Introduction: Your Very Own Pocket Protector!

Have a lab coat or work shirt that is lacking a little pizazz? Ever poke, dye, or leak onto your underclothes because you are carrying around dangerous objects in your shirt pocket? Well this Instructable is for you!

Essentially I had gratuitous amounts of time and plastic bags lying around, an iron handy and a lab coat that was screaming for some spiffy pocket protection, so lets learn how to make you the envy of the work place!

Step 1: Materials and Methods

To start with you'll need a pocket in need of protecting. I chose my lab coat.

Next you'll need a waterproof, relatively tough material to line said pocket with. I had been reading up on the new fangled and oh so popular idea of fusing plastic bags to make a fabric so I decided to experiment with this technique! Really you could make a pocket lining out of anything, but like I said the more water/liquid/ ink resistant the better.

Materials used:
-plastic bags
- electrical tape
-saran wrap

-pencil/sharpie ect

Step 2: Lets Make a Pattern!

Fairly self explanatory. Make a pattern of your pocket. Flip it to the side so you have two (side by side) and then I added a flap to the top so we could add some styling patterns later!

Trace your pattern onto some paper and cut it out!

Step 3: Plastic Bag Demolition Time

Gather several plastic bags together. If your worried about the final colour of the protector gather attractive bags, if you are not particularly concerned like me, gather whatever you have. Ultra brand grocery bags were the trend in my house.

Tear the bags apart and lay several together as flat as possible I had approximately five layers, but it really doesn't matter. While doing this make sure all debris and receipts were removed from your bags. Be a creeper and read the receipts and wonder which roommate didn't share their oreo cookies with you.

Plug in that iron and get it good and hot!

Step 4: Fuse 'em

If you happen to have parchment paper or wax paper in la maison nows the time to use it, if like me you have none well plain old writing paper is an all right substitute.

Turn that iron up to medium high, lay some cardboard on the floor or use an ironing board, lay your pile of bags on the surface, and place your parchment/wax/ regular paper on top and run the hot iron over it. Keep it moving, perhaps open a window if the fumes bother you, and continue until the bags become nicely fused together. It could be a while, it took my iron quite some time to melt the bags together satisfactorily.

The benefit of using parchment or wax paper is that the paper will not become stuck to the bags, regular paper totally does. However I just ripped it off afterwards and it was no big deal.

Step 5: Cut Out Your Pocket Pattern

Again fairly self explanatory. Lay out your pocket pattern on the fused bag sheet, and cut it out.

If you need to, run the iron over the pattern again to ensure that the bags are completely fused into one thick, solid sheet.

If, like mine, your pattern has a tendency to want to curl up; run the iron quickly over it, and press it between some heavy books while it cools. It should flatten right out.

Step 6: Stick the Edges Together and Make a Pocket!

Cut out a cardboard pattern of the inside of your pocket, it should be approximately half a centimetre smaller than your original pattern

Fold your fused bags over the cardboard pattern, place some paper over it, and using the nose of the iron steam the edges till they fuse together.

Once your done and remove the card, you should have a fairly tough waterproof pocket. Complete with flap.

Steam and iron the creases until the flap lays flat and everything remains nice and smooth!

Step 7: Lets Make 'er a Little More Hardcore

Nows the time to separate the "cool" pocket protectors from the nerdy ones across the lab. You may have a relatively water/liquid/ink resistant pocket protector now but what if your carrying around something sharp and pointy (scalpel or scissors anyone?) and lets make a fashion statement while we're at it, shall we?

First things first I have a bit of an infatuation with electrical tape, its tough, shiny and sleek. Break it out! I pretty much coated my pocket protector (P.p for those in the know ;) ) in the stuff.

For the flap, I neglected to take pictures of this (my bad!) but I picked out a snazzy logo and broke out some saran wrap. I essentially did the same thing as before, fusing the saran wrap to the plastic flap, utilizing the iron,and sandwiched the image between the layers. Thereby effectively laminating the image and allowing it to be clearly seen through the transparent saran wrap. More electrical tape lines the flap for an oh so pleasing border!

Step 8: Protected at Last!

And your done! Slide the protector in, snap that flap down, and show the world your true colours.

Wander your lab or cubicle in style without worrying whether those pens or caustic chemicals will stain your undershirt. Scissors? Sharp? Pshhhh no worries now! Your safe and styling!

(note I actually tested the capabilities of this and water, ink and scissors did not work their way through to my undershirt. You can carry around a cup of water with ya if you'd really like to! However I do not recommend carrying around any caustic chemicals or uber sharp utensils in your pocket, it's just not a good idea in general!)

Anyway have fun with this, although you may silently wonder why your not invited to parties anymore.....
Pocket-Sized Contest

Participated in the
Pocket-Sized Contest