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The holidays are a popular time to stop and thank teachers and all of the wonderful staff at school for all they do.
This gave me the idea to make him his very own mail play set, complete with envelopes, notes, and name labels. I even repurposed a small box as a "package" for him to deliver.
I love to use UltraShape Xpress templates in my sewing projects. They make great patterns for appliqués, and for this project, I used an envelope template as a pattern for my fabric envelopes. I used an older template for my envelopes, but Fiskars has a new scallop edge envelope that I’m linking to below.
These fabric envelopes have been a big hit! They are just the right size for little hands, and the interfacing makes them nice and sturdy. I'm finding that the canvas that I used is fraying a bit, so I'll probably add some Fray Check to the edges to keep them from unraveling too much. I started by making two envelopes, but I'm already getting requests of more mail, mama! so I think I'd better make a few more.
To make the envelopes, I started by tracing the USX envelope template onto paper, and then cutting it out of my canvas using my Softgrip Pinking Sheers. Once it was cut out, I stitched a small bit of Velcro onto the front of the envelope.
I used the scoring template to determine where Iíd need to make folds, and then ironed them into the fabric. I cut small pieces of stiff interfacing and canvas and layered them in the middle of my envelope to give it a bit of stability. Then I closed up the bottom of the envelope and stitched around four sides to make sure it was all held in place. The top flap was left open so we can put letters inside.
My older boys are enjoying writing notes to their little brother and tucking them into his envelopes for him to find – but the little guy has a while to go before he learns how to write. In the meantime, I've made him a set of fabric notecards that cover a few basic sentiments. He brings them to me and has me read the messages, and then he picks which one he wants to send.
Once I'd made the letters, I decided that it would be fun to make a little package for my mailman to deliver. And he is definitely loving it. He is always on the lookout for little trinkets or rocks that he'd like to send to someone in our house.
I started with a kraft jewelry box, and simply stitched a piece of Velcro to the top. I then made a set of labels to use with the box and with the envelopes - I stamped names on a scrap of canvas, then cut them out with my Softgrip Pinking Shears. I attached a bit of Velcro to the back of a scrap of red fabric, then layered the canvas over red fabric, stitched the canvas in place, and then cut around the edge of the red fabric with the pinking shears.
For the inside of the box, I used my XL That's Amore Squeeze Punch as a guide to stitch the shape of a heart on canvas layered over red fabric. I then cut around the edge using my pinking shears, and stamped 'XOXO' on the heart.
Now that we’ve made the mail, our little postman needs a mailbag, right? This not only gives him a good way to carry the mail around, it also serves as a place to put all of the little bits and pieces away. I wanted the bag to be small, so it's easy for him to carry – you never know when you're going to need to take a break from your mail route to ride your trike or fight a bad guy.
I kept the bag simple - I made an unlined messenger bag to hold all of my little guy‘s mail. I started by using my Comfort Grip Rotary Trimmer, Clear View Ruler and Cutting mat to cut my fabric into two panels that were 10 inches x 10 inches.
I put a 1/2in hem at the top of each piece, and then set them aside. I then cut another piece of fabric that measured 7.5 inches x 10 inches and put a .25 inch hem around all four sides before attaching it to the back of the bag.
For the strap, I cut a strip of red fabric that measured 4 inches x 32 inches. I folded it in half, right sides in, and then stitched a seam along the open edge. Once that was done, I turned it right side out and ironed it flat before attaching it to each side of the bag.
To label the front of the bag, I printed out the word mail on scrap paper. I used fusible interfacing on a small scrap of red fabric, and then cut each letter out with my my Comfort Grip Micro Tip Scissors the sharp ends of these scissors make it so easy to cut detailed shapes. I also used my Medium Twinkle Twinkle Squeeze Punch to make star to use as a pattern and cut out two stars. I then arranged the letters and stars on the flap of the mail bag and ironed them into place to finish the bag.
Now my little guy is ready to deliver the mail! He’s already had a lot of fun playing with his mailbag, and having the name labels for each member in our family is helping him recognize those letters. I love watching him pick which letter he wants to send and seeing how proud he is when he delivers it. This mail set would make a fabulous gift for any toddler or preschooler in your life.
1 yard neutral canvas
1 yard red polka dot fabric
Lightweight fusible interfacing
Stiff fusible interfacing