A little something so your little ones can spend the summer drawing en plein air.Some of my best memories growing up involve drawing or painting outdoors. Sitting in the field by our middle school sketching an old barn, painting a mural with high school friends in the home depot parking lot. It’s something I think every kids should get to try. So this morning we put together a portable portfolio from a thrift store book and fabric .
The basic idea is to cut off the front and back book cover, then make a sleeve for them with the fabric.
We started with some hard back books we picked up at Good Will and scrap fabric. Anything works, old sheets, pillowcases, place mats, shirts.
I cut just the covers off the books and traced them on the wrong side of the fabric as shown. I left a half-inch space in the middle and a half-inch seam around the edges. Plus I added a 3-inch flap at both ends at the bottom.
First I cleaned up the edges. I made a few extra snips to make the seams work as shown. Then, with the fabric wrong side up, I sewed a seam along both the right and left sides, as shown. Plus the three inches at the bottom of the side flaps.
Then I created a sleeve for the book covers. I folded the fabric down, wrong side out, and stiched along the edge.
I turned it right side out and stiched down the middle.
I chose where I wanted the handle and ties to come through the book. These will add a little bump which isn’t good for drawing over, so keep them just an inch or two from the edge of the book. I punctured the book with a knife and threaded ribbon through, tying it on the wrong end. Two holes on the side for the handle, one hole in the middle for a loose ribbon to make a tie.
Finally, I put the book covers in the sleeve so the ribbon handles were poking out. Then I tucked in the flaps. You can hand stitch the openings if you like to keep the covers inside.
For a little extra fun, I added a pencil holder from a scrap of felt.
My daughter was thrilled to try it out. She picked out a nice little spot and got to work on her first piece of art.