DIY Art Bag and What's In My Bag

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DIY Art Bag by Kiley in Kentucky.jpg

This blog post is a two-fer!

Not only am I sharing what lettering and drawing supplies I keep with me at all times, but I get to share my first sewing project!

As you probably know if you follow me on Instagram, I got a sewing machine for Christmas, and it has taken over all my free time! FINALLY, I can put my love of pretty fabrics to good use by making things: cute things, wearable things, and best of all functional things.

First on my to-make list was a zippered pouch to hold lettering supplies on-the-go. Until now, I’ve been keeping a few pens and a pencil in the built-in zipper pouch inside my purse. But, I bet I don’t have to tell you that’s no longer doing it for me. I wanted a large enough pouch to put a couple of traveler’s notebooks, all the lettering tools I wanted, and a couple extra items that make art-ing on-the-go a lot easier.

But before we dive into choosing what goes in the pouch, let’s talk about this gorgeous fabric. Kelly Parker Smith, one of my favorite people to follow online and to listen to (she is the co-host of Creative Biz Rebellion) has designed some gorgeous patterns in her latest fabric collection, Brooklyn.


Kelly so kindly sent me fat quarters of each fabric in her collection, and I didn’t even have to think about what I wanted to create with them. The hard part was deciding which fabric would be the lining of my pouch—I didn’t want to hide any of them!

For my first pouch, I decided on ‘Back Terrace’ for the outside, and ‘Fire Escape’ for the lining. I picked up a white 10.75 inch zipper from JoAnn (though a fun-colored zipper would be so cute for this) and used good old white thread.


Since I was designing this pouch myself, I get to decide how large it is! When choosing my zipper length, I was mindful of how long each of my lettering tools and travelers notebooks were. How deep my pouch would be was completely up to me. I got VERY scientific with my measuring process, and simply laid all my desired tools onto the lining fabric. Then, I measured. My final pouch ended up being 10.75’’ Wide by 8.75’’ Tall.


I’m not going to break down the steps of making a zippered pouch for you, because Dana does it SO WELL in this YouTube Video (Her whole channel is awesome). What I will share with you is how wonderful this fabric was to work with. As a sewing newbie, I don’t have experience with a wide range of fabrics. The fine cotton fabrics in Kelly’s Brooklyn Collection are buttery soft, delicate while holding their shape, and bright. I loved them, and I think I could make some awfully cute summer tank tops with them! Working with fabrics that are easy to work with, but also a nice quality, is important to me as a beginner.

I highly recommend checking out the Brooklyn Collection for sewing lovers of any skill level.


Now, let’s talk about what’s inside.


Being both impatient and artsy-fartsy, it’s important to me to have doodling, drawing, lettering, and writing supplies at my fingertips when I’m out and about. Waiting at a restaurant, at the doctor’s office, at a coffee shop, for a friend, going on a road trip, or just plain sitting down on a bench to draw something that inspires you are all excuses to carry your own supplies with you at all times. Since I don’t carry a backpack or a computer bag unless I’m expressly going somewhere to work remotely, I will be throwing this zipper pouch into my purse.


Inside I have several Tombow Dual Brush Pens, a mechanical pencil, an extra eraser, washi tape, a Fudenosuke Soft Tip (my favorite), a Mono Drawing Pen, and two traveler’s notebooks. I have a TON more room to add more supplies like a small watercolor set, Pentel Waterbrush, and anything else my heart desires.


For now, I’m simply sticking with my go-to supplies that are easy to use, mess-free, and can be whipped out wherever I happen to be.


Do you have an on-the-go art bag you keep in your purse or backpack? If so, what do you have inside, and when do you find yourself using it?

I’d also love to know if you sew, and if you’ll be sewing your own pouch. Like I said, I can’t recommend Kelly’s Brooklyn collection enough! Give it a look again and try not to buy it all!

Kiley Bennett 2019

Kiley Bennett is the lettering artist, blogger, and teacher behind Kiley in Kentucky! Starting in 2015, Kiley in KY is a one-stop- shop for anyone learning the ropes of brush-lettering. Access everything from free work-sheets, super simple tutorials, to affordable self-paced online courses--all of which arecreated in Kiley’s home studio. 

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