How to Make a Pencil Case

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Felt pencil cases
Felt pencil cases (Image: Amanda Nguyen)

Elevate your school supply storage by making a felt pencil case with contrasting stitching and button closures to carry pencils, pens, art and other writing tools. This project is not restricted to making cases just for writing tools but can also be made for notebooks, cell phones, tablets and other school supplies.

Things You'll Need

  • 8 inch by 11 inch felt (any color)
  • Pen or fabric chalk
  • Shears (fabric scissors)
  • Embroidery thread (any color) & large eye needle (embroidery needle)
  • Button (1/2 to 1 inch wide, any color or design)
The supplies you will need to make a felt pencil case
The supplies you will need to make a felt pencil case (Image: Amanda Nguyen)

Step 1: Cut the Felt

On a flat surface, lay the felt vertically like a piece of paper. On one side of the felt, measure and fold one side inward by 2 1/2 inches. Cut along the fold. Keep the cut felt where it is and use the inside edge as a guide to cut another piece of felt the same size. You now have the two sides to your pencil case.

If you want your pencils or writing tools to be exposed when you open the flap of your case, then place a pencil on top of one piece of felt. With a pen or fabric chalk, mark and cut the felt.

Folding one side of the felt 2.5-in inward.
Folding one side of the felt 2.5-in inward. (Image: Amanda Nguyen)
Cutting the felt along the fold.
Cutting the felt along the fold. (Image: Amanda Nguyen)
Cutting the front of the case down.
Cutting the front of the case down. (Image: Amanda Nguyen)

Step 2: Sew the Sides

Thread the needle with embroidery thread and start a running stitch on either corner where the two pieces of felt meet at the opening of the case. Sew a running stitch down the side, across the bottom and back up the other side of the case. If you do not want to continue sewing a border around the flap, then cut the thread on each side, knot and trim. If you want the border to continue on the flap, don't cut the thread just yet.

Starting to sew the sides of the felt case
Starting to sew the sides of the felt case (Image: Amanda Nguyen)
One side of the case sewn with a running stitch
One side of the case sewn with a running stitch (Image: Amanda Nguyen)
The sewn sides of the felt case
The sewn sides of the felt case (Image: Amanda Nguyen)
Closer view of the embroidered sides of the felt case
Closer view of the embroidered sides of the felt case (Image: Amanda Nguyen)

Step 3: Cut the Flap

Place the pencils or writing tools into the case. Close the flap over the pencils and decide whether you would like to make the flap shorter. If so, mark the felt with a pen or fabric chalk, and then cut the case.

Warning

  • Do not trim the flap past 1 inch from the opening of the case, though, or you won't have enough room to sew on a button and use the flap to close it.

Pulling the flap down over the pencils
Pulling the flap down over the pencils (Image: Amanda Nguyen)
Cutting down the flap closure
Cutting down the flap closure (Image: Amanda Nguyen)

Step 4: Finish Sewing

If you are continuing the stitch border around the flap, keep sewing the running stitch all around until it meets at the beginning point. Then cut the ends of the thread, knot and trim. Tuck the knot inside the case.

The two thread ends.
The two thread ends. (Image: Amanda Nguyen)
Knotting the thread.
Knotting the thread. (Image: Amanda Nguyen)
The knotted thread.
The knotted thread. (Image: Amanda Nguyen)

Step 5: Sew on the Button

Select a button and sew it onto the front of the pencil case approximately 1/2 inch from the top of button to the opening of the case.

Sewing the owl button onto the felt case.
Sewing the owl button onto the felt case. (Image: Amanda Nguyen)
The owl button sewn onto the case.
The owl button sewn onto the case. (Image: Amanda Nguyen)

Step 6: Cut the Slit

Place a few pencils back into the case and close the flap. Use your thumb as a guide to figure out where the button is placed underneath the flap. Where your thumb marked the button, and 1/2 inch from the edge of the flap, cut a centered, vertical slit, big enough to pull the button through.

Colored pencils placed into the felt case.
Colored pencils placed into the felt case. (Image: Amanda Nguyen)
Gauging where to cut the slit on the flap.
Gauging where to cut the slit on the flap. (Image: Amanda Nguyen)
Folding the flap horizontally to cut a vertical slit.
Folding the flap horizontally to cut a vertical slit. (Image: Amanda Nguyen)
The cut slit in the flap.
The cut slit in the flap. (Image: Amanda Nguyen)
The button pulled through the slit.
The button pulled through the slit. (Image: Amanda Nguyen)

Tip

  • To keep the slit from stretching out over time, use the embroidery thread and needle to sew a running stitch around the opening.

The embroidered slit
The embroidered slit (Image: Amanda Nguyen)
The flap left opened to show the back of the embroidered slit.
The flap left opened to show the back of the embroidered slit. (Image: Amanda Nguyen)
The button pulled through the embroidered slit.
The button pulled through the embroidered slit. (Image: Amanda Nguyen)

Store Your Pencils

Store your pencils and other writing tools in your new cases. You can also make cases to cover and carry notebooks, other school supplies, cell phones and tablets.

The finished felt cases.
The finished felt cases. (Image: Amanda Nguyen)
Paint brushes and colored pencils stored in the felt cases.
Paint brushes and colored pencils stored in the felt cases. (Image: Amanda Nguyen)

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