Make a DIY passport cover for your summer travels. It’s an easy beginner sewing project that you can make in an evening. You can use fabric or felt, and you can decorate the front how you wish. I decorated mine with a Chicago flag to give as a DIY gift for my friend, and I share my stars and stripes free template below. Keep reading to get my DIY passport cover free sewing pattern.
My friend Debbie has accumulated an enviable amount of stamps in her passport. Each year she plans a “big trip” which recently has meant China, Costa Rica, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary and Brazil.
See also: ‘Oven mitt free sewing pattern’ »
I wanted to make a unique DIY gift for Debbie’s birthday so I came up with the idea of a passport cover featuring the Chicago municipal flag:
- The three white stripes = North, West and South sides of the city
- The top blue stripe = Lake Michigan and the North Branch of the Chicago River
- The bottom blue stripe = the South Branch of the Chicago River and the Great Canal
- Stars = Fort Dearborn, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the World’s Columbian Exposition and the Century of Progress Exposition
I can get such a knot-in-my-throat sense of pride about Chicago. As a big 2016 Olympics bid supporter, Debbie gets it too. Happy birthday, Debbie …and happy travels!
You’re welcome to use these instructions and free sewing pattern for your own personal use. Anyone using the template simply post a comment below.
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Supplies for making a DIY passport cover:
- Kathy’s free star Chicago flag template (optional) (PDF)
- Cream fabric
- Light blue fabric (I used super soft fleece)
- Red fabric (small amount for stars)
- Iron-on craft weight interfacing
- White, red and light blue thread
- Rotary fabric cutter
- Clear fabric ruler
- Self-healing mat
- Good fabric scissors
- Sewing machine
How to make a DIY passport cover:
Step 1: Decorate the front of your DIY passport cover (optional)
Decorate the front of your passport cover. If you’d like to make a Chicago flag, print out my free Chicago flag template and cut out the pieces. Iron interfacing onto the wrong side of your red fabric. Trace four stars with a pen and cut out.
Step 2: Cut out fabric pieces for your DIY passport cover
Cream outside: 12.5″ wide x 6.5″ tall
Light blue inside: 12.5″ wide x 6.5″ tall
Blue flag strips: 3″ wide x 1″ tall (cut two)
Interfacing: 12.5″ wide x 6.5″ tall
Iron the interfacing onto the wrong side of the cream fabric.
Step 3: Sew your DIY passport cover
Fold the cream outside piece in the middle (above left), wrong sides together, and crease. Measure 3.5″ from the middle crease on both sides, fold wrong sides together, and crease. Fold the short left and right ends 1/2″ on each side, wrong sides together, and crease.
Lay out the stars and stripes on the right side of the cream front. Using your sewing machine’s zigzag stitch to sew down the stripes first, then the stars one at a time.
Step 4: Attach the front of your DIY passport cover to the back
Sew the light blue inside to the cream outside, wrong sides together, using a 1/2″ seam and leaving one of the short ends open (above left). Cut off some of the fabric bulk from the corners, turn right side out, and iron. On the open end, turn the cream and blue under 1/2″, tuck inside and pin.
Step 5: Topstitch and finish your DIY passport cover
Make it look nice by topstitching close to the edges using cream thread on top and light blue in your bobbin. Fold in the left and right flaps so they’re 3.5″ from the middle crease, then pin and sew along the edge (right on top of what you just topstitched using cream thread) to secure the flaps.
Step 6: Slip your passport inside
Slip your passport inside and head for O’Hare.
Be sure to pin this DIY passport cover free sewing pattern for beginners:
And be sure to see more free sewing projects.
Copyright stuff: You’re more than welcome to use this free project and tutorial for personal use. Contact me for commercial use and Etsy sales.