Times tables memory game pockets - a tutorial

My two daughters, and ages 6 and 8 are both learning their times tables.  I've been helping them along the way - and learning too about the best ways to teach them.  My dad was a maths teacher - and I remember doing lots of work with my times tables at home as a kid, so I have lots of experience to draw upon!

One thing I've found that works really well, and they love doing is playing 'Memory' or 'Pairs' - the card game where you have to match 2 cards and pair them off.

So as we've worked our way through the tables, I've been making them sets of Memory cards.

It then seemed important to make something to keep these sets of game cards in.  Something that they could easily find the set they're looking for and so play them by themselves whenever they want!

Times Tables Pockets!

I've also written an ebook on how to teach your kids their times tables in 5 minutes a day. The book includes templates to make all the times tables memory cards.

You can purchase this tutorial and the E-book for teaching your kids their times tables in 5 minutes a day, including all the templates for printing the memory cards all packaged together. 

Simply click here to go to Amazon where all my ebooks are now available for purchase.

Now back to the Times Tables Hanging Pockets Tutorial!

First - gather your materials.
You will need:

2 rectangles of fabric for front and back 47cm x 32 cm (18.5" x 12.5")
1 rectangle of interfacing 47cm x 32cm (18.5" x 12.5")
4 rectangles of fabric for pockets 38cm x 10cm (15" x 4")
Vlisoflex (bondaweb) - double sided fusible webbing and chosen material for number and letter applique  76cm x 6cm (30" x 2.5")
Dowel rod  30cm (12")
Ribbon 30cm (12") for loops, plus length for hanging.

First do the applique numbers and letters.
Follow the manufacturer's instruction for your fusible webbing.  For vlisoflex, iron one side of the webbing onto the back of the fabric you're using for your numbers and letters.  Then write on the paper side all your letters and numbers - BACKWARDS:

Then cut all your letters and numbers out:

Now take the 4 rectangles of fabric you have for your pockets. Take the long side of each pocket - this will be the top of the pocket. Single turn and stitch to hide the raw edge.  If your fabric is one that frays, then double turn and stitch:

Now it's time to add your applique letters and numbers.

Place the letters for Times Tables 6cm (2.5") down from the top of the main front rectangle.
The numbers should be evenly spaced 3 on each pocket strip.
Make sure you peel the paper backing off each letter and number before laying them on the fabric!

Using a damp cloth, iron each number and letter into place:

Then using a wide zig-zag stitch or the applique setting on your machine, stitch around each number and letter:

Now turn over the bottom of each pocket strip and press.

Now you need to pin the pockets to the main front rectangle.
First pin the sides of each pocket in place, then stitch:

Then to pin the rest of the pockets - measure 10 cm increments along the MAIN fabric - folding the fabric so each number is in the middle of that 10cm. and pin the pockets at that 10cm mark:

Do this for all the pockets, then stitch down the pin lines:

Next you need to pin and stitch along the base line of each row of pockets - folding the edges of the pockets as you go:

Now you're ready to put it all together!

Lay down first the interfacing, then the front pocket part you just made, then the backing rectangle face down on top:

Pin and stitch around all 4 edges - leaving a gap along the top edge to turn it all right sides out afterwards:

Trim all four corners:

Then with the 3 ribbon loops tucked into the top seam
 (sorry forgot to show the ribbon loops on the photo), topstitch closed.

Then all that remains is to thread the dowel rod through your ribbon loops, and tie the rest of your ribbon to the length required to hang the pockets:

Then fill the pockets with your memory cards:

In case anyone is wondering - the pocket with the "?' just has some random pairs in from all of the times tables!

My 2 girls manage to play these memory games well together - even though the elder one knows her tables better, the younger one is better at the memory side of the game!!

For the downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.

And for over 100 more sewing tutorials for making all kinds of things at all levels of sewing abilities, check out 


  1. This is a great idea! I've signed up for your newsletter and e-book.

    I'd like to feature this post on Layers of Learning. www.layers-of-learning.com

    If you're interested, please send me an e-mail at contact@layers-of-learning.com

  2. I have great memories of riding back and forth to ballet lessons with my mom doing my tables. I can still do 12 x 12 but anything with a 13 is anyone's guess.

  3. What a charming little organizer! I like that you said "it then seemed important to make something to keep the cards in." Hee hee. A crafter's brain always works this way. Cool project!

  4. great tutorial! My little girl is a bit young for times tables but I will certainly keep it in mind for later on... If she inherits my math skills she might need it!
    I'm a new follower too! Can't wait to link up to your linky party on Monday!

  5. What a fabulous idea! My daughter's just started learning her times tables too. I'm going to do this for her. I'm also just heading over to your other blog to sign up for the newsletter and ebook. Thanks so much. (Popping over from Tip Junkie.)

    Anne @ Domesblissity

  6. what a neat project. We homeschool and this could be of some great help. Thanks for sharing!

  7. love these makes learning so much fun times tables were rough when I was young this would be so fun and build interest to move on come see me at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

  8. I think your times table is incredible! Sewing is something that challenges me, but I love this idea.

    Thank you for stopping by my site earlier. I love your blog!


  9. Super fun and cleaver way to work on those times tables. Would you be willing to guest post this at my blog for the Back to School Blog Bash. Email me if you are interested

  10. Times tables are so important and to make it a fun game is even better. I think teachers should have one of these in their classroom too children would love playing this game. Thank you for the great tutorial. x

  11. This post made me smile. Thanks for inspiring me and many others to even attempt this feat. Really appreciate that you linked up at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop.

  12. What a great idea!!
    I'm hosting a link party today. Stop by if you'd like!


  13. Oh my gosh, Jill, what a great idea! It'll be so much fun, they'll forget they are even learning! Thank you so much for linking up!

  14. This is such a great idea!! I'll be featuring you tomorrow @'Sew Cute Tuesday', so be sure to stop by and grab a 'featured' button!

  15. This is a brilliant idea and so cute!

    I run Fun Family Crafts, a site similar in nature to Craftgawker and Spotlight, but different in that it's a library of craft tutorials geared only at kids. I have featured your fun post here

    FFC also accepts submissions! Please consider this an invitation to submit as many kid friendly craft tutorials as you like. I look forward to seeing what you submit!

    If you would like to display a featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above.

  16. This is fantastic...for people with sewing abilities, LOL.

    I wonder...would you be interested in making one to sell? You know, for those of us who don't sew. =/

    1. Always happy for custom orders Tasha! Feel free to email me if you'd like one made - I might just make one up and pop it in my shop soon!

  17. Thanks for all the lovely comments everyone! I'm glad so many people like these pockets - they're certainly a hit in our house!

    And in answer to your question Tasha - I would love to make sets to sell to people who don't want to sew their own!

    Maybe I'll get one up in my etsy shop soon. But in the meantime do please contact me if you'd like to order one!

  18. Loved this. Posted about it on my FB page. So creative!!



  19. Thank you for this great tutorial. I can envision SO many possibilities. I may start sewing again just so I can make a pocket organizer!

  20. Wow, you have really worked hard on that. Please also try my game' millionaire times table'. let me know what they think. remember to learn the multiples as well as the facts. good luck.

  21. This is such a great idea for my students who still need to work on their multiplication skills. I can use it during after school/extended day time. I don't quite have the sewing skills you do, so I will be scouring teacher stores looking for a pocket chart that I can use to create it!

    I started a teaching/fashion blog! Check it out!


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