Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Make Your Own Travel Chopstick Case

Although this technically falls under the crafting category of "things you didn't know you needed," it is still a really cute idea. The premise is that instead of wasting a pair of disposable chopsticks every time you go out to eat you carry along your own pair.

There are other designs floating around for these cases which inspired my design (and those might have better instructions if you are looking for a really precise tutorial). Although you can make these with one piece of fabric I wanted mine to have a contrasting interior so I started with two sets of fabric to make two cases:


Here is where I have to make a confession about where I got the fabric: I bought it at Walmart. I usually try to reuse or recycle fabric as much as possible but I was really picky about the prints I wanted for these and Walmart has this new section of fat quarters for quilting which has some surprisingly modern patterns.

Out of each set I cut one of each of these shapes:


(You'll see later why the outside piece is larger than the inside piece.)

I then pinned them together with the right sides facing each other and sewed along the bottom (leaving a gap large enough to flip it right side out later):


I then pulled the shorter side up so the points of both pieces met (but it is still inside out):


Here it is pinned together:


I sewed all the way along the remaining sides and trimmed off some excess fabric at the corners:


Now the case is ready to flip inside out (so the right sides of the fabric are on the outside now). The last major step was to sew the opening closed and then fold the bottom up to where it begins to angle towards the point and sew that down on either end.


This is what one end looks like:


The reason I made the outside piece bigger than the inside was that if they had been the same the seam would have come out at the top of the little bit you folded up and I thought it would look neater if it was on the inside. So essentially it is being hidden on the inside of the little pouch you make.

Now all you need is something to keep it rolled up. I sewed a piece of ribbon on the outside of the point and added a button over it to cover my messy hand stitching. I folded the ends of the ribbon over and sewed those down to keep them from unraveling.


Slip in the chopsticks and its ready to be rolled up.


I didn't give you dimensions for how big to make it because it really depends on the chopsticks you get. The ones I found are actually children's chopsticks that I got at a local Asian produce store. I specifically got the children's sets because they are much smaller and therefore more conducive to being lugged around in a purse all the time. Here's a closeup of the chopsticks, they're actually very cute:


Here it is all rolled up and ready to go:


I ended up making three of them. The top one was the test run so I'm keeping that one but the other two are gifts.


Here's the button from the bottom one, it came in a bag of vintage red buttons. It's a face!


Hopefully these came out sturdy enough that they can be thrown in the wash after they are used.

So those are my kind of instructions. If anything isn't clear feel free to ask and I'll attempt to explain!

17 comments:

  1. Oh this is so cute and it would make a fun gift as well. I'd love to link to this if you don't mind!

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  2. That would be fine, I really enjoy your site, lots of good ideas!

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  3. That's a cute idea, Becca! I don't use chopsticks,but maybe I can think of some other reason to make one. hehe

    Walmart and fat quarters, huh? Hmmm. Do I need fabric? No. Will I go look anyway? Yes.

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  4. You are so awesome! This is a great idea and would be cool take homes from a party too...brilliant!

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  5. I loved this idea so much I translated your pattern to work for my fork, knife, or sometimes spoon I tote to work. The great thing about this is it works both as a tote and a napkin. I made one for every day of the week then toss them into the laundry! Thanks for this inspiration!!!!!

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  6. What are the measurements for the two pieces?

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  8. Becca- i am doing a blog on the evils of plastics and suggesting alternatives...such as carrying chopsticks around instead of using the plastic to go utensiles. Would it be ok to use a pic and put your link under the pic? thanks!

    susann

    lovegracemartinis.blogspot.com

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  9. Susann - definitely! sounds interesting!

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  10. http://lovegracemartinis.blogspot.com/

    alllright girl! here it is! thanks again :)

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  11. That's a very cute idea. Hopefully I'm capable of making one for myself.

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  12. glad i found your site... :) i was actually thinking of buying instead... however, with this really kawaii idea, i think i'll just go grab some fabric and make my self one of this. :) Thanks for this and take care... :)

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  13. I made these yesterday. Thanks for the help! I would have loved to have had a pattern to print, though. :)

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  14. what size or pattern if the triangle paper template? great idea and i would love to make one thanks nancy

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  15. Measurements? That's kind of important.

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  16. Measurements? That's kind of important.

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