Even though we home school, I always think it’s fun to sew up a little something for my kids when we get started for the year. When I look up “back-to-school sewing”, though, most of the ideas are pencil pouches. Pencil pouches are great (see my pencil-shaped pencil pouch tutorial here), but I thought I’d round up the back-to-school sewing ideas that go beyond the zipper pouch. Enjoy!
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Back-to-School Sewing Ideas
Mr. Domestic has a free pattern for an insulated lunch box! He even has a video tutorial. Lunch boxes are a personal thing, in my experience. It has to be the right shape, keep your food cold, maybe a pocket for cutlery and napkins. And a handle is a must. This pattern seems to fit the bill for all those things! We have purchased lunch boxes in this shape for our homeschool co op, but they were cheaply made and I think we can do better. Glad to know there’s a pattern! When we pack lunches, we tend to use containers like these (or these glass ones if you’d prefer), and they fit well into this style of lunch box.
Water bottle holders are super handy, especially for littler students. It can be hard to remember to grab your water bottle when you go outside (or anywhere), so having this cute holder might motivate your kids (or you!) to bring your water along. For those older students, though, who may not think a cute water bottle holder is cool enough, check out these awesome paracord water bottle clips you can purchase on Etsy! They’re a best seller on Etsy, actually, and I can see why. I know my tweens and teen would be super into those.
I’m a big fan of backpacks and this one is so cool. I’m not sure this would work for a student with lots of heavy books, but this is the exact kind of bag I would have loved in college, when I wasn’t carrying any super heavy loads and wanted a more modern looking backpack than my Jansport (they were all the rage in the 90s, if anyone else remembers. Mine was almost this exact color, haha!) I know my girls would love the look of this bag too, for their co op classes.
Here’s another Etsy bestseller! This is a pattern for a more traditional backpack and lunch bag for your elementary aged children. The backpack comes in two sizes and the designer has really thought of everything, I can see why it’s such a popular pattern. It’s such a fun idea to add personalized patches to these kinds of items too. My daughter Layla would love a Gryffindor patch on hers!
This tutorial is pretty brilliant, since she shows you how to harvest a Ziploc bag for parts, using the zipper to make your own washable, reusable baggies. I made fabric baggies when my kids were little and we took snacks everywhere and they sure were handy and saved me a lot of money. I can imagine if your kids are in school and you’re packing lunches everyday, these bags would be a must-sew. If you’re not into making some, however, these look like a good bet too.
I taught a couple classes of tween and teen girls to make composition book covers a couple years ago and they all loved this project! This tutorial takes composition book covers to the next level though, with a clear vinyl zipper pocket inside and a flap front. It helps that it uses one of my favorite sewing tools ever, the Babyville snaps and snap pliers! I don’t see any links to supplies on the tutorial page, so here is a link to the clear vinyl you’ll need and here are my favorite zippers for these kinds of projects (I always keep a stash of these zippers on hand!) She also mentions Wonder Clips, so you don’t have to poke holes in your vinyl with pins.
I think we can all recall the anxiety over school and periods. This bag is such a great idea. It holds and hides all the necessities and is easy to sneak into the bathroom with no one knowing what’s inside. It will also help remind girls to stock it and be prepared! My girls may not go to regular school, but these are perfect to keep in their dance bags.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this round up of back-to-school sewing ideas! And if you can’t resist sewing just one more pencil pouch, here’s a link to my very own tutorial for the pencil-shaped pencil pouch. Super fun to make! And for your older students, here’s my basic zipper pouch tutorial.