Learn how to sew a pencil case with my easy sewing tutorial! It’s a quick project you can make from your scraps, and it makes a great gift.
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I’m kind of obsessed with cute pens and office supplies. I can’t ever get enough of them! So of course I love making zipper pouches and pencil cases to keep them all organized. They’re so quick to make and I can always find a use for them.
I recently made a drawstring backpack and had some scrap fabric left over. I’ll give you one guess what I decided to make with those scraps.
I actually ended up giving the backpack to the little girl who lives across the street from my mother. And now a matching pencil case makes this an extra special gift!
I’ve got a tutorial showing how to sew a pencil case below. You can find the tutorial for the backpack here.
A little pencil case like this one doesn’t take that much fabric – just a few scraps for the outside and the lining. You’ll also need some scraps of fusible fleece, a zipper, and a swivel hook.
With the zipper set in flat down the middle of the pouch, it’s easy to see all your pens and pencils and grab the one you want.
If you want to take your pencil case to the next level, see my boxy pencil pouch tutorial. It's very similar to this pencil case, but with boxed corners to give it dimension.
And the swivel hook lets you attach your pencil case to a bag handle so it’s always easy to find. Or, on the drawstring backpack I made, you can attach it to the cord at the side of the casing.
Have you noticed that I put swivel hooks on all the little pouches I make? (Okay, not actually allll, but a lot of them!) I’m kind of addicted to them. My little monster earbud pouch has one. My color block mini zip pouch also has a swivel hook.
The seam allowances do show on the inside, but they’re just the seams at the ends so you won’t really see them. Plus, doing it this way makes it quicker to sew and you won’t have to do any hand sewing at the end. I zig zag over the raw edges so they won’t fray.
How to Sew a Pencil Case
Gather your supplies
Main fabric – 2 pieces 4” x 10”
Lining -2 pieces 4” x 10”
Tab – 1 piece 2” x 2.5” from lining fabric OR 2.5” grosgrain ribbon or twill tape
Fusible fleece – 2 pieces 3.5” x 9.5”
11” (or longer) nylon zipper (affiliate link) You could use a 10” zipper but I think it’s easier to use a longer zipper and trim it down after it’s sewn in.
½” swivel hook (affiliate link)
Prep your pieces
Follow manufacturer’s instructions to fuse fleece to the back of your Main fabric pieces.
Make the tab (optional)
If you’re using grosgrain ribbon or twill tape instead of a fabric tab, you can skip this section.
Press the Tab piece (2.5” x 2”) in half lengthwise, then open up and fold long edges to the center and press again.
Re-fold at the middle crease and stitch down both sides close to the edge.
Install the zipper
Start by making a sandwich with your zipper and bag pieces. Layer one of your Lining pieces face up, then the zipper face up along one edge, and then a Main fabric piece face down.
I like to use a zipper longer than the bag pieces so I can let the top of the zipper stick out past the fabric by an inch or so. This puts the zipper pull on the portion of the zipper tape above the fabric, so I don’t have to mess with stitching around the pull when I’m sewing the zipper in.
Use a zipper foot to sew along the zipper.
If your zipper is the same length as your fabric, stop stitching when you get to the zipper pull. With the needle down into the fabric, raise the presser foot and pull the zipper pull past where you’re stitching. Put the presser foot back down and resume sewing.
Turn right side out and press. Top stitch close to the zipper.
Repeat with the remaining Main and Lining fabric pieces on the other side of the zipper. Make the sandwich with the Main piece face up, then the zipper face down along one edge, and then a Lining piece face down. Sew along the zipper.
Then, like before, turn the fabrics right side out and top stitch close to the zipper.
UNZIP THE ZIPPER at least half way.
Set your machine to a wide zig zag and a very short stitch length (as you would to create a satin stitch). Stitch the open ends of the zipper together, 1/8” in from edge of pencil case. Sew at least 3 stitches to make sure it’s good and secure.
Assemble the pencil case
Flip the layers so the outer bag pieces are right sides together, and the lining pieces are right sides together.
Stitch the outer bag pieces together down long side with ¼” seam allowance. Stitch the lining pieces together down long side with ¼” seam allowance.
Turn right side out so the Main fabric is out the outside and the Lining is on the inside, then press.
Now, turn your pencil case inside out.
Take the Tab and thread it through your swivel hook, bringing the ends together to create a loop.
On the unzipped end of the pencil case, sandwich the Tab between the zipper and pencil case bottom, centered across the bottom seam and with raw edges touching. (The swivel hook will face the inside of the bag.) Use fabric clips to clip in place.
Stitch across the ends of the pencil case with ¼ seam allowance.
Trim off ends of zipper.
Zig zag over the raw edges to control fraying. I used a zig zag stitch with a width of 3.5 and a length of 1.5.
Turn your pencil case right side again. Your pencil case is finished!
Time to fill it up with some cute pens and colored pencils!