Handmade Sloth Gift Bags for Book Buddies

On most Fridays during our daughter’s kindergarten year, the kids would meet up with their book buddies – students from a 4th grade class who came into the classroom and helped the kindies read and complete themed craft projects.  Our daughter would just gush over her book buddy, also named Sophia, and would point her out to me in the hallway whenever she saw her.  About halfway through the year, I had our daughter, S, find out what some of her book buddy’s favorites were – colors, animals, etc.  She reported back that Sophia loved sloths and the the color teal.  Shortly after, I found some cute sloth fabric at my local craft store, and got the idea to make a zippered pencil bag for Sophia.  There was a little turquoise color in the print, so I picked out a matching zipper and gray fabric for the lining.

….months pass by….

All of a sudden, or so it seemed, the end of the school year was upon us.  I was working to get teacher appreciation cards finished, and still had this pencil bag idea on my To Do list.  S came home with her kindergarten binder filled with achievements, photos, and other documents – inside were two letters written to her by her book buddies – yup that’s plural.  Apparently S was given an extra book buddy, someone originally paired with another student that moved to a different class.  I recall her telling me one day that she had two book buddies, Sophia and Lexi, but thought it was just for that day and didn’t realize that Lexi stuck with her throughout the remainder of the school year.  Each of the girls’ letters to S were so sweet, and I wanted to make sure they BOTH knew how much we and S appreciated their kindness and friendship.

Luckily, I had purchased enough fabric to make a few bags – one practice and two to give away.  I used a turquoise zipper for Sophia’s bag, and a light gray zipper on Lexi’s.  Even though I am a beginning sewist (I seriously just googled what to call a person who sews), I didn’t want the bags to fall apart or be punctured the first time they put a pencil in, so I lined both bags with a gray and white patterned fabric, and used interfacing on the back of the sloth print fabric for sturdiness and durability.

I like the finished look of a boxed bottom, so I did that for each bag, which also helped them stand up on their own.  Of course, the perfectionist in me really wishes I could have lined up the vines (and bodies) on the sides, but I was really happy with how they turned out, so I guess I’ll work on that part next time.

Each bag was stuffed with an assortment of goodies, and I also created some bookmarks and two boxed sets of cards that I managed to stuff in there at the last minute – unfortunately after these pictures were taken.

Finally, I attached these cute sloths to the outside of the bags with some ribbon, and tucked in a personalized thank you card for each girl.  I know S is excited to see her book buddies in the school hallways in the fall, and they’ll always have a special place in our hearts!

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