The Journey

Jan 14, 2012

Toothbrush travel case- the dry one!

This was another "made-with-love" Christmas gift for 2011. From college cousins to married with two kids, this gift covered a lot of people!
So simple and so practical- my kind of sewing!

The idea is that your brushes and paste are wrapped up in a towel in your toiletry bag. The brushes can go in wet, and it won't muck up your bag. The towel can help dry out your brushes during your trip, and of course, the towel can be washed later- a definite plus!

What do you need:
* a hand towel (16" x 30")- you can make two toothbrush holders from this size
* approx 30" ribbon
* matching or coordinating thread
* do I have to say "sewing machine"? If so, you need a sewing machine.

Ok, so I went to Walmart looking for great handtowels and actually came across BEACH towels that were on the clearance rack. They had blue and gray stripes and pink and orange stripes. I knew the stripes would aid in straight stitches, and the price was awesome! I was set!

I don't remember the dimensions of the beach towel, but I know I cut it into equal pieces 15.5" x 15". (I think I got 4 or 6 small towels from the big one.)
ANYWAY, the dimensions of a basic handtowel are 16" x 30" so cut it into two 16" x 15" pieces, and you're ready to go!

It doesn't really matter which side is up or down. Just decide if you want any "pre-stitched" lines in your towel to go vertical or horizontal. One inch won't make a difference either way. I simply allowed the pattern on my towel to make the decision for me...I wanted the lines going vertical so I could match up everything nicely.

You will have one side (or more, if you cut up a larger towel) that needs to be "finished." The great part about buying a towel is that some of the work has already been done for you!
Turn any unfinished side(s) under 1/4 inch and under again. Pin to hold the fabric in place and stitch with matching thread. Reverse stitch at the beginning and end to secure the stitches.
*NOTE: if the edge is going to be the top of your "pocket," you only need to turn it under once and stitch- if it's going to be the top or sides of your travel case, you'll need to turn it under twice as described.
The pinned edge was going to be folded up to make the pocket
so I only turned it under once.
All four of the sides should be "finished" at this point.

Now, we're going to make the pocket. Fold the bottom of the towel up until the entire case is about 9.5" high. The pocket should be about 5.5" high. Your dimensions can vary here a little bit. I bought new toothbrushes to give with the travel cases, and I had them on hand to make sure that the pockets weren't too tall or too short.  My paste was 9" high, so I made sure it wouldn't stick out of the top.

Pin the sides.
Now, we need to mark the correct placement for brush and paste pockets. Starting from the left, I liked putting two brush pockets, one larger paste pocket, and then three more brush pockets. (6 pockets total) The brush pockets were 1.5-2" wide, and the paste pocket was 2.5-3" wide. I use pins to mark the lines and made sure everything fit and was basically equal before I stitched anything.

One more thing before you start stitching- cut 30" of coordinating ribbon, fold it in half and slide it between the fabrics right under the pocket edge. If you have a tag, slide it in on the same side as the ribbon.

The towel is quite thick on the edges, so take your time and be patient with your machine. I ended up starting the project with a new needle because I knew it would make the job a little easier.
Stitch both sides first- you want the sides to match up nicely. These are the thickest and most frustrating lines- so get them out of the way first!

Start from the bottom of the towel and stitch on the lines you have already pinned. Reverse stitch at the beginning and end of each line. When you reach the top of the pocket, go past it one or two stitches to make sure it lays down well. You can see from the picture that I simply pull the thread to the bottom of the next line, reverse stitch, and keep going. Once finished, I clip all the threads at once. You don't have to do this- it just saves time.

That's it! One last thing to do is "fray check" the ends of the ribbon or heat seal them by quickly passing them near a flame.
Fill the travel case with new brushes and paste, roll it up, tie the bow, and give it away.

Take the other half of the towel, and go make yourself one!
Happy making and giving,

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I attached your link to my post to provide a tutorial for my readers. You can read about it here: