Stay organized and sew up a Pretty Zippered Pencil Case

Looking for a stylish way to keep art supplies, crayons and markers organized this school year? The school bus applique pencil case I showed you yesterday is a fun choice, but today’s Pretty Zippered Pencil Case can be made in any style or color of fabric. You can make it for back to school and to fit your little one’s personality!

I’ve made this in pastel shades sure to suit a pretty little princess and with the amazing help of HeatnBond Lite Iron-On Adhesive, COSTUMAKERS General Purpose Closed End Zipper, Fairfield Quilter’s 80/20 Quilt Batting, UNIQUE sewing  Wash-out Marker Fabric Fuse by HeatnBond Quickbond Fabric Adhesive  and Fabric Markers. It’s a snap to make! I’ll show you how today.

The Pretty Zippered Pencil Case


  • fabric for the front of the pencil case
    • 11 small pieces of scrap fabric for the pencils
    • 1 piece of scrap fabric for the part above the pencils
  • white scrap fabric for the pencil tips
  • fabric for the back of the pencil case
  • batting
  • lining fabric
  • 9” (23cm) zipper
  • fabric markers
  • thread to match
  • sewing machine
  • zipper foot
  • free motion or walking foot
  • scissors
  • basic sewing supplies
  • fabric adhesive
  • fabric glue
  • freezer paper
  • fabric marking pen
  • iron

Supplies needed to make the Pretty Zippered Pencil Case


  1. Cut (11) 1⅜” x 4½” from each of the 11 pieces of scrap fabric (pencils).
  2. Cut (11) ⅞” x 1” rectangles from the white fabric (pencil tips).
  3. Cut a 2½” x 10¼” strip of scrap fabric for the top of the pencil case (above pencils).
  4. Cut 6¾” x 10¼” of the fabric for the back of the pencil case.
  5. Cut 12” x 14” of the lining fabric.
  6. Cut 12” x 14” of batting.
  7. Cut (1) ⅞” x 1” rectangle from the freezer paper (this will be your pattern for tracing the pencil tips). Find the center top on the 1” side and mark it. Make a triangle by drawing a line from both ⅞” sides to the center. See in the photo below, the triangle template made from freezer paper in the center of the white fabric flower. Trace out 11 pencil tips using this freezer paper template as shown.

Fabric and batting cut out with the triangle template cut from freezer paper

sewing instructions

Step 1

Sew all 11 pencil strips together.

All 11 pencil strips sewn together

Step 2      

Sew the top strip (2½” x 10¼” pink as shown) to the pencil tips.

Top strip sewn to the pencil strips

Step 3

Using HeatnBond Lite Iron-On Adhesive or Fabric Fuse by HeatnBond, fuse or glue the white fabric tips to the top of each pencil.

To fuse or glue? Using HeatnBond Lite or Fabric Fuse by HeatnBond (glue)

Gluing alternate pencil tips with Fabric Fuse by HeatnBond Quickbond Fabric Adhesive

Gluing alternate pencil tips with Fabric Fuse by HeatnBond Quickbond Fabric Adhesive

Gluing alternate pencil tips with HeatnBond Lite Iron-On Adhesive

Ironing the HeatnBond Lite with an Olliso Pro Iron on the hot setting using parchment paper on top to protect the iron

The completely fused and glued pencil tip section

Step 4

Sew the back piece (6¾” x 10¼”) to the front of the Pretty Zippered Pencil Case section as shown.

Back laid out to be sewn to the front

Back sewn to the front

Step 5

Satin stitch or zigzag the pencil points in place.

Note: Stabilize the back of the fabric prior to satin stitching.

Satin stitching with an open toe foot

Step 6

Make your quilt sandwich with the top of the pretty pencil case, batting and backing.

Sandwiching the top batting and backing

Step 7

Quilt as desired. As shown below, I used a free motion foot and wavy stitches, simulating doodles.

Quilting wavy lines with a free motion foot

Step 8

Square up the pencil case top.

Pencil case sandwich squared up

Step 9

Add some color to the pencil tips with Fabric Fun Fabric Markers (these are permanent colors meant for fabric). These markers come in primary and bright color packs of 10 or individual pens. The bright pack is shown below. These markers have a thin tip end perfect for small areas and a wide tip for thicker detail. I recommend making a sample fabric as shown to see ahead of time what the colors will look like on the project. They are so pretty for this project. Ask your local sewing retailer for these versatile, gorgeous pens.

Fabric Fun Fabric Markers and sample fabric

Package of 10 Fabric Fun Fabric Markers with colors in bright shades

Tips of pencils colored in with Fabric Fun Fabric Markers (Bright)

Step 10

Run a bead of Fabric Fuse along the right-side top edge of the Pretty Zippered Pencil Case, to glue the zipper in place. Let it dry for 5 minutes.

Glue basting the edge to prepare for zipper insertion

Step 11

Lay one right side of the zipper against the glue, matching ends and edges. Sew with a zipper foot, needle position to the far left and zipper foot as close to the zipper prongs as possible.

Sewing in the zipper with a zipper foot

Step 12

Fold up the bottom (back) part of the case and hand baste the right-side edge against the other right-side edge of the zipper as shown.

Hand basting the other side of the zipper, ready for machine sewing

Step 13

Machine sew the other side of the zipper with a zipper foot, and remove basting stitches (optional).

Important TIP It is helpful to move the zipper while sewing so that there are no stitch wobbles, keep the needle in the down position if possible and then move the zipper tab out of sewing range.

Machine sewing the hand basted side of the zipper with a zipper foot

Step 14

Open up the zipper to the center and with the zipper prongs facing up on the open end, pin both sides of the pencil case right sides together. Sew the side seams with a ¼’ seam allowance.

Pinning the sides, ready for sewing

Step 15

Clip corners, turn to the right side and admire your efforts.

The finished Pretty Zippered Pencil Case, ready for a little one starting school

The completed ‘Pencil’ Pencil Case, School Bus Pencil Case and Pretty Little Zippered Pencil Case

Just look at what was discussed this week, 3 oh so cute pencil cases, made with the help of some tiny personal fabric scraps and these great notions: HeatnBond Lite Iron-On Adhesive, COSTUMAKERS General Purpose Closed End Zippers, Fairfield Quilter’s 80/20 Quilt Batting, UNIQUE sewing   Wash-out Marker, Fabric Fuse by HeatnBond Quickbond Fabric Adhesive and Fabric Fun  Fabric Markers.

Join me tomorrow when I discuss the easiest zipper pulls ever! Zipper pulls are useful for so many things and not just pencil cases. No sewing by machine needed. These will bring the added benefit of functionality along with a bit of bling and a little more color to these already cute projects. There’s also a link to a video tutorial I’ll be sharing to make it easy for you visual sewists.

This is part 4 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 3: Using applique to make a zippy school bus pencil case

Go to part 5: Making the easiest DIY zipper pulls ever

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1 comment

Sarah Steele August 20, 2021 - 4:33 pm
Thank you for making this color pencil case pattern available to us. I have a question about measurements. If the front pieces are 2.5” and 4.5”, sewn they are 6.5”, right? But back is cut to 6.75”. Do we assume they are evened up after quilting?
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