Monday, November 24, 2008

Letter Case Tutorial

The Art of Letters
So, enough of the mind wanderings, let us get all crafty. My sister in-law had a birthday last week, Happy Birthday to you M! I wanted to make her a special gift and I have been thinking about how much I miss letters lately so, I came up with the idea to make a personal letter case, filled with handmade cards. It ended up being a fun and fairly easy project so, I thought I would try my hand at a tutorial. It seemed like just the project to get my feet wet, it's my first - so bear with me.

Here we go...

The following instructions are for a letter case that fits 8 1/2 x 11" card stock folded in half and the corresponding envelopes. You could easily change the dimensions to fit different size cards.

*Several colors of wool felt
*Heavy-weight fusible interfacing
*One Button
*Matching or contrasting thread

Cut 1= 9 3/4" x 14" felt rectangle for outside cover
Cut 1= 9 3/4" x 14" felt rectangle for inside cover
Cut 2= 5 1/2 x 9 3/4" felt rectangles for inside pockets
Cut 1= 3 1/2" x 1 1/2" felt rectangle for flap closure
Cut 1= 4" x 1 1/2" felt rectangle for pen holder

Cut 1= 8 3/4" x 13" rectangle of Heavy-wt. fusible interfacing

1. Center the interfacing on the wrong side of your inside cover with the fusing side down. Then fuse interfacing to felt according to manufacturer's guidelines. Set aside.

2. Now is a good time to embellish your outside cover as well as the inside pockets if you like. I just cut some simple shapes out of felt and sewed them where I wanted them with a straight stitch on my machine. You can decorate your cover with embroidery, beads, buttons etc, whatever strikes your fancy. Set aside.

3. Pin the 3 1/2" x 1 1/2" felt closure piece to the wrong side of your inside cover at the right center outer edge. Stitch in place. I just centered mine by eye and made sure it was laying the way I wanted it, then sewed it in place on the machine.

4. On the right side of your inside cover, pin the 1 1/2" x 4" felt "pen pocket" piece to the center (you can fold the cover piece in half like a book and finger press to help you find the center line). Then machine stitch close to the edge around 3 sides to create a skinny pocket for a pen.

Putting it all together:
5. Put the front and back covers together with wrong sides facing each other and edges matched up. Make sure that everything is put together the way you want the finished product to look (you know, right side up, cover art where it needs to be etc.)

6. Now place your pocket pieces on the outer left and right edges of your inside cover, lining up edges. Pin everything in place.

7. Machine stitch through all thicknesses and around all outside edges with a 1/4" seam allowance.

8. I finished my edges with pinking shears, but you could also use a hand sewn blanket stitch or other method.

9. Cut a slit in the flap closure the size of your button. Mark where the button should sit on the front cover of your case, then sew the button in place. And Voila! A lovely handmade letter case to give away or keep for yourself to inspire you to start writing letters again.

If you have any questions or suggestions on how to make this tutorial better, please leave me a comment or email me.

I made the cards by folding 8 1/2" by 11" card stock in half, I then cut out shapes from various fabrics and lightly glued them in place with a glue stick. I machine stitched around the shapes then tied off my thread ends and snipped the extra thread.


Claire MW said...

What a grand idea! I love it! I could make some of these for the holidays!

In the spring, after the shearing, I would like to learn how to make felt. If I am successful in learning how to make felt, perhaps I can send you some and you can be creative with it! It may be mixed llama and sheep wool felt.

Lola Nova said...

I would love to get some hand made felt from you! It would be so special - coming from your sweet animals.

Anonymous said...

Great tutorial, I'll have to give this a try!

Unknown said...

Wow. Do I feel urban. Remember the days when I was a homesteading goddess? No more! You are so cool for doing this and your photographic layout was most impressive. Are you inspired to do a book? I find you, simply amazing!

♥ Karen ♥ said...

Awesome tutorial! I would like to try it out. Thank you so much!

Gloria said...

Beautiful! I'm off to a superstore to buy some felt and this is going to be the first project I want to try!!
Thank you for posting it!