The Everything Teacher Binder TOTE Tute

This is a very basic tutorial that anyone who has beginner sewing skills can master! You can see the way I use my ETBT below in yesterday’s post. If you are not a sew-er,  you can purchase a custom one at my etsy store!

Supplies:

  • 1/2 yard fabric (I prefer oilcloth for this, but any heavy fabric will work) A directional print will require more yardage.
  • Additional 1/8 yard matching or contrasting fabric or webbing for handles
  • 18″ coordinating ribbon
  • 3 or 4 inch binder
  • a swivel hook

Sewing Tools/ Supplies you will need also

  • Matching thread
  • measuring tool
  • chalk or dressmaker’s pen
  • scissors
  • pins

To begin, lay your fabric out flat wrong side up and place your binder on top of it. Measure 1/2 around each edge of the binder. Mark with chalk or dressmaker’s pencil. Remove your binder and cut along your markings.

Put the binder back on your fabric. Lay the remaining fabric out on top of the binder to measure the inside of the tote. You will want your fabric to end about 1/2″ to 1″ away from the binder fold. You can finish the inner edge with a hem, or leave it raw if the fabric doesn’t fray. I like to use my selvege edges here for a fun finished look.

Cut the inside piece to size. Then cut another piece the same size. Now you will need the right side inside piece (this will be the back inside cover of your binder) and your ribbon. Gather up various pens and pencils here too. Take your ribbon and thread your swivel hook onto it. Place the hook at the middle of your ribbon and pull the ends until they meet. Sew the two pieces of ribbon together at the top and bottom edge.

Now you will create the pen holders. Place about 4 of your favorite writing utensils on the fabric. Place the ribbon on top of them, pinning between each pen.

Remove pens carefully so as to not pull out the pins. Sew where each pin is.

You can create handles by cutting two four inch strips the length you want your handles. Then fold each length wise and iron. Fold the raw edges in again and iron. Your finished handles will be one inch wide with four layers of fabric inside. Sew close to both long  edges to finish the handles. You can also use webbing or ready made purse handles.

On right side of inside piece, measure two and half inches from the bottom and top edges. Pin your handles aligning the raw egdes. make sure that your handle is not twisted.

Now sew the handles down using 3/8 in seam allowance. Back stitch several times to add stability.

Now place large piece of fabric right side up (the front of your binder tote that you cut). Place the inside pieces on top, right sides down. Make sure that your finished edges face the middle. Pin all the way around making sure not to catch your handles in the top or bottom seams. Sew.

Clip corners then turn tote right side out.

Carefully push corners out with the a bone turner or capped pen. Smooth all edges out. Then fold down 1/2 at the top and bottom between the two pockets. Sew.

Slide one side of your binder half way into one pocket.

Fold Binder open backwards and slide other side into pocket.

Fold your binder closed and try on your new tote!

Fill it up with your teacher goodies and enjoy the ease of toting it to and from!

Feel free to comment and or ask for clarification if I missed a step!

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About teachinginpink

I'm a full time mom and part time fashion designer, and overtime teacher. I teach fifth grade at a Catholic school. Due to my slim parochial school budget and my naturally crafty ways, I love to get creative with my teaching!

Posted on July 27, 2011, in Back to School, Everything Teacher Binder Tote, Organization, Planning and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I made my tote binder last night and it turned out AWESOME!! I kept my ribbon longer and used the extra as a snap closure to the outside of the binder. Thanks for the great idea.

  2. I’m so glad you were able to use the tutorial! Great idea on the snap closure. My binder usually gets so wide by the middle of the year, I’m not sure it would close! Thanks for your comment.

  3. I do not have a sewing machine! 😦 Will you be selling these little gems? I LOVE the colors!!!

  4. Thanks for the idea. This will be my presentor binder as we start the new school year. No more piles of folders! I couldn’t find the swivel hook, so I used a suspender/mitten clip and it worked out well. I also added a pocket to the inside back cover. The binder gets its first workout this morning.

  5. Every time I try to purchase one from your Etsy store I get the following message, “Darn. This item is no longer available. The item “The Everything Binder Totes” by StitchesofWhimsy cannot be viewed because it has expired.” Will you be selling them again?

  6. I am a beginner seamstress and measurements make my brain spin. THANK YOU for this easy to follow tutorial! This is exactly the kind of binder cover I wanted to create, and now I don’t feel so stressed about getting started. =)

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