Are you going to any overnighters this summer? Do you need an easy way to carry your toothbrush? This tutorial will show you how to make a super cute, travel toothbrush roll. It's a nice way to keep all your tooth care items together in one place, ready to go when you are.
Take your toothbrush roll to Grandma’s, or camping trips, or sleepovers … or, any other reason you are away from home and need to take care of your teeth.
Here's how to make one!
The teaching method on this website always involves grown-ups by having them do some prep work before sewing sessions. Taking time to do this extra step really helps things go smoother for beginners.
However, if you and your child are experienced sewers, scroll past the parts that don’t apply to you right on down to today's tutorial.
9" x 12" (23 x 30cm) sheet of felt (I used Ecofi Classic, 100% polyester for this project.)
Felt scraps - white for the toothbrush bristles, and a colour for the handle
Ultra-fine Sharpie® marker
Printed toothbrush template (link below)
Grown-up Prep Work
Step 1 Make the Template
Download and print the free Brush Your Teeth page from Imagine Our Life.
Make a template by gluing the handle and bristle section of the page onto thin cardboard (photo A).
Trace the handle onto a colourful piece of felt scrap, and the bristles onto white. Cut 1 handle and 1 bristle.
Cut the felt sheet into a 9" x 9" (24cm) square.
With the square on an ironing board – either side facing up is fine – fold the bottom 3" (8cm) upward.
Press with an iron on wool setting to crease. This flap will later form little compartments for dental care items to slide into; let’s call the flap a pocket.
Skip the next 2 steps if your kiddo is an experienced sewer.
On the pocket portion only, at the center (4½" (12cm) in from the side) make a vertical line of small dots with an Ultra-fine Sharpie® marker. Dab on dots from the fold to the edge. Make them about 1/8th" (3mm) apart.
Repeat 2¼" (6cm) to the right of the center line.
And again 2¼" (6cm) to the left.
There should be three, short dotted lines on the felt (photo B).
With the pocket section folded in place, and the 3 dotted lines you just drew facing you, mark dots for blanket stitch placement up one side, across the top and down the other side of the felt. Make the dots ¼" (6mm) from the edge and ¼" (6mm) apart (photo C). Leave the folded edge unmarked.
Keep the pocket section folded.
Flip the felt over.
*IMPORTANT: The side now facing you is the side that will be on the OUTSIDE of the finished toothbrush roll when it is rolled up.
Find the centres of both the ribbon and the folded felt. Mark these spots with straight pins, or safety pins, or a dot. Your kiddo will be matching these two centres later, so mark it age-appropriately.
Now, the project is ready for the sewist!
Make it Yourself, Felt Travel Toothbrush Roll
Skills you will need for this project:How to thread a needle
How to tie a knot
How to hide a knot to begin a line of stitching
How to sew a running stitch
How to sew a blanket stitch
How to add new thread to the blanket stitch
9" (24cm) felt square, prepared by a grown-up
Felt handle and bristle
Needle and thread
25" (65cm) of 3/8" wide (10mm) craft ribbon, to tie the finished toothbrush roll closed
Step 1 Make the Toothbrush
● Overlap the handle and bristle pieces. Move them around until they look like a real toothbrush.
● Pin them together.
● Sew them together with running stitches (photo D).
● Poke up through the bristle piece only, close to the handle, but not through it.
● Poke down near the jagged edge.
● Sew 6 or 7 random stitches, side-by-side like this (photo E). It will look like bristles. Isn’t that smart?
Step 2 Attach the Ribbon and Toothbrush to the Felt Square
● Put the felt square on the table in front of you.
● Your grown-up has marked the middle of the ribbon and felt. Look for those 2 marks. The example in the pictures shows straight pins. Match them by making them touch each other (photo F). Pin them together if you need to.
● Pull the ribbon straight out, side-to-side.
● Put the toothbrush on top of it, close to the top right-hand corner. Don’t cover up the blanket stitch placement dots, though!
● Pin through all 3 layers – the felt square, the ribbon and the toothbrush (photo G).
● Sew a running stitch around the toothbrush and bristles. Be sure that some of the stitches go through the ribbon (photo H).
TIP: Use straight pins like an extra pair of hands to hold the ribbon out of the way while you sew.
TIP: Keep checking every stitch or two to make sure the thread isn’t tangling underneath or catching on the straight pins.
Step 3 Sew the Pockets and Sides
● Fold the pocket flap.
● Use the dots that your grown-up made as a guide, and sew 3 lines of running stitches on the pocket.
Start each line from the folded edge and sew to the top edge. You will have to reach way down inside the pocket and hide your knots by the fold, but if you start by sewing the middle line it will be easier.
TIP: Sew 2 or 3 extra stitches to anchor the beginning and end of each line (photo I).
● Now, choose which direction you want to sew the blanket stitch and hide the knot near the fold.
● Blanket stitch up the side, across the top and down the other side. You will run out of thread a lot! How to add new thread to the blanket stitch is explained in this blog post here.
● When you come to a corner, sew 3 blanket stitches in the very same dot; 1 to the left of the corner, 1 on the corner and 1 to the right of the corner. Make the stitches so they spread out around the corner like a Thanksgiving turkey's tail. You will have to move the thread with your finger nails to get the stitches to go into that nice fan shape (photo J).
The toothbrush roll is ready for you to tuck your travel-size toothbrush & toothpaste into the pockets. Remember a tree brush for your braces … dental floss … and some extra pocket money!
Roll it up jelly-roll fashion.
Tie the ribbon to hold everything inside.
Cut the ribbon tails if they are too long.
Well done, you! When they see your toothbrush roll, I bet everyone at the sleepover will want to make one! You can teach them how, or you can just send them here. Have fun at the pyjama party!
Shared with the kid-friendly sites in the side bar and these:
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