It's my last week of summer vacation, and while last week I was thrilled to death to start the new school year, the arrival of my last week of freedom suddenly changed that emotion. Now I am dreading it because it's crunch time and I actually have to get stuff done instead of doing it a little at a time at my own pace.
One of the projects on my to-do list was to make chair pockets for the students. My reason for needing them was that in Kindergarten, the students don't keep their backpacks at their tables. So if they need something regularly, they have to take it out in the morning and have a place to put it. This year, I'm introducing morning work. Our calendar time was always done whole-group, and the students are engaged by means of popsicle stick calling to answer questions, songs, and being an assistant for class jobs, but for the most part, I noticed my students were seeming a little bored of it after 1st semester. That's when I saw Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits post her Rise and Shine Morning Binders on Pinterest. I oohed and aahed before assessing if it was realistic to incorporate in my classroom. I decided it was and bought the $7 Kinder packet. My last two weeks have included a lot of paper cutting, copying, and laminating. She doesn't laminate her cards, but it's a pretty big to-do to put them all together, and I don't want to have to do it every year. So I am laminating in hopes that they last the next few years before I take a break from other people's kids to have some of my own! ;)
All that to say, I didn't have an extra shelf to keep their binders on, nor did I really want them out of their seats, crowded around the same shelf to get their binders every morning. That's where the chair pockets come in! I saw them floating around on Pinterest and said, "I could totally make that, easy peasy." So I busted out my box full of fabric leftovers and made a gallant attempt. I needed 15 of them, but I didn't want to make all of them before getting to school and making sure it actually fit on the chair. To my relief, it did, though it only held a single 1-inch binder comfortably. (I had been hoping they could store their Bibles in there too, but we'll just have to keep those in their cubbies--not really a problem since they only need them on Wednesdays.) Here's the tutorial for you to try it yourself. It's SUPER easy. I can sew, but don't really follow patterns. I'm one of those, let's look at it and figure it out ourselves types when it comes to sewing. (Don't hate.) But I promise you, you can make this too--no matter what your sewing level is.
This tutorial is for a small, school chair. The dimensions of my chairs were 11" from seat to top, 12-1/2" across base of chair back, and 9" across top of chair back.
Materials: 1 yd fabric** Matching thread Sewing machine or hand needle
**I used a thinner, cotton fabric that was the same on both sides. Since it was thinner, I planned to fold it in half to thicken it. If you are using a thicker, more durable fabric like denim, you can halve the measurements. You should make sure the fabric print is the same on both sides if you are not halving it.
Directions: Cut fabric to 27-1/2" x 29-1/2."
Fold it in half; the 27-1/2" side should form the top and bottom or the short sides of the rectangle.
Sew the three, loose edges together, leaving a hole in one corner to turn it inside out.
Turn it inside out, sew the hole closed, and iron it flat.
Fold the now rectangle fabric in thirds. One third should fold behind and one third should fold in front so that the folded edges of the fabric are facing opposite directions.
You can see my finger is pinching the folded side of the top pocket and on the opposite side, the folded edge is on the bottom.
Now sew the short sides closed with a 1/2" seam.
Ta-da! You're already done! Easy huh? :) One open pocket goes over the chair back, and the other is a pocket for you to stick a binder in.