Most ready made pocket charts are pretty hideous, less than sturdy and fairly expensive for what you get. When I found these beautiful calendar cards on 1plus1plus1equals1, I knew I needed to try to make a pocket chart worthy of displaying them.
If you would like to make your own you will need:
- A piece of heavy fabric (if using regular cotton or other lightweight fabric, attach fusible interfacing to the back) the size you want your completed pocket chart to be, PLUS four inches extra added to the height (I wanted my finished chart to be 28″ x 28″ so I cut my fabric to 28″ x 32″)
- A 1/2″ wooden dowel the width of your pocket chart MINUS 3″ (my dowel is 25″)
- 1/4 yard of premium vinyl
- Coordinating thread and bias tape (I needed 3 packages)
- Dry erase marker
- Carpenter or quilting square
- Sewing supplies
- Grommets (2-4)
1. Find the top of your fabric. On the WRONG side press under 1/2″.
2. Press again at 1 1/2″. Sew close to pressed edge. This will provide a nicely finished top and a thick layer of fabric to attach your grommets to later.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the bottom edge. This will create a casing for the dowel.
4. Using the square and a fabric pen or chalk, mark horizontal lines for the pocket placement. I wanted 7 rows for my chart so there is room for a title and 6 rows for calendar dates. My cards are 3.25″ tall, so I marked horizontal lines every 3.5″ to allow a little space between each row.
5. Use a dry erase marker and the square to draw your pockets on the vinyl. My pockets are 2″ tall and 28″ wide (the width of the chart). Cut out the vinyl with a utility scissors, please do not use your fabric scissors!
6. Cut 7 pieces of bias tape, each the width of the pocket chart. Attach to one long edge of each pocket with paper clips.
7. Sew the bias tape to the vinyl using the longest stitch possible (on my machine this is “4”).
8. Pin each vinyl pocket to the chart as shown. Note – the bias tape is the bottom of the pocket. Sew each pocket to the chart, again using a long stitch.
9. Next, use the square and a dry erase marker (only on the vinyl) to mark the vertical line placement. Sewing along these lines will create a pocket for each card.
10. The next step can be a little tricky…sewing along each vertical line. When you sew directly on the vinyl it rends to stick to the presser foot. To prevent this I place a napkin on each side of the sewing line, which allows the presser foot to glide. (I have also heard that putting scotch tape on your presser foot will work, if you don’t mind sticky residue on the foot when you are done). Use your longest stitch and sew up from the bottom so you don’t catch or wrinkle the pockets while sewing.
11. Almost done! Cut 2 more pieces of bias tape, each 1″ longer than the chart (mine were 29″). Fold and press each end in 1/2″. Pin one piece of bias tape to the right side of the chart, encasing all vinyl edges. Sew.
12. Insert dowel into bottom casing, sliding it all the way to the right.
13. Attach and sew remaining piece of bias tape to the left side as directed in step 11. Center the dowel in the casing.
14. Add 2-4 grommets to the top casing.
15. Hang and enjoy!
After discovering how easy sewing with vinyl could be I went a little crazy. I made:
a pocket chart for our artist studies,
more pocket charts
and even a pocket chart to hold the cards for the other pocket charts!