Pencil and Notebook folders

A few weeks ago, I decided to make my girls some new folders to take with us out on our reef trips.  They both LOVE drawing and writing, and always take paper and pens with us - which end up blowing and rolling around the boat!  So I made them one each of these:

They open out to this..

To make them I managed to finally make use of a little of this massive pile of stiff cardboard...
(There are 100 pieces of card - with dots on!!  Left over from a number/ maths education activity I tried with my girls when they were really little!!!)
So, as you can see - I could make LOTS of these fabric folders!!

I also used some of these exercise books., which I've bought hundreds of over the past few years as they're sold for 1c each in the 'back to school sales' and I just can't resist a bargain!. So I have a reasonable stockpile of these too!!

The girls love using theirs, having chosen their own fabric from my stash -( Bratz and ballerinas). 
And they did turn out perfect for our boat trips!

This fairy one I made today, and also did a photo tutorial.

If you're interested in the 'how to', I've made the tutorial as a free PDF download, available if you

This is going to be one of the gifts I make this year for kids birthday presents.  My girls get so many party invites - and I always try to give handmade gifts!   They're always well received with no chance of giving the same gift as another party goer!  It leaves room to personalise the gifts too!

Do you give handmade gifts?   What kind of things do you make and give?
Boys I always find the hardest to make for - but I think with this, I have some cool camoflague fabric and other boyish stuff that may go down well!!

For heaps more ideas of things to make, I have over 100 free sewing tutorials available for all levels of sewing ability. Take a look at


  1. i predict these will be great sellers! it also looks like a kindle or the like would fit in there, or you can adjust the measurements to accomodate something like that. what a great way to use up that cardboard with the dots!

  2. Very pretty folders! My daughter loves to write and draw as well -- may have to try one of these sometime -- she'd love it!

  3. I was just looking for ideas for birthday gifts - thank you for the PDF tutorial! We have 2 b-day parties this weekend, so I'm to start sewing :)

  4. Thank you for stopping by, following and commenting on my quote of the day.
    I just returning the love.
    What a cute blog, you are very creative and talented and looking forward to reading more!

  5. I have made a few of these kinds of folders and I had to make it up as I went because the only tutorials I found didn't hold the note book the way I wanted. I need to make some more so I will book mark this so I can use this. I like that yours have the card in them too. Thanks for the tutorial.

  6. Jill! I love you! This is wonderful, for three reasons...
    Number one, I have been meaning to make something just like this for my kids for ages. I haven't committed to spending the brainpower to work it out though. And now I don't have to! Yay!
    Number two, I have heaps of exercise books for the very same reason - at that price, who can resist?
    Number three, I also have Doman dot cards! And some other cards I had precut for making my own bit of intelligence cards. I tried it, mostly with my first son...probably too sporadically. I don't know if any of it really did anything. Though my 2nd child was on his hands and knees at 3.5 months because of the physical program.
    Anyway, I truly digress. I should have written you an email I think. Oh well.
    Thanks again, you rock!

  7. I have become a follower n liked you on facebook. I have been wanting something like this for my sewing n quilting groups. They are really neat. Thanks for sharing, I look forward to more on your blog.

  8. This is such a cool idea! I'm thinking of making one for myself for my sketchbook and drawing pencils/supplies. Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. I think the idea is great, and plan to make one for my sketch bag.

    However, I did want to let you know that, at least for me, the pdf download was -not- free. When I clicked on it, Scribd would not allow me to unless I uploaded something of my own, or paid an access fee.

    Nothing on you, but I thought you might like to know about it.

  10. Mitz - thanks for letting me know - I'll look into it, I uploaded all my tutorials wanting them available to everyone for free, so I don't know what's going on there!

    If anyone has this problem, then please let me know and I can email you a copy of the tutorial!


  11. Thank you so much for sharing this awesome tutorial, must make some of these for my little boy, what a great xmas gift idea too.

  12. Thank you so much for this!! So fabulous! I love to draw also, and my sister and I love journals and paper. She would love this! I have quite a number of blank notebooks, I can't resist them either. :)


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