How is it back-to-school time already? It’s the middle of August! And yet, tomorrow is my daughter’s first day of school. I remember when summers lasted… well, all summer. But back-to-school time it is, and that means school supplies. As much as I don’t like the idea of summer ending, I always end up having fun buying fresh new supplies.
And I don’t know about you, but my school supply shopping trips usually end up with more than a few items in the buggy that are only tangentially considered school supplies. Cute pens? Yes! Sticky notes? Yes! And how about colored pencils and coloring books? Sure, why not? I think those impulse buys help take the sting out of a summer cut short.
So in the spirit of getting cute supplies that may or may not be actually used for school, I’ve got a tutorial for making a Pencil Holder Easel Pouch.
It’s a pencil pouch and stand all in one. Inside are elastic loops to hold 8 of your favorite pens or pencils. Open it up, and with a few simple folds, and you’ve got a pencil stand so your pens are easy to reach.
I’m pretty proud of this design. It took quite a few tries (and fails) before I settled on this configuration. Plastic canvas inserted into the pouch gives it body so it can stand up. The pouch is able to flip back on itself so it can easily convert from a pouch to an easel pencil holder.
From the outside, it looks like a pretty standard snap pouch.
Open it up, and you see the pencils in the loops.
Fold the cover all the way around to the back…
and then tuck under the flap and scootch it back on the bottom layer. The cover is jointed so it will fold even though it’s got plastic canvas inside.
Now, fold that back piece up and snap it to back of the stand to secure it.
BOOM! Now your pencil pouch is an easel stand for your pencils!
It would make a great gift for a teen or tween, especially if it came preloaded with a selection of pencils. Add in a sketch book or coloring book to make a complete kit for art on the go.
Here’s a quick stop motion video my daughter created to show it in action.
Fabric for outside & lining (5” x 22” scrap of each is big enough. You can use fat quarters.)
Lightweight fusible interfacing
1 ½ yards bias tape
Plastic snaps and snap setting tool
Temporary fabric marker
Prepare your pieces
Cut out all pieces.
Mark notches on outside and lining pieces. Make sure your notches are less than ¼” deep.
Fuse the fusible fleece to the back of the outside piece.
Fuse the lightweight interfacing to the back of the lining piece.
Use a temporary marking pen to transfer pattern markings on to the front of the outside, lining, and elastic pieces. For markings in the center of the pattern, I use an awl to punch a hole in the pattern and then mark through the hole.
Install snaps on outside piece
Following manufacturer’s instructions, install 2 snaps (socket side) on the outside piece where marked on the pattern.
Install snaps and elastic straps to lining piece
Install 2 snaps (stud side) on the lining piece using the bottom pair of snap markings (Use the pair of markings just above the rows of dots, NOT the ones closest to the curved corners).
Sew the elastic straps to the lining, matching the dots marked on the lining to the lines marked on the elastic. The space between lines on the elastic is slightly longer than the space between the dots, creating the raised loops for the pencils to slide in. Start at one end of the elastic and work your way across, matching dots to lines and sewing them. For a stronger seam, reduce your stitch length (I used 1.5) and back stitch at the beginning and end of each stitch line.
Assemble the pieces
Layer the lining on top of the outside piece, WRONG SIDES TOGETHER. Sew around the edges with a scant ¼” seam allowance, leave one whole straight side open.
Stitch across the pencil pouch at the markings. I use a temporary marking pen to mark my stitch lines first so they’ll be good and straight.
Insert plastic canvas pieces into the four openings at the side of the pencil pouch.
Sew straight edge closed with a scant ¼” seam allowance.
Trim ends of elastic even with the edges of the pouch.
Finish it off
Finish the edges of the pouch with bias tape. If you don’t already have a favorite method, this is what I do:
- Open up one side of the bias tape and sew it around the front (outside) of the pouch in the ditch of the fold,raw edges touching. Ease the tape around curves and miter the corners (see how here). Sew all the way around and overlap the beginning by about ¾”.
- Flip the bias tape around the raw edges of the pouch to the lining side, and glue it down with the folded edge of the bias tape just barely past the stitch line. Ease the curves and miter the corners. Press with a hot iron to dry the glue.
- Flip the pouch back over (outside is on top) and top stitch the bias tape down 1/8” from the seam.
Finally, following manufacturer’s instructions, install 2 snaps (stud side) on the flap at the markings. The snaps sound go through both layers (outside and lining), with the smooth cap on the outside and the stud on the lining.
Your Pencil Holder Easel Pouch is finished!
Load it up with pencils so you can take your art with you wherever you go!