Monday, August 18, 2014

DIY Organizers

Lo and behold, I pinned something to Pinterest and remembered to go back and attempt it. In fact, I found two different bloggers who claimed this idea--organizers made from pot holders. This one and this other one have detailed instructions about how you take a square pot holder, stitch some snack size storage bags down the center and attach a closure to make a purse-sized organizer.

I thought these would be great to share with my book club friends at the retirement home. Many of them use those push walkers that have a storage compartment under the seat, and these would fit perfectly there. My girl and I were in a crafty mood, too, so we set out to find some pot holders. I figured I could score some at the dollar store, Target or World Market. I was right, wrong and right. But, those at the dollar store were beige and very skimpy looking. Target didn't have any square ones. World Market had gorgeous pot holders but, at $5 each, they were a little out of my budget since I planned to make at least a dozen as well as purchase items to place inside.

Since ours didn't have to be heat-resistant, I went to JoAnn Fabrics and bought quilted fabric and extra wide double fold bias tape. I purchased 1/2 yard pieces in four different designs; each cost $7 and I could get ten 8-inch squares out of each. (Since the fabric was reversible, with a coordinating print on the other side, it was like purchasing eight different fabrics.) One package of bias tape would bind three squares. In total, each cost less than $1.70; including sandwich baggies, not including the items we filled them with.

After zigzag stitching the tape around the edges (and including a loop at one corner), I thought it might be nice to add a place for a pen on the outside. So we took scraps of bias tape, about 6 inches long, ironed out the center fold, tucked under the top and bottom edges and stitched it down one side, across the bottom and up the other side, leaving the top open. 

With this stage, I let my girl help out. 
The most difficult stage was stitching the bags into place. Those suckers are slippery and have to be taped down. (For a step-by-step tutorial, click here.) After that, we hand-stitched buttons on the front as well as added a loop of ribbon on the opposite side for a closure. 

A couple friends happened by that day and helped my girl get them stuffed. We included:
  • wet wipes
  • emery boards
  • floss picks
  • Band-Aids
  • Tylenol packets
  • Carmex
  • rubber bands
  • paper clips
  • bobby pins 
  • breath mints
  • candy
  • Halls cough suppressants 
  • tissues 
  • ink pen
The women at the retirement home LOVED them and seemed so pleased we'd made something just for them. (Of course, I forgot my camera and didn't think to grab my phone and take a photo.) We handed out about a dozen of the sixteen we made, so my girl kept one for herself and gave the rest to friends. I was surprised to see how excited the kids were to get one, too. I'll definitely be making more and possibly including them in my Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes this year (without the Tylenol or Halls). They'd be great to keep in the car, in your beach bag or diaper bag, or in your desk at work. Teachers' gifts maybe? I can think of a lot of uses!


Amy Radachi said...

Mom would be so proud!!

Pamela Hammonds said...

Thanks, Amy. Wish I could make her one!