Yesterday I handed in the seven crayon rolls I have been working on for children in my daughter’s first grade class at our local Steiner (Waldorf) school. I wrapped them up in tissue paper and yarn and labelled them for the individual child.
Today the children received their crayon rolls for the first time, in addition to their first six block crayons (two versions of the three primary colours). Their teacher made it very special for them and later told me the children were as spellbound as if it were Christmas – they were so grateful and happy to have their own shiny new crayons and a lovely new crayon roll to put them in : A great start to their ongoing adventures in colour and drawing. I love how Steiner (Waldorf) education meets the children at every stage of their development. The first grade children at 6-7yrs are still in the “wonder years” and there is much wonder and beauty in the education during these years ( until the ninth year change) to reflect this.
I thought I would share a step by step tutorial today on how to make these crayon rolls, in the hope that it will be useful and it’s always good to share 🙂
Before I begin: These instructions are for a small crayon roll ( 9 block crayons and 15 stick crayons) and a larger crayon roll ( 12 block crayons and 19 stick crayons). The seams are 1cm unless otherwise stated. I pin and then sew with my machine, but if you are inexperienced with the sewing machine, I would recommend tacking everything as you go before sewing. (It could be very carefully hand sewn, but I imagine machine sewing will improve the durability).
Top tip: Try not to use fabric that has a distinct pattern in one direction only ( like the elephants that I used for my daughter’s crayon roll – they ended up upside down on the inside!)
- 40cm of the main fabric and 40cm of the lining fabric.- recommended fabric cotton, upholstery fabric, baby cord. (The lining fabric should ideally be darker as the crayons tend to mark it over time).
- 40cm of batting, denim or upholstery type fabric thickness for stiffening.
- 1 metre length of ribbon
- Thread to match
- Dressmakers chalk in a different shade from the fabric for marking.
- Cut both fabrics to 32cm x 50cm (for a smaller roll) or 32cm x 65cm (for a larger roll). If you use cotton fabric you can cut and rip – see below. In that case iron the fabric.
- Cut the batting, denim or upholstery fabric out to the same size.
- Lay the batting/stiffening fabric down first, followed by the main fabric face up and then the lining fabric face down on top of that.
- Pin all the way around to keep things in place ( and/or tack).
- Sew the whole way round leaving approx 10cm gap in the middle of one of the shorter sides for the ribbon – there is no need to finish the edges as they will be hidden away inside.
- Cut the corners.
- Turn the whole thing inside out so the fabric is the right way around – use scissors to get into the corners if necessary.
- Press the fabric neatly with an iron to get it nice and flat. Tuck the open part in by approx 1cm so the edge is flush with the rest of that side. This is where the ribbon will go.
- Turn the top of the fabric under by 4cm ( for the block crayons) and turn the bottom of the fabric under by 6cm ( for the stick crayons). Press with an iron and pin in place.
- Fold the ribbon in half. Slip the folded part 2cm inside the crayon roll and fold the open sides in neatly around it. Pin the open side and tack, paying particular attention to keeping the ribbon nice and straight( if your ribbon is patterned, put it in back to back).
- Edgestitch all around the four sides, catching the ribbon and closing the open side as you go. I back stitch once over the ribbon to make it extra secure.
- Press the whole thing nice and flat before you go on, paying particular attention to the central panel.
- Now use dressmakers chalk to mark out the sections. Allow 5cm for the block crayons and 3cm for the stick crayons. (I found it seemed to vary between crayon rolls how many sticks I could get in, so play around with that a bit).
- Now sew along the chalk lines. Make sure you stitch right over the turned up edge and backstitch a couple of times to secure the ends as it gets a lot of wear and tear.
And that’s it! Here is the finished crayon roll!
Unfortunately the photos are a bit blurry as I took them in the evening and I only have an automatic camera, but I think it’s clear enough. If you have any queries about making the crayon roll, do get in touch. I am happy to help. Enjoy!