Tutorial: Art Case

by This is Carrie on November 21, 2008

My kids love to take their Art Cases to church, on long car rides, and to doctor’s waiting rooms.  We love to gift them pre-stocked with colored pencils, a coloring book on one side of the case, a drawing pad for the other and some stickers for the little pocket.  But kids will inevitably fill them with their favorite magazines, books, pens, pencil sharpeners to make sure they have what they need when it’s time to go!

The art case is large enough to hold 12 colored pencils and 2 coloring books/pads of paper and even a little treat in the flap pocket.

To personalize it, you can add an applique monogram to the outside of the case.

It’s a great handmade gift for both boys and girls.

Now onto the tutorial:

-1/2 yd double-sided quilted fabric- double-sided thrifted bedspreads work great or fabric can be purchased from a fabric store-watch for a sale because it’s not cheap (you might be able to get by with less yardage if you are really careful at pattern placement, cutting and if your fabric store cuts really straight).
-1 1/2” of 1” Velcro
-1 package of coordinating 1/4” double fold bias tape. 1/2″ works fine too especially if you are using a bulkier quilted fabric.

Pattern pieces:
-Main piece – rectangle measuring 12 1/2” x 38“
-Handles   (cut 2)  12 1/2” x 3”
-Pocket (cut 1 from provided pattern)
-Pocket Flap  (cut 1 from provided pattern)
Downloadable Instructions and pocket pattern HERE (pdf)

Art Case Marking lines for large rectangular piece:

If you take the time to make all the markings at the beginning, the sewing will go smoother and the tutorial will make sense.

(click on image to enlarge)


1.  Bind each end short end of the large rectangular piece, the curved side of the pocket flap and the top edge of the pocket with 1/4” bias tape.

2.  Serge or otherwise finish edges of pocket and long edges or rectangular piece.

3.  Fold back 4 1/2” and sew channels 1” apart starting 1 1/4” from the edge.

4.  Fold and iron 1/4” on non-bound edges of pocket.  Topstitch into place.

5.  Attach flap above pocket using 1/4” seam.

6. Fold flap over and topstitch 1/4” away from edge.

7.  Fold each strap piece in half lengthwise.  Fold in 1/4” on each long raw edge of strap.  Topstitch on the edge to close strap.  (You could try to sew right sides together, but the thickness makes it really hard to turn).

8.  Attach straps at marks using 1/4” seam.

9. Flip straps and topstitch 1/4” from edge.
9a. If you want to add an applique to the outside of your case, now is the time to do it – before you sew up the large pockets.

10.  With right sides together, fold each side in to make large pockets (follow measurements from above sketch).  Sew 1/4” seam.  Flip and press.
(sorry, I did not take a good picture of this step – the photo is after the flip & press).

11.  Cut 1 1/2” piece of Velcro.  Sew one piece in the middle of each side of case at “X” mark from Diagram.

Fill and enjoy!

Download a Printable version of the Art Case Tutorial Here.

copyright 2008 www.thismamamakesstuff.com
for personal use only


{ 3 trackbacks }

Making Stuff: More Art Cases | This Mama Makes Stuff
June 2, 2010 at 1:05 pm
Birthday Stuff: Art Case | This Mama Makes Stuff
June 2, 2010 at 1:06 pm
Making Stuff: More and More Art Cases | This Mama Makes Stuff
July 24, 2010 at 12:14 pm


Rachel@oneprettything.com November 21, 2008 at 12:36 am

I had one of these are a kid and I LOVED it! This would make such a great gift, I’ll be linking. Thanks tons for sharing this!

The Clegg Family November 21, 2008 at 4:47 am

i love it! i am just a fellow reader of your awesome blog…i can’t download the instructions pdf…the pattern pdf worked…could you repost it? or could you send me a link in to my email? rachclegg@yahoo.com it would make the perfect christmas gift for my niece! thanks so much
rachael clegg

Julie November 21, 2008 at 5:04 am

I have been waiting for this.

Barbara Bradford November 21, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Thank You for sharing, What wonderful gifts this would make.

Katherine November 21, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Just an FYI, I was unable to download the Instructions…It said “File Damaged”, the pattern page was fine. Can you contact me when you get it fixed…thanks!

Dreams of Yarn November 21, 2008 at 4:29 pm

This is wonderful!! thank you so so much for sharing

TftCarrie November 21, 2008 at 4:41 pm

I shrunk the file size of the instructions, so I think it’s working better now! Have fun!

mmmm, brains November 21, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Ooh! Thank you for this pattern! This will be perfect for my niece.

Mommymita November 21, 2008 at 9:23 pm

Thank you! What about using canvas? do you think it has enough weight?

I need to make some boyish ones.

TftCarrie November 21, 2008 at 10:19 pm


I am making a few boys ones too and I got the single sided solid quilted fabric in blue and also a blue and brown polka dot to line it with. Hopefully it will work out.

I can’t see a reason why canvas wouldn’t work though.

Tanja November 21, 2008 at 10:46 pm

Thank you for your generosity!

Allison November 21, 2008 at 11:23 pm

I’ve been a fan of your blog ever since I came across it through mommymita’s a month ago. I’ve been busy trying several of your projects. Thanks for all the tutorials! I can’t wait to try this one.

Haydee November 24, 2008 at 12:53 am

Thanks for sharing. My son would love this. I Still cannot download the instructions. Can you help? Thanks so much.

rebecca December 9, 2008 at 6:31 am

Carrie, is this case meant to hold a coloring book or a composition book? I’m thinking my oldest daughter would love one of these! Thanks for the tutorial.

:) Rebecca

TftCarrie December 9, 2008 at 2:50 pm

it is sized to hold a coloring book. i also include a drawing pad – you just have to search a little to find a size that fits. The one I got is crayola brand.

siobhan December 10, 2008 at 2:09 am

any advice for someone who’s never sewn with such narrow bias tape? nor over such thick material? i’m going to gouge my eyes out if i have to rip the binding out one more time! would it work to use bias tape a bit wider? or is there some cool trick you can share? thanks!


TftCarrie December 10, 2008 at 5:21 am

You can definitely use wider–especially for all the straight pieces. It might be a tad harder to use on the rounded pocket flap, but even then, steam it into a curve with an iron before you apply it and it should work find. If you still are using the skinny bias tape, are you making sure you have the shorter edge on the top and the longer edge underneath? And maybe your fabric is thicker quilted fabric than I used?

Sorry it’s so maddening! You can always skip the tape all together and hem the pocket edges and ditch the pocket flap all together.

kelsimad January 7, 2009 at 4:49 pm

I’m so glad you did this. I can’t wait to make one for my daughter!!! Thank you.

sandy March 18, 2009 at 6:30 am

Great project! Thanks for the tutorial.. I have 2 ques. for you though. One is where did you find the fabric. And are seam allowances included in the measurements?

This is Carrie March 18, 2009 at 1:44 pm

The measurements do include 1/4″ seam allowances. Good luck!

disa September 21, 2009 at 11:37 am
Susan January 31, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Wonderful tutorial. I’ve been looking all over for one of these and had just about decided to draft my own. Thank you for saving me from all the work.

Love your blog!

This is Carrie
Twitter: thisiscarrie

I’m so glad you found it and it will save you some time. enjoy!

Jess November 2, 2010 at 6:40 am

This is awesome! I made it for my 7 year old neighbor and she absolutely loves it!!! Nothing like giving a homemade gift! Thanks for the tutorial! You can see me version here:

You are a lifesaver!

Karen November 28, 2010 at 8:11 am

Love your art case! Would have been perfect for my two year old. I couldn’t download it though. It appears you have to have a Facebook account, which I don’t want. Great pattern though!

this is carrie
Twitter: thisiscarrie

One way to make a scribd account is through your facebook account, but it isn’t necessary to have one. You just have to create a username and password. The only part of the pattern that isn’t available in the tutorial is the pocket pattern which, if you still have problems creating a scribd account, you can create your own square shape.

Kerstin December 12, 2010 at 4:56 am

I’ve just finished my Art Case, which will be a present to my niece. It is just great and I love the idea and the design. Excellent.

This is Carrie
Twitter: thisiscarrie

Yay! So glad to hear you love how it turned out. I am sure your niece is going to love it too.

Brenda C. April 19, 2011 at 11:07 am

Hi, I Love, Love, Love your Art-Case & the tutorial. Like others I can not download the pocket pattern. I know you stated that we can create our own pocket, but would you please consider sharing the size of the square pocket you used? Thank you for sharing & I also realize that you posted this pattern some years back. I just found your site and am certainly glad I did!

Kerstin August 1, 2011 at 11:37 am

Hi Carrie, I really like your tutorial and I made already a couple of cases for the kids in my family. I would like to put one of my sewn Art Cases up for an Fund Raising Auction, will this be okay? There is a carity thing going on where bloggers make things, sell them and the money will be donated to Africa.
Please let me know if you object in me selling one Art Case.

This is Carrie Reply:

I’d be happy if you used it for a charity auction. Just please say something like “made from tutorial found on http://www.thismamamakesstuff.com

Thanks and good luck!

Krystal September 15, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Hi! I just wanted to know if you sell these? I love you idea for the art case!!! Its a great idea!! I’ve been looking for one for my son to hold his drawing stuff for our plane trip and can’t find it any were. I’ve searched high and low for one. I’m not a very good sewer and would be a lot easier for me to just buy one. Thank You for posting your ideas! I love your blog

This is Carrie
Twitter: thisiscarrie

Sorry, I don’t sell them. I bet you can find something very similar if you search etsy.com. Good luck!

Jamie February 11, 2012 at 8:20 am

Thanks for the great tutorial. I made one last weekend for my daughter to take to a birthday party. The little girl loved it and my daughter wants her own of course too! Here’s the link to see what I made: http://jamespurejoy.blogspot.com/2012/02/art-case-birthday-gift.html
and here: http://thetrendytreehouse.blogspot.com/2012/02/art-case-birthday-gift.html

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