Pencil Roll Up (or paint brushes, markers, crayons, makeup brushes, pens....)

By Kellie Davis
on December 20, 2018

Pencil Roll Up (or paint brushes, markers, crayons, makeup brushes, pens....)

     Lately I have really gotten into drawing with colored pencils and painting with watercolor and my supplies are all over the place.  I desperately needed a way to store my supplies.  This project has been on my to do list for months and I have finally found the time to make one.  The great thing about this project is that it is easily adjusted for whatever size items you want to put in it.  I am using mine for paint brushes, so I measured my tallest brush and added 1.5" to that.  I'm sure I will need another 1 or 4 to store all my colored pencil collection.
     For this project, you will need quilter's cotton, medium weight fusible interfacing, thread, pins or clips, a ruler, scissors and elastic.  I used a piece of FOE (fold over elastic) but any elastic will work.  Again, I measured my tallest brush and added 1.5" to that for a height of 10".  You can adjust yours to the height of your intended items.  For the width, I wanted it to hold 48 pencils, so I spaced the pockets 1.5" apart to hold 3 pencils in each pocket, so I knew I needed 16 pockets plus 1" on each end.  Again, you can adjust this for the number of items you want to store.  For a child's crayon roll up, I might only want it to hold 24 crayons, so I would want to also adjust the width.  Of course, you will also need to adjust the pockets and the point cover, but this tutorial isn't about all of the different sizes you can make.  Maybe one day I'll create a pattern tutorial for many sizes, but for now, this is what you will need to cut for this roll up.
  • 1 main fabric 26" by 10"
  • 1 contrast fabric 26" by 10"
  • 1 fusible interfacing 26" by 10"
  • 1 main fabric for pockets 26" by 8"
  • 1 contrast fabric for point cover flap 26" by 7"
  • 5.5" elastic
     Cut out all pieces.  Iron interfacing onto the wrong side of the contrast fabric, and iron the pocket and the point cover in half along the length.
     With the interfacing side of the contrast fabric down, place the folded pocket piece along the bottom edge with the fold facing up.  Line up the raw edges along the bottom and sides and pin or clip in place.
     Starting 1" from edge, mark a line every 1.5".  The last mark will be 1" from the other edge. You will end up with 18 marks including the 2 marks that are 1" from each edge.  With a ruler and a pencil or washable pen, draw a line straight up at each mark.  These will be the sewing lines to form the pockets.
     Sew a straight stitch on each line to form your pockets.  Next, hem each short end of the point cover flap by folding over 1/2", then again 1/2".  Straight stitch a hem.  
     Fold the point cover in half and place it at the top edge of the contrast piece.  Place it 1" from the side edge and raw edges even with the top edge, as shown.  You do not want the point cover flap to be sewn into the side seams or you won't be able to lift it out of the way.  Pin or clip the flap in place.
     Place your elastic in place about 1/4"-1/2" from the point cover.  Now place the main fabric piece right side down on top of the contrast section with the pockets and elastic and flap.  Pin or clip all the way around making sure to leave a 2.5"-3" opening between the pocket and top on the opposite side from the elastic.  I marked my opening with 2 red clips for the start and stop of my opening.
     Starting from one point of the opening, sew 3/8" seam allowance all the way around, pivoting at each corner, and stopping at the other point of the opening.  Make sure to trim the seam allowance of each corner to make the points look nicer when you turn it inside out.
     Reach into the opening and grab the elastic on the other side.  Pull the elastic through the opening until the whole thing is right side out.  Use a pencil or other blunt pointed (not sharp) object to push the corners out.  At this point, the point cover flap will stick straight up.  You will need to iron it down.
     Starting at the top of the pocket, top stitch 1/4" from the edge all the way around the top and down to the top of the pocket on the other side.  Make sure you close the opening in your top stitching.  You can stitch all the way around if you like, but I wanted to be able to use that little pocket on each edge to place a pen and a pencil in for easy access while I paint.  If you stitch all the way around, it will still hold 48 pencils. 
     Now fill it with your art supply of choice, roll it up and it's ready to travel with you wherever you choose to go.  Or sit in the cupboard waiting for you to use it in your next art project.  I hope you will make some for last minute gifts or just for yourself.  If you do, please share them with us in our Facebook group.  

Car Travel Mat (Car Roll Up)

By Pickle Toes Team
on December 19, 2018

Car Travel Mat (Car Roll Up)

Hello Pickle Toes Fans!  Looking for a quick but still impressive sew?  We’ve got an awesome tutorial today for that special tiny toy car hoarder collector in your life. I have 2 little guys that are equally obsessed with tiny cars.  I find them everywhere--under the sofa, in the TV cabinet, in the tub after bath time, even in the freezer after they became second place to a bowl of ice cream.  Every time I do the laundry I always find a few that have gone on one wild ride through the washer and have wiggled out of my son’s pockets somewhere in the dryer. Cue banging sounds in dryer. Hahaha

 My boys always stuff their cars in their pockets.  Sometimes my 2 year old gets really grouchy when he can’t fit them all. My 4 year old already knows he likes to carry more than his pocket can hold, so he’s started carrying a backpack--Which always gets “too heavy”.  So basically I’m carrying around a puppy dog backpack full of cars, a diaper bag, and 2 toddlers with 2 big girls trailing behind.  What a sight, I’m sure. :P

Enter the Travel Car Mat.

Basically this came out of necessity. I NEEDED to stop carrying this backpack full of cars and teach my boys to be a little more independent.  I still needed these darn cars to come with us everywhere because they keep my boys busy and super calm when we’re out.  If something keeps my toddlers busy, even for 4.2 seconds, it’s a total win for me. Bonus--that means I get 4.2 seconds of uninterrupted thought and zero sweating, but, ya know, your mileage may vary.

Here’s what you need to create this Travel Car Mat:

-11”wx12”H woven fabric (2 pieces, 1 for front and 1 for back)

-3”hx11”W woven fabric (this will be your pockets)

-3”hx11”w black felt (2 pieces, these will be your roads)

-1”wx1/2”h yellow felt (8 pieces, these will be the yellow lines on the roads)

-closure of choice (either 8 snaps, hook and loop tape as desired or 9 inches of 1/4” elastic

-ribbon or webbing 9”long (2 pieces)

-thread to match


(I am using the vehicle fabric for front and back, as well as the pocket)

Cut all your fabric out and gather all your materials.

Begin by hemming the pocket piece about 3/8”.

Next, you will create the pockets for your cars to fit into. I decided on about 2” and all our average sized cars fit inside. First, lay your hemmed pocket piece on top of your 11”x12”front fabric piece. Be sure to line up the 2 sides and bottom edges as best as you can. Clip or pin the pocket to the fabric to where it was hemmed.  This will hold it still.

 Next, measure ½” from the left and right edges of your fabric-I used a clip for this. This will be the seam allowance when we sew the front and back together. From that clip on the left side, measure 2” and mark it with a pin. Continue marking the lines for your pockets every 2” until you have 5 pockets. Your last pin should be about 2 and ½” from the right edge of your fabric.  Alternately, you can just simple create 2 large pockets by measuring and marking right down the middle of your pocket piece. **If you are adding snaps or Velcro for closure, this would be a good time to add the one side. Add 4 snaps or 3pieces of Velcro as desired, staying away from where your pocket stitches will be.  Be sure to only attach your Velcro or snaps to your pocket piece and not the top 11”x12”piece.

Now we will sew our pockets. Starting from the top of your pocket, sew a straight line to your pin, being sure to remove your pin and sew to the end of your fabric. Repeat for your 4 other pockets. You should now have 3 closed pockets and 2 end pockets that are open on the sides. We will close these later.

Next we will sew the yellow lines onto your roads. Determine how you want to place them on your road and pin. Sew yellow felt to the black felt, sewing down the middle of your yellow rectangle. Full disclosure, I used white thread NOT yellow and you can’t tell the difference.

Repeat step 5 for your second road. **As another option, you can create a “figure 8” for your road. It will need to be about 7” tall and 10”wide. Sew the yellow lines onto your “figure 8” in the same way, doing your best to space them evenly.


Now it’s time to sew your roads down. Measure 1” from the top of your front 11”x12” piece.  Pin one of your roads to the front piece, making sure the entire road is 1”from the top of your fabric and lines up with the sides of your front piece. Pin it in place. Top stitch 3/8” along the top and bottom of your road.  **If you chose a figure 8, pin and topstitch 3/8” along the outside and inside edges of your 8.


Measure 1” from the bottom of the road you just sewed. Pin your second road to the front piece, making sure the entire road is 1”from the bottom of your first road. Top stitch 3/8”along the top and bottom of your second road.


Next we will sew some “fold lines”. I like to add this detail because it makes it easier for little hands to fold the car mat. Looking at the mat, we have created a gap between the two roads and a gap between the bottom road and the pockets. This is where we will create our “fold lines”.  Increase your stitch length just a touch, it doesn’t need to be too long. Sew a straight line across the middle of the gap between the roads, the entire length of the mat. It should be about ½” from each road but you can easily eyeball this part.  Repeat for the gap between the bottom road and the pocket. **If you created a figure 8, you should still create these fold lines.  Measure about 4 ½” from the top edge. This will be your first fold line.  Next, measure 4 ½” from the top of your pockets. This will be your second fold line. Straight stitch the length of your Car Mat.

Now it’s time to pin your straps. Take your ribbon/webbing and pin one end on fold line you just created. Pin or clip the other end to your second fold line. Be sure your ribbon sits ON TOP of your Car Mat and NOT OFF the edges.  Repeat with the ribbon/webbing on the opposite side to create your second strap.

I chose to use an elastic strap that could be pulled around the Car Mat after it was folded. Measure about 2 ½” from the upper right corner of your Car Mat. Pin or clip and overlap the ends, making sure your elastic creates a loop and lines up with the edges. Again, be sure your elastic loop sits ON TOP of your Car Mat, NOT off the edges.


It’s time to close your Car Mat! Lay your back 11”x12” piece on top of your front piece, right sides together. Clip or pin all the way around, leaving a 4” opening in the middle of the top for turning. When you reach the spots where you pinned the straps, be sure to remove to pins/clips and re-clip or pin to include the bottom fabric. You should have 3 layers here-- top fabric, strap, and bottom fabric. When you reach your elastic strap, remove the pin and re-pin or clip to include the bottom fabric. Here, you will have 4 layers, top fabric, elastic and bottom fabric. Top stitch about 3/8”all around the edges. Be sure to catch all your layers including your roads pockets, elastic and straps. **If you made a figure 8, It is not necessary to catch the road when you sew it shut since it was already top stitched.

Turn your Car Mat right side out and double check that all layers are sewn.

Now it’s time to top stitch. Fold the fabric at the opening inside and iron it flat. Top stitch 3/8”, starting at the TOP left side of the pocket. DO NOT top stitch the pockets.  You will only topstitch the 2 sides and the top. When top stitching the top, be sure to sew your opening closed.

If you are adding snaps or Velcro, this is the time to add the second half. They should be place on the back piece, in the gap between the two roads.

You’re done! Now little hands can carry their own cars using the straps and they’ll have a little mat to play on. Fold it up and show it to your favorite car collector and anyone else that will think it’s amazing!



    My boys have already discovered that toy dinosaurs fit really well in the pockets, along with cheese sticks and teddy grahams.  :P


    Happy sewing Pickle Toes Fans!

    By Lindsay Stroup



    Fast and Easy Christmas Ornaments

    By Kellie Davis
    on December 19, 2018

    Fast and Easy Christmas Ornaments

    Handmade ornaments are such a fun gift to make and to receive.  They make great additions to the package of  gifts as well, as a little extra with the gift.  I had fun making these and they looked so adorable on my tree.

    For this project, you will need a cup or bowl, or even a saucer.  anything round that you can trace that will make a large enough circle, ribbon or ric rac for the hanger, stuffing and just about any kind of fabric.  I used Christmas themed quilters cotton. You also need the essentials....scissors, thread, hand sewing needle, pins or clips, and a sewing machine, although these could be done completely by hand. 
    First, trace your circles onto the fabric.  Make sure to center the image you want featured.  Trace and cut 2 circles for each ornament.  Cut about 3" of ribbon or ric rac, or whatever you've chosen for your hangers, for each ornament.
    Place one circle right side up and place the hanger with the loop side down and ends centered at the top of the ornament.  Place the second circle right side down on top of the first circle and pin or clip in place.   
    Starting at the bottom, sew around the circle leaving about 1" unsewn at the bottom.  I used a 1/4" seam allowance, but you can use whatever size you are comfortable with and then just trim the excess seam allowance down to 1/8"-1/4".
    Reach inside the circle and pull the hanger loop to turn your ornaments right side out.  Stuff the circles to desired fullness and hand sew the opening closed.  And what do you do with the ones you mess up?  Why, you stuff them with plastic shopping bags and turn them into crinkle dog toys, of course!  I forgot the loop on one, and sewed one circle wrong side out.  lol.  My dogs enjoyed their new toys.
    These would be so cute with solid fabrics decorated with all the decorative stitches we have on our machines, or in different shapes.  Maybe candy canes, stockings or gingerbread men.   I wish I would have had more time to make all the cute shapes when I was making these.  They would even be adorable just fused with fusible web and stitched around the edges if you don't want to stuff them.  The possibilities are endless!  If you make any, please share in our Facebook group.  I can't wait to see what you all come up with.   

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