Almost every teacher I know has the uncanny ability to take common household supplies and turn them into some sort of classroom supply. One of my favorite DIY student materials is a Ziploc flashcard pouch. Over the past few years, I manufactured DIY Ziploc flashcard pouches for back to school. Using quart-sized Ziploc bags and some duct tape, I make a pouch that clips into student binders to hold loose materials.
At the beginning of the year, I give each student a pouch to hold vocabulary and grammar flashcard rings in their binders. The pouches also work well for math facts flashcards, sight word flashcards, username/PW information for school apps, and a variety of other everyday classroom items. Written directions are below or watch THIS 5-MINUTE VIDEO that walks you through the steps.
Flashcard Pouch Materials
- quart-sized Ziploc bags (go for heavy duty, so they don’t rip before the end of the school year)
- duct tape in a fun color/pattern (I like Duck Tape brand that has the crazy patterns)
- single hole punch
- sharp scissors
- one piece of notebook paper to measure the distance to punch holes
Flashcard Pouch Directions
- Put one Ziploc bag on a flat surface, opening at the top and the front of the bag facing up.
- Eyeball the length of a piece of duct tape that reaches from the bottom of the Ziploc bag to the “collar” or area where the bag snaps together.
- Cut the length of duct tape you need and place the duct tape on the flat surface, sticky side up.
- Place Ziploc bag on top of the sticky side of the duct tape only covering half of the width of the tape strip.
- Fold the remaining exposed part of the duct tape strip over the top of the plastic bag, so the left edge is covered with a strip of duct tape.
- Hold the notebook paper with the bottom two holes over the duct taped edge of the bag. Line up the bottom of the piece of notebook paper with the bottom edge of the Ziploc bag.
- Hole punch two holes into the Ziploc bag.
- Clip into binder.
Miss Priss is attending an American Girl camp this week, which got my creative juices flowing. Since the camp is being held at a school site, I thought we could make school supplies for the dolls. Like all good mother/daughter projects, Miss Priss got bored; TheRoomMom went overboard.
I will say that the 2-ring binder requires a steady hand and a glue gun, so some of the school supply construction was beyond Miss Priss’ capabilities. She made all of the pencils and did most of the work on the pocket folders. On the horizon are some sort of camping supplies for American Girl. Project brain is already engineering fake s’mores and lanterns.
American Girl Pencil Cup with Colored Pencils
- round toothpicks
- Sharpie markers, various colors
- sharp cutting tool (like an X-acto knife)
- plastic lid from a non-aerosol bug spray bottle (these are the same lids I used for the smoothie/milkshakes)
- Cut the toothpicks in half and sand the cut end until smooth.
- With a Sharpie marker, color the very tip, leave some space, then color the base of the toothpick all the way around.
- The proportions are a little small for American Girl, so you may want to cut the toothpick down about 2/3 to get a longer pencil than what we have.
- Use the plastic lid as a pencil cup and place all finished pencils in the lid.
American Girl Pocket Folders
- cardstock, variety of colors
- paper cutter or scissors and ruler (highly recommend a paper cutter)
- Elmer’s glue
- little decorative stickers, scraps of paper
- Avery labels (1/2″ x 3/4″), optional
- Cut a piece of cardstock into a rectangle 5 1/2″ x 3 3/4″. Carefully fold in half and press the crease firmly.
- Cut 2 pieces of cardstock into rectangles 1 1/4″ x 2 3/4″. These will be the pockets. If desired, cut a diagonal out of one side to make the inner pocket edge slope. We liked the pockets in contrasting colors, but you could make the pocket color and folder color match.
- Put a thin line of glue around the bottom and outside edge of the pocket piece. Press each pocket piece onto the interior bottom of the left and right side of the folder. Let dry. Remember to leave the top and center sides unglued, so you can add papers to the pockets.
- Cut scraps of paper into small pieces. I used some junk mail I had. Slide papers into the pockets.
- On the exterior of the folder, decorate with mini stickers or the Avery label with a class subject written on the label.
American Girl 2-Ring Binders
- cardstock, variety of colors
- paper cutter or scissors (recommend a paper cutter)
- ruler (recommend metal)
- printer or notebook paper
- silver jump rings (7 mm)
- silver paint pen
- silver colored poster board
- Elmer’s glue
- X-acto knife
- hot glue gun
- needle nose pliers
- I originally saw the the binders in this Pin. This woman makes items for dollhouses, so the proportions were too small, but her directions are very good.
- Cut a piece of cardstock into a rectangle 6 1/2″ x 3 3/4″. Put the piece of cardstock landscape direction on a table. Draw a line 3″ in from the left edge and 3″ in from the right edge. Using a ruler (I recommend a metal ruler), wrap and crease along the lines.
- Cut a piece of silver posterboard 3 1/2″ by 3/8″. Round off the ends if desired. Glue the skinny piece of posterboard to the center of the cardstock between the 2 folds. Let dry.
- Cut 3 pieces of printer or notebook paper 5 1/4″ x 3 1/4″. Stack the 3 sheets and fold in half.
- With the pointy end of an X-acto knife, poke a hole through the folded sheets of paper near one end. Repeat at the other end. If you want a 3-ring binder, you could poke 3 holes, but this stuff is tiny, and I think 2 holes are sufficient.
- With pliers, pull open 2 jump rings. Thread the jump ring through the paper. With the pliers, close the ring.
- Hold the papers with the jump rings over the skinny silver posterboard piece and eyeball where the jump rings sit. Put 2 small blobs of hot glue on the silver posterboard piece and push the jump rings into the glue. You can use a toothpick to push things around if needed. Blow on the glue to cool.
- It is easy to get the folded side of the papers stuck in the hot glue. I was able to peel the paper away without separating the jump rings from the glue.
- Finally, put 2 silver dots on the outside spine with the silver paint pen to look like the screws on the outside of a binder.
- You can add pockets to the binders following the directions for the pockets in the pocket folder above.
American Girl Clipboard
- flat, wooden rectangle 3 5/8″ x 2 5/8″
- mini binder clip (I think I found these in the fancy brad fastener area at Michael’s.)
- Paint the wooden rectangle or decorate with stickers (or both). We left ours the natural wood color and added mini stickers from the American Girl Mini Scrap Books (see below).
- Cut paper to fit the clipboard.
- Clip paper to the clipboard with the mini binder clip.Metal “handles” can be up or down.
- In the American Girl craft aisle at Michael’s, we found a Mini Scrap and Stuff Books set. It came with the tiny spiral notebooks and the little stickers we used on the clipboard and outside of the pocket folders.
- I located the mini manila file folders in the gift label section of Hobby Lobby. We wrote on the mini Avery labels and attached the white label to the tab.
- The teeny tiny envelopes with enclosed notecards were in the baby shower/party aisle at Michael’s. The package had a variety of envelope and note sizes.
Check out other American Girl crafts on this post and this post.