Graduation time is amazing. Full of promise, plans, and. . . . just a wee bit of panic, too. The DIY Essential Kits I found for you today are designed to send some of the security of home with your favorite grad. They’re perfect for traveling, practical and don’t take up much room. And, while they all look a bit girly, you can easily make them to suit your particular grad’s taste and style!

Image Source: Sew Mama Sew blog

Sewing Kit

Rips happen, and when you’re living at college or off on a gap year tour, sewing supplies can be hard to find. Ashley, a guest blogger on the Sew Mama Sew blog, designed a super-sewing kit you can easily stitch up and gift. It holds LOTS of supplies and has, as Ashley says, “the properties of Mary Poppin’s magical bag!” This is a great kit to sew for any graduate – man or woman. Just use colors and fabrics that suit the person and include supplies you think are best for their situation. And, don’t forget matching or contrasting thread and an appropriate zipper to go along with your chosen fabric. If your favorite grad is a sewist, include a gift card so they can pick their own DIY Essential Kit notions! Click here for the tutorial.

First Aid Kit

Amy of the Positively Splendid blog loves to give gifts that are out of the ordinary, yet very useful. She’s hit that goal in so many ways with a First Aid Kit tutorial that is perfect for graduates! Amy chose a home décor fabric that’s just right for the amount of use this on-the-go kit will endure. The design includes lots of edge stitching, so plan to practice and find the best sewing machine foot you have for nice straight stitching. You’ll enjoy Amy’s hints for turning these girly-style DIY Essential Kits into a man-friendly take along. The step by step directions are great and I love that there are plentiful pictures of the open kit so you can plan how to fit everything inside. As Amy says, your finished kit will be a “veritable first-aid command center for on the go!” Click here for the tutorial.

Manicure Kit

While on Amy’s Positively Splendid blog, I also found a fabulous Manicure Kit that any graduate would love. I do mean “any” because even the guys need lotions and clippers to keep their hard-studying hands in shape! You’ll need just a bit of fabric, fusible fleece and vinyl to stitch up Amy’s handy DIY Essential Kit design.  I love the fabric combo she used, but of course, you’ll choose what will work best for the intended grad. As in the First Aid kit, Amy’s instructions include great step by steps and lots of photographs. I love that she’s included a protector pad so your grad can mani on the go. Filling this kit will be one of the most fun parts of the project! Click here for Amy’s tutorial.

Image Source: Sew4Home blog

Make Up Brush Roll Up

Originally created as a travel accessory, a Make Up Brush Roll Up is one of the DIY Essential Kits for dorm life, too. When the bathroom is down the hall, a stylish, practical way to carry your supplies is required. Alicia, Debbie and Liz collaborated on this versatile design offered on the Sew4Home blog. If you’re including a new set of brushes or shaving supplies with the kit, be sure they’re nearby for measurements as you plan. I love the hints and tips included in this tutorial! Take special note of their method for marking the stitching lines by using wax paper. Pretty clever! The Brush Roll Up is part of a series sponsored by Free Spirit Fabrics and any of their fabric collections would be fabulous choices. For the guys, though, you may want to use canvas, faux leather or vinyl. Click here for the tutorial.

All of these are great DIY Essential Kits for Grads, but you may need to make these for yourself, too. Just to test them out, you know! And, don’t feel limited by their original intended uses. Change them up a little, personalize kits for your favorite grad, and gift them with joy!

About the Author


Annette Millard began sewing at the age of three, made her first dress at ten and is always happiest with needle, fabric and thread in her hands. Annette feels very privileged to have spent most of her work life in the sewing industry and loves teaching, making her own handmade wardrobe and writing about sewing. She spent over ten years as the newsletter and web site content writer for the Pacific Northwest's largest locally-owned family of fabric stores and is now thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for sewing with the Sewing Secrets community. Follow Annette and more of her sewing adventures on her own blog, www.sewfullife.com.

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