How to Make an Art Portfolio Case


An art portfolio case can be fairly expensive -- especially if you are a student or budding artist on a budget. However, with a few inexpensive items, a moderate understanding of sewing, and a little time, you can make a custom portfolio you will be proud to use.

Things You'll Need

  • Sewing machine
  • Steam iron
  • 4 yards heavy fabric
  • Matching thread
  • Scissors
  • Two full sheets mat board or cardboard
  • Measure out 100 inches of 45-inch wide fabric. Denim or light canvas work great. Cut two 100-inch lengths. Fold each in half, right sides together, as shown in the illustration. With your sewing machine, sew around the outside edge leaving a ½-inch seam. Leave the unfolded edge open. Your finished product will look like a giant pillowcase. Turn both pieces right side out and steam-iron each one flat. Then topstitch around the sewn edges to make a nice finished edge.

  • Next, lay the pieces one on top of the other with the open ends facing the same direction and sew across the bottom edge. Measure your mat or cardboard to fit snugly inside each side of the case. Leave enough room at the outside edge so you can fold it in to make a finish seam.

    At the open end, fold the edges to the inside and pin or baste closed. You can hand-sew this opening shut, or machine-sew it. What you have resembles a large book.

  • Cut four lengths of fabric 24 inches long and 3 inches wide. With right sides together, sew ½-inch seams along the two long sides. Turn right side out, steam-iron, and topstitch along the seams to finish. Pin or baste each handle to the top of the portfolio and sew in place.

  • Cut four lengths of fabric 8 inches long and 1½ inches wide. Fold each over lengthwise and sew around three sides, leaving one end open to turn each piece right side out. After turning right side out, steam-ion flat, then attach one tie on each side of the portfolio about 10 to 12 inches from the top.

Tips & Warnings

  • You will be able to carry large pieces of art, canvases, sketch pads and watercolor paper in your new portfolio. Tie the sides together when carrying articles to keep them secure.
  • You may want to add a pocket on one or both sides of your portfolio to carry brushes or other art supplies. Embellish your portfolio with paint, ribbon, collage using fabric glue, etc. Using unbleached canvas is great if you intend to paint on your portfolio.
  • Photo Credit Image by the author
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