Throwback pencil case post

This throwback pencil case post brings back some nice memories and is useful for the beginning of the school year. Many years ago I ran a workshop/chug of local pre-tweens and tweens. This was long enough ago that quite a number of these young women are married with children on the way. In fact one recently told me that she really enjoyed the chug, and the ability to free-form or free create doll clothing was helpful to her to the extent that today she designs dresses. I’ve seen the dresses both at weddings and on Shabbat and they are way more sophisticated than anything I ever taught. But it is always nice to hear positive feedback. Posts about the workshop were some of the first posts on this blog, before I started adding posts related to the Bnei Akiva bencher and family celebrations like Bar and Bat Mitzvah.

No Set Projects

The nice thing as well as the hard thing about the course is that we usually chose projects based on interest. I rarely required set projects unless I wanted to tie into a holiday. Even then, there was quite a bit of leeway for the girls to learn techniques and come up with their own ideas. This worked well with my group although perhaps it would not work with every group.

Plastic Bags Projects

One of the projects we decided to try was making items out of plastic bags. There are many ways to do this, we wanted to try ironing bags into layers to come up with a sort of plastic fabric. This was before supermarkets started to charge for bags at the supermarket, so most people had way more plastic bags than they could use. I asked the girls to bring in interesting bags and I collected all types of bags too.
Here are some ordinary “shuk” outdoor market bags:

plastic bags
But we used all types of bags with all types of designs. The girls created their particular collage of bags and then, with supervision, ironed them together:

Ironing plastic bags into bags via Birkat Chaverim
Not all bags worked well, so there was also an experimental aspect to seeing what worked and what didn’t.
Here is one plastic fabric piece after it was ironed. Note the different bags that make up the piece.

Ironed plastic bags into "fabric"

Throwback Pencil Case

Once the girls had a piece of fabric, they could choose to make the fabric into a pouch or bag. Here are some examples:

Tween made plastic bags bag Tween made plastic bags bag  Tween made plastic bags bag

Tween made plastic bags bag

This type of project can make a good pencil case for school. If you put holes in the bag with a hole puncher, it could also be stored in a three ring binder.

Note that most of the girls used the sewing machine to keep the pieces together and for decoration. They could also be attached using clear packing tape and washi tape. We used aplix to close the bags. Alternatively, zippers can be used. I hope you enjoyed the throwback pencil case post. You can find other posts from the workshop and back to school projects on our blog.

Two images in the process of making plastic bag pencil cases with text plastic bag pencil cases.

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