If you have old books (you know, the ones with half the pages missing) you don’t have to throw them out. You can actually use old hardcover books to create a really neat and really functional art book that holds all of your child’s art supplies. These are great for traveling because they take up little room plus they have a very nifty little handle for easy carrying. You need a bit of fabric to make holders for pencils or crayons and then the handle and of course, the art supplies.

Here is a guide to help you make one for yourself or someone you love.

First, you’ll need to cut the insides out of an old book. This one had been in someone’s basement for so long that it had spider webs behind the binding…. that nearly made me run screaming and not come back, but I managed after just one shriek. (Yep, terrified of spiders.)

Then, you’ll want to re-inforce the binding area by cutting a piece of cardboard or tag board. Before you glue this down, make sure that it isn’t too wide to allow the covers to fold still. I had to trim mine down slightly.

Use the book as a guide to cut out your background fabric. I wanted to piece mine out of two, but you don’t have to!

Use a pencil to draw around your book onto your fabric. Then iron the edges behind, rolling the pencil line to the backside. Use your book as a guide to make sure it is looking good. You can iron right on top of it if it’s easier for you.

Next your make your pockets. I used an element tag from our soon to be release Odds and Ends fabric. I simply cut it out, hemmed the top edge, ironed the other edges back and top-stitched in place.

For the pencil pocket, I cut my rectangle twice the height plus top edge allowance. (I would give dimensions, but everyone’s books will be different in starting size). I hemmed the top edges and stitched the sides, wrong sides together to make a pocket that was a separate piece from my background. Then, I stitched every .75″ for each pencil holder.

When you pin this to your background, please keep your pencils in place. They are quite dimensional and with the pocked backing up to a hard book, you won’t have any give once the project is completed.

You don’t have too, but I even left the pencils in place as I stitched the pocked to the background fabric. To do this you will need a zipper foot. If you don’t have one, simply resist the urge to flatten out your pencil pocked from where you placed your pins while the pencils were in the pocket.

Don’t stitch across the bottom. Leave that free. Otherwise, we would have to take tucks and gathers and go to more work than this project really justifies!

I got some purse handles and i sewed tabs to attach them to the book, but ribbon or twill tape would be cute too.I used hot glue to attach the tabs to the book.

Then I hot glued my insides. The best way I found to do this was little by little. You can press and spread the glue out that way. If you get a glue lump under your fabric, you can use a craft iron (I have a dedicated iron for messy projects that might ruin my good iron) to heat the glue back up and spread it out. I only had to do that once though until I learned my little by little lesson!

via  cosmocricket.typepad