Gift Inspiration Day Nine: Kids’ Notebook Holder

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Imagine a child’s gift that is small, quiet, fun and encourages creativity.  Sounds pretty good, right?  Better yet, it actually exists!

Way back in 2011, I created what I called a “Card Holder.”  In my previous life, I spent my spare time scrapbooking and making cards.  I designed the card holder to hold up to ten handmade cards, a pen and a small book of stamps.  A short while later, I needed a way to help encourage my daughter to be quiet in church.  I altered the Card Holder pattern and developed the Notebook Holder.  When my crafting business was active, the Notebook Holder was my most requested item.  On this ninth day of gift inspiration, I’m happy to share the tutorial with you.

(Please read all directions before starting)


Outside:  (1) fat quarter.  Cut into (1) 13″w by 10″h.  This will be the outside of the holder.

Inside:  (1) fat quarter.  Cut into two pieces: 13″w by 10″h and 13″w by 7″h.  If directional, make sure that the design will be going the right direction when finished.   These will become the interior of the holder and the interior pocket.

Fusible fleece: cut into (1) 13″ x 10″

Light fusible interfacing.  Cut:  (1) 13″ by 10″ and (1) 13″ x 7″

(1)  hair elastic (without metal clasp) or a 5″ piece of thin cording elastic – match color to the fabric

(1) 1″ button

(1) 5″w x 8″h notebook and (6) twistable colored pencils


Using a hot, dry iron, fuse the fusible fleece to the wrong side of the outside 13″ x 10″ piece.  Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the interior 13″ x 10″ piece and the wrong side of the interior pocket (13″ x 7″).


Fold the interior pocket (13″ x 7″) in half, matching the raw edges, with wrong sides together.  Press and top stitch along the fold 1/8.”


Lay the interior piece (13″ x 10″) right side up on your work surface.  Place the pocket on top, matching up the raw edges along the bottom of both pieces.  Pin in place and baste 1/8″ along the left and right sides of the pocket.


I keep a package of these in my sewing room.  Choose one that coordinates well with your fabric.


The metal-free hair elastics have a slight crease where they are held together.  We don’t want to include that part of the elastic in our notebook holder.  Pinch the elastic at the crease.


Continue to hold the elastic at the crease and lay it on the right side of your interior piece.  We need to attach it to the interior in the middle of the right side, at the 5″ mark.  My favorite method is to apply 1/4″ masking tape to the left side of the elastic.  Approximately 1/3″ of the elastic should extend over the right side of the interior piece.  This is where the elastic crease should be.


Place the interior piece under the foot of your machine.  Squeeze the excess on the right to keep it close together and baste several times.  Leave the tape on the elastic, making sure that it is more than 1/2″ from the edge.  This will keep the elastic in place.


Lay the interior piece on your work surface right side up, with the pocket on the bottom.  Lay the outside of the holder right side down on top.  Line up all raw edges.  Pin in place.  Sew around all four edges using a 1/2″ seam, leaving 4″ open along the top for turning.  When you sew over the elastic, reinforce several times.

Trim corners, turn right side out and press.  Fold in the opening and press.  Top stitch around all four sides at 1/8.”


Lay the notebook holder on your work surface with the interior side up.  Mark a vertical line in the middle of the notebook holder.  The line should be at the 6″ mark.  Again, my favorite method is to use masking tape to mark my line and then sew along the edge of the tape.


Yes, I have to add an arrow to make sure I sew on the right side of the tape!


If all has gone according to plan (and I wrote this correctly), your notebook holder should look like this.


We’re almost finished!  Using my 2.5″ x 6.5″ Quilt Expressions’ ruler (everyone should have one of these!), I apply my tape 3/4″ from the center line.  This will be the first of six seams that will result in the twistable colored pencil slots.  Sew along the edge of the tape from the top of the pocket to the bottom, reinforcing well at the beginning and end of the seam, move tape over 3/4″, sew a seam and continue until you have six pencil slots.


Notice that there is a larger seventh slot to the far left.  I prefer to leave it a bit larger in case the child wants to add a pen and drawing pencil.

Close the holder, sew the button to the front 5″ from the bottom and about 1/4″ from the edge, and add the notebook and colored pencils.  It’s ready to give!

PicMonkey Collage 1

Here are a few notebook holders I made in 2011-12.  The theme and color possibilities are endless!

If you are also a card maker and would like to make a Card Holder to give as a gift or keep for yourself, the tutorial can be found here.


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