and forgot to take the steam off at one point and the wax paper also fused to the plastic – not everywhere, but enough to ruin it.

You need to turn the iron off after about an hour and walk away so it can cool down.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Also, if you make one, let me know and post a pix!

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