It’s time for another FunStitch Studio Summer Camp project! Annabel Wrigley is the author of the FunStitch Studio book, We Love to Sew: 28 Pretty Things to Make: Jewelry, Headbands, Softies, T-shirts, Pillows, Bags & More. Today she shows kids how to make this super-simple Stamped Pencil Case, perfect for heading back to school in style! Annabel’s easy instructions include an optional tassel with beads.
Annabel owns the Little Pincushion Studio where she teaches kids to sew. Her Little Pincushion Studio blog is full of creative inspiration; just look at the recent creations from her students! Annabel is also an instructor at Creativebug where she shares a variety of fun, kid-focused workshops.
Simple Stamped Pencil Case
By Annabel Wrigley, for ages 9 and up
Be the envy of all of your friends at school when you pull this one of a kind, custom pencil case out of your backpack! The best part? You made it yourself! Yay, you!
- Sewing machine
- Pinking scissors
- One piece of natural cotton canvas 10” x 8.5”
- 2 pieces of contrasting bright fabric, each measuring 2.5” x 10”
- 1 piece of fun print fabric for lining
- 9” brass jeans zipper
- Gold fabric paint (I use Martha Stewart all purpose paint in green gold)
- Circle paint sponge (I use Martha Stewart paint sponges) or a paint brush
- Optional supplies for making a tassel and adding beads
Optional Tassel Charm Supplies
- Supplemax beading cord
- A few beads
- Neon or fun colored embroidery floss
Let’s Make It
1. Start out by painting your polka dots on one side of the cotton canvas fabric.
Be sure to use the paint sparingly!
2. Lay the colored fabric strip on top of the canvas matching long edges and pin in place. Do the same with the other side.
3. Sew down both sides with the edge of the foot on the edge of the fabric. (In this case our seam allowance will be ¼”.)
4. Open out the fabric panel and give it a good press with a hot iron.
5. Lay the panel piece on top of the lining fabric and use the panel as a template. Cut around as neatly as you can. This helps us make sure that the outside piece and lining piece are exactly the same size!
6. Use a pair of pinking scissors to cut a zigzag edge around all sides of your front and back panels. Just cut along the edge like in the photo. This stops the edges from fraying.
7. Lay the lining piece face down, lay the front panel on top facing up and then lay the zipper on top with the zipper pull facing down. Pin the zipper in place while making sure that all the edges are lined up super well. The zipper will run across the long sides of the pencil case.
8. Ask for help to attach the zipper foot on your machine and sew along the zipper tape with the machine foot edge right beside the zipper teeth.
Open out the panel and give it a good press along the zipper with the iron. Yahoo, that’s one side done!
9. Fold the panel in half with the lining on the outside and line up the other side of the zipper with the other edge of the panel piece and lining piece. Pin the zipper in place and sew down the zipper tape.
Don’t forget to open the zipper halfway for the next part!
10. Pin down both side edges of the pencil case; it should still be inside out at this point!
11. Be extra slow and careful when you sew as we will be sewing over the zipper. Backstitch at the beginning and end.
12. Carefully turn your pencil case right way out and give it a really lovely press with the iron.
Why not make a tassel or two and add a bit of personality to your awesome pencil case?!
Tassel Making 101
1. I am using neon embroidery floss, but you can use any color you like.
Wrap the embroidery floss around the widest part of your hand around 10-15 times.
2. Carefully slide it off your hand. Cut 2 5” pieces of floss. With one of the pieces, tie a triple knot at the top of the floss loop.
3. With your other piece of floss, pull down the floss on either side of the first tie and tie the floss around ½” from the top. Secure it with a triple knot.
4. Give your tassel a haircut! Be sure to also trim the tails where you tied your triple knots!
5. Thread your needle with a piece of Supplemax cord.
6. Push the needle through the top of the tassel and pull all the way through, leaving a tail. Tie a triple knot around the top of the tassel with the Supplemax.
7. Thread a few beads on the Supplemax cord then triple knot the entire thing to the zipper pull on the pencil case!
Well done! You made a super cool pencil case that expresses your style. Go ahead and show it off!
Our FunStitch Studio Summer Camp includes lots of fun projects from FunStitch Studio authors, book giveaways and more. FunStitch Studio is a children’s book imprint from C&T Publishing focused on supporting kids as sewists, embroiderers and quilters with quality information and projects.