Since adult colouring (coloring) in books are all the rage at the moment I thought I better make a cute little pencil roll tutorial! What a great way to store your pencils, they can bounce around in your bag without risking all the sharp points and they won’t rattle too! I have to admit I am quite partial to colouring in but I usually end up colouring in with the kids in one of their colouring in books. Drawing little doodles is fun too…no matter what you like to draw this is a great way to keep those pencils safe!
The hard part is deciding what order to keep them in…the kids had already snuck off with my new pencils so not much change of arranging them as they were! I do like the rainbow(ish) method, it’s just fun to see if you can merge them into one another.
Then it dawned on me…should I be keeping my pencils this way around??? It would leave the points even more protected due to the bias edge at the bottom, and they are easier to put in and take out. I’ll give this way a trial!
What you will need
- Fabric – Two pieces, one for the inside and one for the outside. The outside piece will be visible on both sides so make sure it is not one that has an obvious right or wrong side. I used a medium to heavy weight for the flat layer (Black and white check) and a regular cotton blend for the pencil slots (floral). You will need both cut to 39cm (15 3/8”) x 29cm (11 1/2”) This is depended on your pencil sizes. See Step 1 below!
- Bias Binding, all double fold.
- 42cm (16 1/2”) – Bottom
- 99cm (39”) – Sides and top
- 76cm (37”) – Ties
- General – Thread, Sewing Machine, Iron, Fabric pencil/marker
NOTE: Please read the whole tutorial before you start!
Step 1 – Checking your measurements
How wide do the pencil slots need to be? I used piece of scrap fabric to check. Mine needed to be 15mm or 5/8” wide. This allowed a little give around the pencil but they still fit pretty snuggly to prevent them all sliding out when you open it. Secondly I have a set of 24 pencils, 24 x 15mm is 360mm plus another 15mm allowance on each side, mine needed to be 390mm (39cm or 15 3/8”) wide.
For the height I took the length of the pencil (175mm, 17.5cm or 6 7/8”) and added 15mm (5/8”) for the bottom bias seam, which took me to 19cm (7 1/2”). Now I just needed to add extra for the folding flap at the top, I decided on 10cm (4”), which took the total height to 29cm (11 1/2”).
So with those sums out of the way I knew I needed two rectangles 39cm (15 3/8”) by 29cm (11 1/2”). There they are cut out above! While you are measuring cut your pieces of bias to length. You should have three pieces.
Step 2 – Attaching the layers
Take your inside fabric and fold in half with the right sides facing each other. You can see it is the short side that are now folded in half. Press with your iron.
Lay the folded piece on top of the flat piece, lining the raw edges up at the bottom and sides.
Sew around the outside using a small seam allowance (1/4” ish), you won’t see this seam after you have attached the bias binding (tape) anyway. That is all the layers attached!
Step 3 – Make Pencil Slots
If you are using a fabric pencil make sure it is nice and sharp, guess whose pencil sharpener I had to borrow! It is often good to have a couple of colours of pencil if you are using patterned fabric. I couldn’t see the white very well on the lighter areas of the flowers but the blue worked a treat.
Using a ruler (or tape measure but a ruler is easier to keep straight) mark out 15mm (1.5cm or 5/8”) intervals. Make sure you start measuring from the outside edge of the fabric not from the seam you sewed earlier!!!
Repeat this step on the bottom edge too.
Then using your ruler join all the intervals to mark out where the pencil slots will go. Now would be a good time to count them to make sure you have it right! Remember not to count the gap closest to the seam on each side.
I like to sew these in a U shape (see red lines added to photo above) so that I don’t have to cut the thread at the top and bottom every time. Pin in a few places so that it stays flat.
Here is how it will look. Remember to test your pencil to make sure that you have got the measurements right!!!
If you look at the top you can see that I have reversed over the edge slightly a few times to make sure that the stitching was secure. I don’t want it to come undone later, although it would be very easy to fix!
A little hard to see but there they are all done, glad I bought 24 pencils not the 36 pack!!
Step 4 – Finish the Bottom Edge – Bias Binding (Tape)
Check you piece of bias against your bottom edge to make sure it is long enough. I like to do the bottom separately but if you want to do the whole lot in one go, feel free! Just keep in mind that the sides have a bit of seam allowance to remove.
Pin your bias along the bottom, on the back (outside) of the fabric. As you can see you sew in the crease nearest the raw edge, so make sure that this crease is far enough over to cover any of stitching underneath.
Trim off any excess so that the bias can fold over neatly.
Fold over and pin in place, on the right side (inside).
Sew nice and close to the edge, and there is your bottom bias attached. There are many other ways to attach bias I have a tutorial on that here.
Step 5 – Finish the Top and Sides – Bias
First of all we need to round the top corners. I like to use whatever is closest and this case it was an old yoghurt container that I use as a little scrap bin on my sewing table. I have used rolls of elastic, ribbon, cups and saucers…it can be anything that is round and the size you want!
It should look a little like this. I also trimmed of the selvage edge while I was cutting, this fabric had a quite frilly edge I didn’t want any threads getting under my bias stitching.
Pin the bias on the same way as you did for the bottom edge. You will need to leave a little over hang at both bottom edges. Remember that the sides have an extra 15mm (1.5cm or 5/8”) edge on them. So pin the crease you are sewing in just on the raw edge side of the first pencil slot.
Here you can see what I mean, you need to pin the crease roughly where the red line is. We will trim the excess off later so don’t worry about the bias not fitting around.
It is also time for inserting the ties.
Sew the open side together, and tie the ends in a knot. I haven’t used the knot method before I usually sew the ends folded like I did for these drawstrings, which can be little fiddly. Then, on a blog called ‘Craftiness in not optional’ I saw that Jess tied the ends on her gorgeous Baby Boy Baprons. What a great simple way to finish the ends and it looks pretty cute too!
Cut your tie in half, and insert underneath the pinned bias about 10cm (4”) down from the top of the pencil slots. Put one tie above this measurement and one below.
Sew over them a few times for a bit of extra strength!
Then it should look like this! Trim off the excess around the outsides so that the bias will fold over nicely.
Fold over and pin in place just like you did for the bottom edge.
I open out the bottom pieces and tuck them in neatly. Full instructions on my Book bag tutorial if you’re having trouble figuring that bit out.
Sew close to the edge just the same as the bottom bias, make sure your ties are tucked out of the way!
Step 6 – Add your pencils!!
You may want to put them in the other way up! I think that way the points will be more protected. I also made sure there were no seams in the pencil slots so that when your pencils get shorter and disappear inside you can still slide them up without getting caught on a fancy edge.
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, have fun colouring in!