Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Easy Sew Pencil Case ~ Tutorial ~ No Zipper Needed

When I think of pencil cases, a zippered pouch usually springs to mind, or maybe a pencil roll. In reality, any container the right shape can be used to store and carry pencils. Today I'm going to show you how to easily make a simple, lined drawstring pencil pouch.

The plastic / vinyl / neoprene zippered pouches, so common now, are a relatively recent invention. As young kids, we had wooden boxes to hold our pencils. They never wore out, so no need to buy a new one for school each year.  

With a finished size of roughly 10" x 4", the pencil pouch will comfortably hold a set of 12 pencils.

  • 2 pieces - 9½" x 5" (24cm x 13cm) - main fabric
  • 2 pieces - 9½" x 5" (24cm x 13cm) - lining fabric
  • 2 pieces - 2" x 5½" (5cm x 14cm) - contrast fabric for drawstring casing
  • 2 lengths of cord, tape or ribbon - 13" - drawstring

All seams are ⅜"(1cm), unless otherwise indicated. I didn't need to use any pins when making this bag. If you find you need to pin the seams...
  • pin
  • baste (hand sew with a long stitch)
  • remove pins
  • stitch seam with machine
  • remove basting

Drawstring Casing:

  • Fold short ends over ¼" and finger press.
  • Fold ¼" again and stitch
  • Fold in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. 
  • Finger press

Attach Casing to Exterior Fabric:

  • Centre raw edge of casing on right side of exterior fabric.
  • Stitch with ⅛" seam.
  • Repeat for 2nd side.

Sew Exterior Fabric:

  • With right sides together, sew side and bottom seams. Be careful NOT to catch the casing in the seam. If necessary, use a ¼" seam allowance. Mine was fine with a seam allowance of ⅜".
  • Neaten edges.

Sew Lining:

  • With right sides together sew side and bottom seams.
  • Leave a 2" - 3" gap in the bottom seam.

Attach Lining to Exterior:

  • Turn exterior fabric right side out.
  • Leave lining inside out.
  • Place the exterior inside the lining. ie: the right side of the exterior is next to the right side of the lining.
  • Line up the top edges of the lining and the exterior.

  • Sew the top edges of lining and exterior, matching side seams. This bit might be a little fiddly, as the opening is quite small. If you need to, baste the lining and exterior together before machining.
  • Neaten seam.

Turn Bag Right Side Out:

  • Put your fingers through the hole in the bottom of the lining.
  • Gently pull the right side of the bag out through the lining.

Close Gap:

  • Close the gap in the lining by edge stitching, or hand stitch if you prefer.

  • Push the lining back into the bag.
  • Press or finger press the top edge of the bag.
  • Topstitch ⅛" from the edge, around the top of the main fabric, using a slightly longer stitch.


  • Thread the first cord through the entire drawstring casing. Both ends of the cord will come out of the same opening.
  • Repeat with the second cord and the second opening.
  • Knot the ends of each cord.

That's it! Your drawstring pencil pouch is finished. Of course, it doesn't have to be used just for pencils. I don't crochet, but I think it would be a good size for crochet hooks.

Alter the dimensions and this bag could become storage for any manner of items. You could even use it as a gift bag.

As you can see, I made two drawstring pencil pouches. Each was part of a larger gift. Stay tuned for another tutorial.

Learn how to make a lined drawstring bag to hold a set of pencils. This pencil case is light and portable. Tutorial at Threading My Way

If you make a drawstring pencil pouch using this tutorial,, I'd love to see photos:

For more drawstring bag ideas and inspiration...

Can you remember your favourite pencil case as a child?

... Pam

Because of the drawstring cord, this bag is not suitable for children under 3 years of age.


  1. When this post showed up in my blog reader I thought of you as soon as I saw the fabric in the first picture! If you've used it before, then my sub-conscious remembered, lol. Sweet little pencil case - practical, and pretty :)

  2. Your tutorials are always so clear and easy to follow. Thanks so much for joining in at #HandmadeMonday this week :-)

  3. Pam, I love the way you sew the drawstring casing here! I've always done it a totally different way, but I love the effect... especially with all your cool fabrics! Pinned! :) Lisa

  4. So cute!! Thank you for sharing this tutorial!

  5. Hi there
    Just stopped by to let you know that I featured this on my Round Tuit post this week!
    A Round Tuit 354
    Thanks again for linking up to A Round Tuit Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  6. Now I want to make these, too!!!

  7. I made one of these and it was so quick and easy! Thanks for the super tutorial.

  8. Such a great gift to include into my Operation Christmas Child shoe box. Thank you for helping me to make good use of my mountains of fabric!!!!

    1. It's a great project for using up scraps of fabric, Monja.


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