Are you looking for a quick and easy sewing project? Well there are few projects easier than making a roll up pencil case.
Not only do these pencil cases make great gifts, they can also help you organize some of the stuff around your house. Yes, you can use them to store pens, markers and, of course, pencils. But you can also use them to hold paint brushes, knitting needles, crochet hooks, and even makeup brushes.
Here’s what you’ll need to make a roll up pencil case.
- A sewing machine
- A pair of scissors, or some other cutting tool
- A fabric marker or marking pencil
- A measuring tool, like a ruler or tape measure
- An iron
- A piece of fabric that’s about 12 ½” wide and 12” long
- Sewing thread that goes well with the fabric you’ve chosen
- A coordinating piece of ribbon that’s about 24” long and 1/4” wide
1. Choose your fabric.
So what should you make your roll up pencil case out of?
A fabric that’s mid-weight to heavy-weight will work best. You want something that can stand up to heavy use. Cotton would make a good choice. Or, if you want your pencil case to be super sturdy, you can use a fabric like canvas. And felt is both sturdy and easy to work with.
2. Cut the fabric.
For this project, imagine we’re making a roll up case that can hold 12 pencils or pens. In that case, you want to cut your fabric so that it’s 12 ½ inches wide and 12 inches long.
If you want your pencil case to hold more, adjustments are easy to make. For every extra slot you want your roll up case to have, just add an inch to the width of the fabric. For example, if you want your case to hold 15 markers, cut your fabric so that it’s 15 ½ inches wide and 12 inches long.
Once you’re done cutting, you can iron your fabric to get rid of any wrinkles.
3. Finish the bottom edge.
Using a zig zag, sew a border across the bottom edge of the fabric that’s about ¼” wide. Just start at one end and sew until you’ve reached the other end.
If you have a serger, you can use overlock stitching instead.
4. Make the fold for the slots.
Take out your ruler and marking pencil. On the left side, make a mark that’s 4 inches from the top of the fabric. Then do the same on the right side, making a mark 4 inches from the top.
Now, using your ruler as a guide, draw a line connecting the two points.
Next, grab the bottom of the fabric and fold it up. You want the bottom edge to line up with that line you just drew.
Finally, pin the pocket in place.
5. Make the measurements for the slots.
Now, you’re going to make marks to indicate where the slots for your pencils will be.
Lay your ruler just under the top edge and make a mark ¼ inch from the left edge. Then, make a mark that’s about 1 inch from the first mark.
Keep making marks in 1 inch increments until you run out of room. You’ll be left with ¼ inch of free fabric on the right side.
Now move your ruler closer to the bottom and repeat the process. Make a mark ¼ inch from the left edge, then make marks in 1 inch increments until you reach the right side.
Now use your ruler and marking pencil to connect each set of marks, drawing a line from the bottom (where the pocket is) all the way to the top.
These lines are where your stitches will go to make the pencil slots.
At the top of the pocket, place a pin next to each stitch line. This will hold that pocket in place during the next step.
6. Sew the slots for your pencils.
Start with the line ¼ inch from the left side, and sew from the bottom of the pencil case all the way to the top. When you first start, do a back stitch to make sure things are secure. And when you reach the top of the piece, do another back stitch for added reinforcement.
Repeat this process on all of the stitch lines.
Once you have finished sewing the slots, trim off the loose threads at the top.
Now, you can finish the top edge. To do it, use an overlock or zig zag stitch to sew a ¼ border across the top edge.
7. Finish off the sides.
Now it’s time to do something about the raw edges on the left and right sides.
Using the same overlock or zig zag stitch you used at the top, sew a ¼ inch border down the left edge, from top to bottom. And then do the same to the right edge.
8. Add the ribbon closure.
When you roll up your pencil case, you’ll need some kind of closure to hold it closed. That’s where that piece of ribbon comes in.
Lay your pencil case on a flat surface so that the pockets are facing down. Then fold your ribbon and make a mark at the center.
Lay the ribbon across the back of the pencil case, about 4 inches from the top. Make sure the center of the ribbon is on top of the border that’s now closest to your left side. Then pin the ribbon in place.
Sew 3 or 4 sturdy stitch across the center of the ribbon, to ensure that it will stay in place.
9. Give your pencil case a test run.
Okay, you’re almost finished. Now it’s time to try out your new pencil case.
Turn your pencil case face up and slide a pencil, pen or marker into each of the slots.
Starting on the left side (the side without the ribbon), roll up the pencil case.
Finally, wrap the ribbon around the case. Tie the ribbon into a bow.
If the ribbon is too long for your liking, you can trim it. Just make sure you trim off an equal amount from each side.
And there you have it. You’ve just made a roll up pencil case.
You’re probably surprised by how fast you were able to complete the project.
Well, now that you’ve made one, making your next pencil case will be even faster.