Sewing a Simple Pencil Case

pink and yellow pencil case with pens and title.

Even though things are different this year, it’s time to start thinking about school again. This easy to make pencil case is perfect for all the kids in your life. It is easy to customize with school colours or add a touch of embroidery.

Instructions are given for both a single colour option or a two-colour option. If you have a lot of scraps, you can easily piece together as many colours as you like.



A pencil case can be made with almost any type of fabric, so it’s a great project to use up scraps and leftovers. For long-term durability, use heavier-weight fabrics like twill, denim or canvas.

Choose one of the following:

one colour option:

  • 9” x 11”
9" x 11" piece of red fabric for sewing a pencil case.


two colour option:

  • 5” x 9” colour A
  • 3” x 9” colour B
  • 5” x 9” colour B
yellow and pink fabric pieces for sewing a pencil case.


regular dressmaker zipper (not heavy duty) at least 10”

There are a lot of options for what type of fabric to use for this project. Use something medium to heavy weight for durability. Twill, canvas or demin will all work. If you have pieces left over from home dec projects or clothing, they will work great.


1. Join fabric pieces

(for the single colour option, go to step 2)

Using a 1/2” seam, join the three fabric pieces with colour A in the middle.

yellow and pink fabric joined to make pencil case.

Finish all seams with a wide zig zag stitch.

close up of finished seams for two-colour pencil case.

Press all seams in the same direction (one will be pressed onto colour A, and the other one away from colour A). Do this regardless of colour.

2. Zipper side one

Centre the short edge of the fabric on the zipper. The end of the zipper will extend past the edges of the fabric. Pin rights sides together.

Using a zipper foot, stitch with a straight stitch, aligning the edge of the foot with the edge of the fabric.

stitching the zipper with the zipper foot.

Notice that the fabric is centred on the zipper. The seam is the same width as the zipper tape.

zipper stitched onto the first side of the pencil case.

Fold the fabric back. Finger press to crease the fabric and expose the zipper teeth. Be careful if you press with an iron. A hot iron might melt the teeth.

pressing the fabric after the zipper seam.

Top stitch along the edge of the fabric to hold the fold open.

top stitching the zipper seam.

The first side of the zipper is done!

finished seam on first side of zipper.

3. Zipper side two

Lay the zipper on the table right side up. Fold the fabric over so that the other end of the fabric comes up to the second side of the zipper.

adding the second side of the zipper to the pencil case.

Pin and stitch the same as the first side.

inside seam of zipper.

Open and press the seam. You will need to open the zipper to topstitch it.

pencil case in progress with open zipper.

Before stitching the sides together, close the zipper part-way, so that the zipper pull is in the middle. Make sure it is not beyond the fabric.

closing the zipper.

4. Stitch the sides

Turn the fabric inside out and fold so that the zipper is 1″ from the top edge. Pin along the sides.

pencil case in progress turned inside out.

On the two colour version, the seams should match up at the sides of the pencil case.

two colour pencil case pinned side seams.

Stitch with a 1/2″ seam along both sides.

pencil case with stitched side seams.

Trim the ends of the zipper off with scissors.

Double check that the zipper pull is inside the pencil case before trimming!

trimming the zipper.

Finish the edges of the seams with a wide zig zag stitch.

finished side seams.

Turn right side out.

You’re done!

finished red pencil case.

It doesn’t matter which way the zipper goes. You can use your own personal preference.

finished yellow and pink pencil case.
pencil case with pens.

It’s just the right size for holding pencils, pens and other stationary accessories.

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Elizabeth DeCroos - Epida Studio.

Elizabeth DeCroos

Elizabeth DeCroos is the designer and teacher at Epida Studio. She loves to work in quilting, pojagi and embroidery and teach these techniques to others.
Learn more and get her to speak to your group.

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