Show Me Back 2 School: Teacher Edition

Wow…School time is here! I actually kinda secretly like going back to school. Not because I like to be “back to work” but I LOVE getting my room ready for the new year. I am entering my 6th year teaching kindergarten and get so excited to see it all come together. I have been “Show Me’d” from a very early age so applying Show Me techniques to my room came naturally.

The first thing Show Me encourages is to pick a “theme” and go with it. When considering my theme for my room I thought about 3 factors: Does it inspire children? Is it ecstatically pleasing? & Can I stand to look at it everyday? Dr. Seuss was the perfect fit! The goal in creating my room was to keep it simple and effective.

Of course my room is still in progress…I still have a few days to get the final touches in place. Meanwhile I want to share my favorite “necessary assets” to my classroom. With limited storage space to keep supplies I kept looking for ways to meet the dire need for storage of the students personal things: school boxes, folders, journals and just plain work. I kept going back to chair back bags that I had seen in the teacher magazine. However the cost per chair back was over $5.00?!? After looking at how they were made I determined that I could do make these myself. My first set was made along side my Grandmother (she’s the real seamstress in the family.)

Show Me: How To Make Chair Backs


Canvas Fabric (2 yards of each color)

Tape measure/yard stick





1. Choose a heavy weighted fabric. I chose 4 colored canvas fabrics (the colors represent the colors of my tables in my room).

Canvas fabric typically come in widths of 60 inches. This is great because I can get 4 chair backs out of 1 yard of fabric! Reminder I teach kindergarten and our chairs are very little and each chair back measures 14 in. x 36 in.

2. Cut fabric into 14 in. x 36 in. strips. Hint: Canvas will tear on the bypass so simply mark fabric and cut a small slit and then “rip” fabric. This provides you with a nearly perfect line.

3. After all the fabric is cut into strips you will iron the chair backs into place. Hint: ironing holds the shape of the chair back for sewing.

Fold a 1 inch seem at the top of fabric and iron

Turn fabric over and iron another 1in. seem going in the opposite direction.

Fold bottom half of fabric about 10 inch and press

Turn fabric over and fold fabric approximately 7 inch and press

This creates a tri-fold. A large pocket for material and smaller pocket that will slip onto the chair.

4. Add flare to your chair back. I chose to add a strip of ribbon at the top of the outer pocket. Hint: Pin ribbon into place and prepare for sewing.

5. Sew a straight hem across the top pocket

6. Turn fabric over and sew hem on chair pocket side.

7. Using 2 straight pins, pin at the top of outside pocket securing chair back for sewing.

8. Simply sew a straight hem down each side of chair back.

9. Cut excess string from chair backs.

Now only 28 more to go! I will post a final picture of room soon!

Katy Harrison Thomas


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