A diagram to help with the terms I’ll be using:
- 12″x12″ piece of 1/4″ corkboard tile (available in office supplies at Target for around $4/4-pack, or art-supply stores for around $10/4-pack)
- 11 3/4″ x 11″ cardboard piece (I cut mine from an old box)
- 11 1/2″ x 11 1/2″ piece of iron-on adhesive (I use HeatNBond Lite), OR fusible webbing
- 2 fat quarters of coordinating fabric for background, and pocket
- Fabric for backing (I used some that I regretted buying)
- 3+ ft of coordinating grosgrain ribbon
- 6″x12″ piece of stabilizer (such as Peltex 70)
Step 1: Cut fabric and ribbon
- Cut background fabric 13 1/2″ x 13 1/2″
- Cut pocket fabric 13″ x 13 1/2″
- Cut 2 strips from pocket fabric 2″ x 15″ for top binding
- Cut backing fabric 13 1/2″ x 131/2″
- Cut ribbon into 2 pieces – one 14″ piece, one 24″ piece
Step 2: Iron iron-on adhesive onto one side of corkboard
Iron adhesive to what will be the front of your wall pocket. You will later fuse your background fabric to the corkboard to keep the fabric from pulling off of the corkboard when you pull your thumbtacks out.
Step 3: Peel off the paper backing and set aside
Step 4: Prepare the pocket
Fold the pocket piece in half so that it is 13 1/2″ wide and 6 1/2″ deep. Center the stabilizer inside the pocket, flush with the fold and pin into place.
Edge stitch along the top of the pocket, securing the stabilizer as you stitch.
Determine placement of 14″ ribbon and pin into place. Using coordinating thread, edgestitch along long edges of ribbon.
Step 5: Assemble the fabric case
Lay the pocket on top of the background fabric, flush at the bottom and sides. Pin into place with pin head sticking out the side so you can see it when sewing later.
Lay the backing fabric right side down on top of the pocket and background, lining up on all sides. Pin into place
Starting at the top right side, using a 1/2″ seam allowance, sew down the side, across the bottom, and up the other side. DO NOT SEW ACROSS THE TOP. Clip the bottom 2 corners.
Turn pocket right side out, pushing out corners with a narrow tool. Slip the corkboard into the pocket, with adhesive facing up, making sure the side and bottom seams are behind the corkboard. Slip the cardboard behind the corkboard so that it is 11″ tall and 11 3/4 inches wide.
Smooth the background fabric out with hands and fuse as much of the background fabric to the corkboard as you can reach with your iron.
Trim the top of background and backing fabric so that it is flush with the top of the corkboard.
Step 6: Prepare the top binding and ribbon hanger
Iron a 1/2″ crease toward the back on the bottom side of each strip of pocket fabric.
Lay the strips on top of eachother, right sides together, raw edges up. Place both ends of the 24″ ribbon between the strips about 11-12 inches apart. The raw edges of the ribbon will be poking out along the raw edge of the strips. Turn ribbon 45-degrees, aiming the end of the ribbon out and pin into place.
Using a 1/2″ seam allowance, sew along raw edge of strips, securing ribbon into the top binding.
Place inside out on top of wall pocket, centering the ribbon along the top of the wall pocket. Mark with a pins the outside edges of the binding, keeping in mind that there is ~1/2 of thickness the binding will have to go around.
Sew a line where the pin was placed.
Turn right side out for a test fit. Adjust as necessary. Cut off extra fabric.
Step 7: Attach the Hanger to the Wall Pocket
Turn the binding right side out, pushing out corners. Place over top of wall pocket making sure the side seams are pushed to the back of the corkboard.
This is where it gets fun. If your machine can sew through corkboard, then use the zipper foot. My machine has moveable needle position so I move it over to the left as far as possible. Lengthen the stitch length to about 3 mm or more. Use blending thread if using this method because the stitches are not always so pretty when sewing through this thickness. You will be sewing through corkboard, NOT cardboard AND corkboard. Use ~5/8″ seam allowance sewing close to the cardboard, but not so close that the binding puckers.
If your machine does NOT sew through corkboard, then handstitch the binding across the front and back of the corkboard. I’ve never done this before, but it should work. :)
Ta da! You’re done!
Step 9: Take a picture for your blog
In retrospect, I should have put the pretty dark blue fabric on the pocket because once the wall pocket is being used, all that pretty fabric is covered up and only the green peas are left. :(
Step 10: Email me so I can come see!
I made my first wall pocket about a month ago. I am NOT an expert on wall-pocket making, but several people have asked me about the process of making them, so here I am – posting a tutorial like I’m some sort of expert or something! Ha ha.
I guess there are 2 things that make this wall pocket unique and challenging: 1. It is a bulletin board on top and a pocket on the bottom; 2. It hangs from a ribbon. Take either of these things out, and the process is MUCH easier.
Without a bulletin board, you could just fill the inside with 2 layers of cardboard and add more pockets. Take away the ribbon hanger so that it just leans against the wall, and the “closing up” process is much easier – no sewing through corkboard required!
I love how there are so many ways to make variations on this idea: extra pockets for pens/pencils or notepad, decorative buttons, etc. I’ve thought that a leather hanger for a cowboy-themed pocket would be really fun as well. Enjoy the tutorial!
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