|My new shopping assistant...|
I'm guessing that what I've been experiencing is pretty much the same around the world, but whenever I get paper coupons these days, most have to be redeemed within a month or so.
Also — generally speaking — most discount offers in the current marketplace are in the form of digital coupons linked to store loyalty programs that are only valid for a specific day or week.
|Outmoded coupon organizer wallet...|
That said, I still do have occasional coupons to keep track of, but the problem with putting them away in a wallet is that they are hidden from my eyes and are more likely to expire before I can use them.
Therefore, necessity was once again the inspiration for my latest project. I needed to make myself something that allows me to carry my coupons with me when I go shopping in such a way that I will always see them...
... along with my shopping list. Lately, I've been keeping my list on small notepad sheets, paper-clipped to my current coupons. And then everything would get all wrinkled and torn as I stuffed it in and out of a purse pocket. Let's just say that the whole situation was begging for a more elegant solution!
|The perfect gift for your favourite grocery shopper...|
This is a double-sided sleeve that holds a shopping list on one side and coupons on the other. Both pockets are made out of see-through vinyl for visibility and convenience. At the top is an optional tab with a grommet that can be used to clip the unit to a lanyard so that it can be worn around the neck or secured to a shopping cart (or the inside of a purse, as it is in my case).
|Food is the basis of my grocery shopping, so this was an apt fabric...|
I used this Bon Appetit fabric for the project. This was part of my gifted stash and apart from making aprons or oven mitts, I didn't know what to do with it. This is as good an application as any.
Materials RequiredAs a scrappy sort of project, if you have remnants of coordinating fabric, you're set. (I would suggest staying with quilting cottons, although this might be a good project for laminates too.) Specifically, you'll need:
- 1 piece of fabric, 8" high x 9" wide
- 1 strip of coordinating fabric, 18" high x 1.75" wide (for binding the shopping list pocket)
- 1 strip of coordinating fabric, 14" high x 1.75" wide (for binding the coupon pocket)
- 1 piece of clear vinyl for the shopping list pocket, 3.5" x 6.5"
- 1 piece of clear vinyl for the coupon pocket, 3.5" x 5.75"
- 1 piece of Peltex, 4" x 7"
- 2 strips of mid-weight fusible interfacing, 17" x 1" and 13" x 1"
- 1 piece of fabric, 4" x 4" (optional, for grommet tab)
- 1 piece of mid-weight fusible interfacing, 2" x 3" (optional, for grommet tab)
- 1 large (1/4") grommet (optional)
- 1 lanyard (optional)
- Clips, scissors, rotary cutter & mat, thread, iron, etc.
Prep the Vinyl PiecesTake the smaller piece of vinyl and make a mark along the right side, 3.5" up from the bottom. Draw a line with a pen from this mark to the top left corner. Slice away this triangular portion and you should then be left with a piece that is 5.75" high along the left edge and 3.5" high along the right edge. Set aside.
Fuse the mid-weight interfacing down the center of the two fabric strips, leaving about a half inch bare at each end.
Then fold and press the fabric strips as if they were bias tape. (That is, fold in half lengthwise, then open it back up and fold the outer edges in towards the center crease, then fold in half lengthwise again.) Press well and use clips to hold together.
|Prepare strips of fabric...|
Bind the vinyl pieces with these strips. Start with the 18" one for the bigger piece, clipping as you go around the perimeter. (And yes, I know this isn't "binding" in the traditional sense.)
|Bind the vinyl pieces with the fabric strips....|
Be sure to mitre the corners. If you need help, check out the process from my wet wipe wallet project.
|Your fingers will naturally find a way to mitre the corners...|
Tuck the raw ends inside at the top corners (remove any interfacing from this area to reduce bulk).
|Hide the raw edges of the fabric by tucking the ends under...|
Carefully sew around the inside edge, at about an 1/8".
|Sew the binding around the piece of vinyl...|
Prepare the other piece of vinyl in the same manner.
|It's fine to finish the angled top corners of this piece with a straight edge...|
By the way, a regular sheet of 8.5" x 11" paper can be cut up into six pieces measuring 2.75" x 5.5" each, to create a shopping list that fits neatly inside the big pocket.
Secure Pockets to Main PieceTake your main piece of fabric, fold it in half with right side out and press. Press a 1/4" to 3/8" seam (whatever best suits you) to the wrong side along all edges.
|Use a 1/4" or 3/8" seam allowance...|
Turn right side up on your work surface and place your vinyl pockets on top, arranging them evenly on either side of the fold, within the pressed seam allowances.
|Lay out the pockets on top of the main piece...|
Carefully sew each pocket onto the main fabric piece, being mindful not to catch the outside seam allowances in your stitching.
|Sew along the outside edge of the pocket frame this time...|
Make Grommet Tab (Optional)Take the 4" x 4" piece of fabric meant for the grommet tab and give it the same "bias tape" fold treatment as you did with the binding for the vinyl pockets. Then take the small piece of fusible interfacing and fuse it onto one half as shown here.
|Interface half of the grommet tab fabric inside of seam allowance...|
Fold it back up, press, and topstitch along both edges. Fold the finished piece in half, clip the ends together and set aside.
Finish Main PieceFlip the assembly over and place the Peltex over one side, tucking it under the edge of the seam allowances. (And since this Peltex is not going to be fused, it doesn't matter what type of Peltex you use.)
|Insert the Peltex into your assembly underneath one of the seam allowances...|
With the help of clips, fold the main piece in half with the piece of Peltex inside. Ensure that your seam allowances are trapped inside as you clip.
|Fold your main assembly in half and secure with clips...|
If you also made the tab piece, slip it in place between the top seams, leaving about 1.25" of the tab exposed.
Very carefully stitch around the entire perimeter at about 1/8".
All that's left is to install an optional grommet and your shopping list and coupon holder is ready to be unveiled on your next trip to the grocery store!
Alternative FinishesIf you have coordinating ribbon, you can use that to bind your vinyl pockets instead of fabric, much like how I made my tablet envelope.
I have extra grommets from other projects so it was no issue to use one here, but if you don't have any grommets, don't feel obligated to go out and buy a pack (since you can't buy just "one"). The tab piece is fully functional as is by threading some cord through it, or you can attach a simple split ring and then clip on a lanyard.
Similarly, if you don't have any extra Peltex lying around, you can substitute cardboard in a pinch, although it will not be as durable.
These might make good stocking stuffer gifts for friends and family this holiday season. Tuck in some cash or a gift card — or personalized coupons — and you're done!
Like it? Want to keep it? For a copy of this tutorial in PDF format, go to my Craftsy shop and download it for free!