Thursday, July 14, 2011

What's A Boy To Do?

Little boys are not the most organized creatures on the planet.  They carry around lots of little "things" which end up all over the car, the floor, in the furniture and anywhere else it lands.  They are always in a panic searching for whatever they just had because it could be ANYWHERE!

Our two oldest grandsons are 7 and 4 and they LOVE Pokemon cards.  The first thing they do when they get up in the morning is talk Pokemon cards, they trade Pokemon cards, they carry them around constantly because they might want to trade a card or two with someone at school or the playground.  They spend an entire trip in the car talking Pokemon cards.  These cards have "values" and "damage" and all kinds of things I don't understand - it is the language of Pokemon and I don't happen to speak it.  In my day, boys traded baseball cards.  Now that, I understand.  Guess I'm showing my age here.  Inevitably, a card disappears.  That means MELTDOWN.  These cards are more valuable than gold to these little fellows.

Girls have a big advantage because we carry purses.  You put all your "stuff" in your purse and you know where it is.  Little boys may have a pocket, they may not.  Actually, grown up boys may not be a whole lot better.  They seem to always be looking for their keys and their wallets.  How do they do it without a purse?  What is a little boy to do?  I have come up with a solution:  a simple draw string bag that will hold a big handful of Pokemon cards (or other little things they want to carry around) and will fit in their pockets.  Or, they can carry them in the bag and not be dropping them everywhere.  Here is how I did it.

I chose each one's favorite color, blue and purple.  I bought a fat quarter at JoAnn's for $.99 each.  Yes, that is right - 99 cents each.  They are usually used for crafting and quilting.  The fat quarters are already packaged, they have them in a variety of colors and patterns and you don't have to stand in line to get anything cut.  That is the best part!  You can get two bags out of one fat quarter using this method.

I had colored hemp at home (that I use to make bracelets with) to use for the draw string and I bought a 2 inch initial to put on each of the little bags for a decoration.  I could not find anything Pokemon that would work without ordering it on line and I didn't want to do that since this was a spur of the moment idea.

After measuring the cards to know what sized bag I would need, I made a 5.5 inch x 4 inch pattern using brown craft paper.  The quarter will be folded in half already.  I  then folded one end of the fabric over to meet another fold making 4 thicknesses of fabric.  I pinned the pattern on and cut it out.  Make sure you have 4 pieces when you do this.

Next, I put two pieces together and stitched the initial on.  It is an iron on, but I wanted to make sure it didn't come off when they take it in and out of their pocket repeatedly.  (and they will)  I wanted the bag to be a little heavier than just one thickness since it is going to get used a lot.

Next, place the other two pieces of fabric on top of these two pieces so the the initial is in the inside.  You should have two blank sides of fabric, one on top, one underneath.  Stitch a 1/4 inch seam on 3 sides, leaving the top open.  Go back and zigzag the seam or serge it.  My serger is being contrary right now, so I zigzagged mine.  I use clear thread when doing projects like this so I don't have to keep changing the thread and the bobbin to match the fabric.  Makes things go much faster.

Next, turn down the top of the bag 1/4 inch and zigzag all the way around.  Turn down another 3/8 inch and stitch close to the bottom of the fabric so that you have a casing.  Start at one seam, stitch around until you are about 3/8 inch from where you started.

I used colored hemp for my draw string.  It is sturdy and colorful.  Cut a 15 inch piece of hemp for each bag.   I could not find a little safety pin (go figure), so I used a piece of jewelry wire and poked it through the hemp so that I could thread it through the casing.  I folded it over so it would have a smooth top to facilitate the threading and would not get caught inside the casing.  That is a nuisance when it happens.

Once you get the string through the casing, turn the bag right side out.  Knot the end of the string (I knotted mine twice) and you are finished.  The casing will be on the inside of the bag.   A really quick and easy project.  The boys can put their cards in the bag, keep it in their pocket, remove the cards easily to look at or to trade.  Ta Da!!  (see the beginning picture)   Now, you give it a try.

Hopefully, there will be fewer meltdowns because there is always a "lost" card.   One more effort to keep them organized!  Yes, they have binders with pages to hold the cards and boxes and all kinds of things, but they are too big to carry around.  This is Grandma's quick and easy solution.  Hopefully, it will make their mom's life a little less stressful with 3 little boys to chase around all day.  I remember those days very well!

I sent a picture by text to her today.  She loved them SO much, that we are going to make these bags as favors for H's "Minute To Win It" birthday party in August.   She is going to order some Pokemon symbols from the internet to decorate the bags with and I will whip them up.  Inexpensive and original!  Hopefully, it will make everyone's life a little less stressful and a lot of little boys very happy.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you do your hair.  LOL   quote from my favorite hairdresser, Joseph Barnes

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