Many teachers and students are returning to schools for in-person instruction, so I thought it would be good to design a COVID protection kit. I also thought it would be fun to give one away.
So, make sure to get all the way to the end of this post so you can enter to win the one I made in this post! I will even personalize it with the first name of your choice.
Now, back to the task at hand.
There are a plethora of face mask options and even face shields, but those only part of a comprehensive approach to staying safe when kids and teachers return to on-campus instruction.
We all know that hand washing is king of the hill, of course, when it comes to killing the virus. There are other methods people can use throughout the day however to keep the bacteria at bay.
So this got me to thinking about how to design something that would hold some essentials and is easily portable. It also had to be backpack friendly – not too heavy or stiff, and easy to store among the books.
I also thought it could be something that people could make as a teacher appreciation gift. Because, as we all know, this isn’t an easy situation for anyone.
School Administrators Face New Challenges
Many school administrators, though, are taking these new challenges in stride.
If you haven’t seen it already, the video below by Dr. Lee is worth your time. I really admire Dr. Lee’s approach to educating and supporting his community.
And this parody video is sure to make you smile; you may even sing along.
Just as Dr. Lee supports his students and families, I am hopeful that the Create To Donate projects and tutorials provide you with the support you need.
The intention of the site has always been to share methods and ideas that allow you to make things you need for your family, friends, and community.
What Is A COVID Protection Kit?
The idea behind this COVID protection kit is to have a single place where key personal protection items are kept.
These items include: fabric or disposable face masks, hand wipes of any type, and gloves.
There is also an extra pocket for band-aids or any other first aid-type items you might want to include.
It’s always good to have personal protection equipment on-hand so this kit provides an easy-to-find option to fill, the store and find in a backpack or bag.
I didn’t include a space for a small bottle of hand sanitizer because, even before COVID, most people had it in a small holder on the outside of a student’s backpack. Plus, who wants to take a chance of it leaking?
Make A Coronavirus Protection Kit
The construction of this kit is basically just cutting and sewing a lot of rectangles in a specific sequence.
One pocket includes a zipper. If you are new to zippers, this is a great starter project.
Materials and Tools
The materials you’ll need to make this COVID protection kit are straightforward and likely things you’ll already have in your sewing stash.
So, head to your craft space to find your materials and let’s get started! I included the exact sizing of each of the pieces in the step-by-step process after the materials list.
– Main fabric (18″ x 22″)
As I mentioned, the visual presentation is up to you. So, your main fabric can be a patterned fabric that you use for the whole kit or just the outside.
This 18″ x 22″ piece will be cut up into the different pieces needed for the kit. Pay close attention to the direction of the fabric when cutting. You’ll want the 18″ side to follow the direction of the fabric.
You can use any type of fabric: quilting cotton, denim, canvas, etc.
Make whichever fabric you choose is easily machine washable since this will need to be washed and dried regularly. If you want this personal protection kit to be super flexible and fold over easily, 100% cotton is your best bet.
For the purpose of this project, I am using a print design and the “backing” fabric for the inside panels is a contrasting color.
– Contrasting fabric (11″ x 18″)
Once again, depending on your design, you may not need a contrasting fabric.
It is fun, however, to have a different look to the inside than the outside. This fabric should be of comparable weight to your main fabrics so that the finished kit holds it shape well.
– Fusible fleece (11″ x 18″)
Using fusible fleece gives the COVID kit some body and helps it hold its shape. The type of fusible fleece I used for this project is the Pellon 987.
– One 9″ zipper
This is used to as part of the masks pocket.
– One plastic snap (optional)
Having a snap or small piece of hook and loop tape will keep this closed when it’s not being used.
I like that it the snap allows it to fold over neatly and keeps it closed inside a bag. It’s not necessary, though, if you prefer just to let the fold in the fabric keep it closed.
As an affiliate, I may receive a small commission if you purchase one of these products using a link below.
How To Sew A Back-to-School COVID Protection Kit
Step 1: Cut the materials for front/outside panel to size.
The front panel is the one on the outside of the kit. This is a single, continuous piece of fabric that will fold in half like a book once the kit is complete.
For the front panel, you need the following:
– A piece from the main fabric that measures 11″ x 18″.
PRO TIP: Pay close attention to the fabric direction. You want the pattern to be right side up and therefore want to cut 11″ side of the piece in the direction of the fabric.
– If you haven’t already, cut your fusible fleece to size, which is 11″ x 18″.
Step 2: Cut materials to size for left, inside panel.
The inside of the COVID-19 protection kit is made by combining two different panels.
I choose to construct it this way in order to trap some of the pocket edges on the right-side panel into the inside seam.
For the left, inside panel you need:
– An 11″ x 9″ piece from the main fabric.
– An 11″ x 9″ piece from the contrasting fabric.
Step 3: Cut materials for right, inside panel to size.
The right, inside panel is the most complex of all the panels. It includes two different pockets – one for wipes and one for masks (disposable or reusable).
The wipes pocket is what I’m calling a “peek a boo” pocket.
The edges are not supposed to meet because you want a hole big enough to pull the wipes through the hole. If you like this to be a little bit tighter than I have it, then increase the top piece by half an inch.
The pocket for masks has a zipper to keep them clean and well secured.
If you’re new to zippers, this is a great way to start. All you’ll be doing is sewing the fabric to the zipper and then top stitching to finish it.
Step 4: Assemble the front panel.
I like to get the easiest stuff done first so that I can spend the bulk of my time on the things that need my attention most.
It’s also a fun to know know I’m well on my way to getting a project done.
So assembling the front panel is the best first step, when making this coronavirus protection kit.
This step is as simple as fusing the fabric to the fusible fleece. If you haven’t worked with fusible fleece before here are the basic directions
– Lay the fusible fleece down on your ironing board with sticky-side up. You can tell it’s the sticky side because it is rough to the touch.
– Lay the 11″ x 18″ piece of main fabric, right-side facing up onto the fusible fleece.
– Set your iron to the “cotton” setting and let it come to temperature.
– Set the iron down on the edges of the main fabric to start fusing the pieces together.
Do not push the iron back and forth. You want to pick the iron up and set it back down on the fabric, instead.
– Do this for the whole piece of fabric until it is fused completely to the backing. You can tell that it’s finished since the fleece loses some of its springiness.
Step 5: Assemble the left, inside panel.
The left, inside panel is also straightforward, but involves a little bit of finishing before sewing the two fabrics together.
The main fabric is used to make two separate pockets on the left side of the kit. So, we want to finish the inner edge before attaching it the backing fabric.
To do this, take your main fabric piece and place it wrong side down.
Now, fold over the left edge 1/4″ toward the inside and clip. Sew the edge down using a straight or zigzag stitch.
Use a fabric marking pencil to mark a line down the center of the fabric on the 11″ edge. The exact measurement is marking the fabric at 5.5″.
This will help you create the two pockets on the left, inside panel.
Use a straight stitch to follow the marked line and sew the backing and main fabrics together.
You now have a completed left panel!
PRO TIP: If you want more than two pockets on the left panel, decide the pocket size, mark accordingly, and use a straight stitch on each of the lines.
Step 6: Assemble the right, inside panel.
As I mentioned earlier, the right, inside panel of this COVID protection kit is made up of two parts: the wipes pocket and the mask zipper pocket.
MAKE THE POCKET FOR THE WIPES
Let’s start with finishing the pieces for the wipes.
While two of the raw edges will be hidden within seams, two of the edges will be visible and actively used.
So, fold over 1/4″ of the top edge of the large piece and 1/4″ of the bottom edge of the smaller piece then sew it down using a straight stitch.
Once again, pay close attention to the direction of the fabric when folding and sewing the edges.
MAKE A ZIPPER POCKET FOR THE MASKS
The front of the zipper pocket isn’t difficult to construct. It does, however, include the most steps.
If you are already familiar with creating pocket fronts with zippers, then you probably don’t need the instructions below.
For those of you still mastering including a zipper in a project, I have provided detailed pictures and instructions.
Prepare to sew the zipper to the bottom piece of the pocket by clipping them together. You want the zipper and the main fabric right sides together.
For right-handed people, you’ll want the zipper tab on the left.
The beauty of sewing your own items is that, if you have any left-handed folks in your family or friends, you can make their day! All you have to do is put the zipper tab on the right side and they will forever thank you for making their lives easier.
Sew the zipper an fabric together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Then, fold the zipper to the outside and top stitch.
To double check my work, I always set the fabric piece out the way it should look (above) before clipping it to the zipper.
Clip the 2″ top piece of fabric to the zipper, then sew it to the zipper.
Fold the fabric to the outside, then top stitch.
Finally, fold over the bottom of the pocket 1/4″ and top stitch to finish the edge and complete the front of the zipper pocket,
Step 7: Sew the two inside panels together.
You have finished both inside panels and now they need to be sewn together to create a single inside panel.
The left panel is ready to go, but the right panel still needs a little TLC before you clip them together.
To prepare the right, panel line up the zipper pocket’s top edge with the top edge of the backing fabric to place the fabric. Fold over the bottom edge of the pouch 1/4″ to create a finished edge.
Next, take the top part of the wipes pocket and tuck its top edge 1/4″ under the bottom edge of the zipper pocket. In a later step, you will secure this with a straight stitch.
The bottom part of the wipes pocket is the last remaining piece. So, line up the bottom edge of the piece with the bottom edge of the contrasting fabric.
Place the left panel right side down, on top of the right panel and clip the left edges. The open edges of the left panel pockets should face the inside.
To have the zipper edges catch nicely in the seam, I open the zipper up just a little bit and then clip just the zipper to the fabric exactly where I want it.
Sew the two panels together using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Step 8: Assemble and finish the COVID protection kit.
You’re almost done!
To complete the project, you need to secure the bottom edge of the zipper pouch, sew the two panels together, and add some finishing touches.
So, let’s start with finishing the zipper pouch. You want to sew a straight line about 1/8″ from the folded bottom edge. This secures the bottom of the pouch and the top of the wipes pocket.
Now, lay out the two panels, one of top of the other (like the above picture) to double check that the fabric direction is on point.
Then, place the one panel, right side down, on top of the other.
Clip around all of the edges to prepare the piece for sewing.
Make sure to mark a place for around a 3″ hole on one of the edges in order to turn the piece right sides out.
Sew around the entire piece using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Turn the piece right sides out.
Tuck the edges of the hole 1/4″ toward the inside so that they will be sewn shut when you top stitch. (I typically clip this to keep is secure until it’s sewn together.)
Then, finger press or use an iron to help the seams lay flat around the whole rectangle.
Top stitch the whole piece using 1/8″ allowance.
OPTIONAL: Add a snap to the kit.
I like to add a kam snap to the COVID protection kit, but it is not necessary since the design allows it to fold and stay closed without it.
People have been using kam snap for eons, but it wasn’t until recently that I decided to dive in and buy a kit. And, I have learned that they are a very useful supply to have.
If you choose to add a snap, place it at 5.25″ inches on the long edge of the right side and about a 1/4″ toward the inside, from the edge.
Fill Your Handmade Kit With Supplies
Now it’s time to put your handmade COVID protection kit to use.
One of the best things about this design is that you can make it very personal. The wipes can be basic hand wipes or specific anti-bacterial wipes.
The masks can be disposable or reusable.
And the two pockets can be filled with gloves, or extra filters, or band-aids.
You could also sneak some little notes in one of the pockets to surprise your kids when they use it!
When you put it into the backpack, you can insert it among the books or fold it up and put it on top of them.
Customizing Your COVID-19 Protection Kit
The plan all along for this COVID-19 protection kit was to make it special for the person using it.
This is why the pattern is simple. The visual design should really be where you get to have the most fun!
Designing the kit can therefore be as simple as using a single, beautiful fabric or combining it with a contrasting fabric. Then you can decorate it with applique or using some heat transfer vinyl to apply a fun saying.
For a couple of the kits I made recently, I combined a couple of those options together for the main kit design and then made a custom patch with the favorite team of the recipient.
How To Enter The Giveaway
I appreciate your support and therefore want to give the kit I made in this post to one lucky reader.
Not only will you get the handmade kit, but I will get you started and fill it with some disposable masks, gloves, and hand wipes! I will also personalize it for you and add the first name of your choice in black heat transfer vinyl in the right-hand corner.
More information about the rules of the giveaway and the ways you can enter are detailed below.
Good luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway
Monday 7th of September 2020
Very cool idea! This will be featured in this week’s Creative Compulsions.
Monday 7th of September 2020
Michelle - Thank you so much for hosting the link up and for the feature.