Thursday, November 18, 2010

Our Continent Bags - Storage

Earlier this week I wrote about our continent bags and now I want share with you how I store the items inside of the bags.

For each bag there are a few 3-part card collections as well as various sets of photos, postcards, maps, etc. I knew I needed a way to keep everything organized and separate so I created some envelopes for each set.

First, the 3-part card envelopes. Admittedly, these are not the most perfect envelopes, but they get the job done. Whenever possible I try to avoid using plastic in our classroom mainly because I don't think it's aesthetically pleasing, but, since I needed quite a few of these and since I can't afford nor do I have the ability to make something like this, I had little choice. My dear friend, Susan, shared this link with me and I was inspired to create my own variation. UPDATE: Also visit Montessori Print Shop's excellent photo tutorial!

As you can see, I added a flap to one end and a little square of velcro to keep the envelope closed while its not in use. I used scrapbooking paper and kept in mind the coordinating continent colors. I added a label to the front of the envelope, too.

These were really easy to make and if you'd like to create your own, here's a quick tutorial:
1. Simply cut the paper based on the size of your 3-part cards.
2. Fold up the bottom (this will end up being the pockets).
3. Crease the paper lengthwise to create three sections.
4. If you'd like, create and adhere a label to the front cover of the envelope. I made a few of these without a label so I could use them for general use in the classroom.
5. With just the bottom folded, put the paper through a laminator.
6. Cut away the excess plastic and refold the paper using the creases as a guide.
7. Using an Exacto knife, very carefully cut slits in the plastic just above the fold. Doing this will create the pockets.
8. Add a square of velcro to the front cover and to the word card section.

You'll notice the plastic does buckle/bubble a bit when folded. Like I said, these aren't perfect, but if you can look past that flaw you'll find they are a quick and cheap alternative.

I also made some very simple pockets using the same kind of fold, laminate and cut method. I really like how these turned out and I'm so glad to finally be putting some of my scrapbooking paper to use!

For the various loose object, such as animal figurines and souvenirs, I hand stitched some small drawstring pouches.

Lastly, I used basic pocket folders (the kind you can find at any office supply store) to store large paper items such as maps and information sheets. Again, I color coordinated these with the traditional continent colors.

I hope you found this helpful! You might also enjoy these other posts from my Continent Bag Series:
Our Continent Bags
Our Continent Bags - North America
Our Continent Bags - Asia
Our Continent Bags - Antarctica
Our Continent Bags - Europe
Our Continent Bags - Africa
Our Continent Bags - South America
Our Continent Bags - Australia

~Thank you for your comments!~


Karen said...

You{re amazing!!! It{s a lovely and original way to present the continents!! soooo organized... like everything you create!!! BEAUTIFUL my friend!!
Big Hugs!!

Olives and Pickles said...

Mari-Ann, you really did a great job making these storage folders!!Here is another link for you to have other options for storage files.
I can't wait to see more stuff from your continents bags.

Anonymous said...

oo these are so amazing! I can't imagine what you would be able to create if you lived in the states where you were able to get your hands on different materials! Love the drawstring bags!

Jen said...

You're soooo organized! How do you do it? I love the little bags and I'm with Lindsay... you'd be able to create even more amazing things if you lived in the US! Just another reason to move back... (hint hint) :)

Susana of Montessori Candy said...

Hi Mari-Ann! Thank you so much for sharing these awesome ideas. I know as a mom time is precious, so thank you for taking the time to share! This is definitely what I would call "Montessori Candy" and would love to share it with my readers! I'll be emailing you soon :)

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

Everything you do is done so thoroughly and beautifully. I am sure James will love those continent bags

Leptir (Nataša) said...

I like it! Thanks for sharing :-)

Maureensk said...

Wow! I love it all. BTW, thanks for explaining the colors in response to my comment on the previous post. I'm eagerly awaiting getting to see each continent's contents.

Julia said...

Hy Mari-Ann! He hestado curioseando por tu blog y me parece que hay actividades muy interesantes! Me pregunto cómo te vienen a la cabeza tan gran cantidad de cosas para hacer, y sobre todo aplicarlas al método Montessori.
PD: Espero que cuando hagas la bolsa sobre Europa metas cosas de mi país, España!

Julia Aparicio

Amina said...

Hi Mari-Ann

I really love your blog, here is so much insperation.

I will "steal" your idea from the continent storage. They are so nice.

I have done this material that I will put in my bags/boxes.



They are for free if someone want to use it.

Take care and keep up your good work


Michelle Gibson said...

Hi Mari-Ann,

Do you share on your blog how these are used? I'm in love with your continent bags, but thought we'd start with the 3-part cards. Thanks for any links you can offer!



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