Preston and Kate enjoy numerous DIY projects: painting, tiling, quilting, crafting, gardening, canning, thrifting, cooking—they do it all.
Beautiful Pencil Organizer
Who says crayon rolls and colored pencil holders are only for children? I am not one to take out some drawing utensils and come up with anything noteworthy, but I have recently found a colored pencil holder to come in handy for some studying I am doing. I was tired of pencils rolling off my desk so I came up with a great excuse to use some beautiful fabric and a sewing machine.
There seem to be lots and lots of tutorials for crayon rolls and pencil holders online. If my instructions don't seem to fit your needs, scroll down, and I listed some other great tutorials from some creative ladies.
- Fabric pencil or marker
- Sewing machine
Step 1: Pick Out the Fabric
Indeed I love picking out fabric. I have too much of it. Choose two kinds of fabric. You can find the measurements below of each kind of fabric needed.
The blue fabric I chose is Organic Poppies in Mineral in Home Décor Canvas, from the Grove Collection.
The white/gold fabric is Organic Line Leaf in Gold from the Bark and Branch Collection from Cloud 9 Fabrics.
Step 2: Cut the Fabric and Batting
- Cut three rectangles of fabric and one rectangle of batting that measure 8 inches by 19 1/2 inches.
- Cut two rectangles out of the same fabric and one rectangle for the pouches out of a second fabric. The fabric you choose for the pouch will eventually be ironed in half.
Since I did not know what kind of measurements I needed, I laid the colored pencils down on the fabric and measured. The pencils were approximately seven inches tall. I needed to allow half-inch seam allowances, and I always err on the liberal side. I try to remind myself that I can always cut my fabric smaller, but I cannot make it grow.
Step 3: Sew the Pouches for the Pencils
- Take the fabric you cut for the pencil pouches. Fold it in half and iron the crease. Using a fabric pencil or marker, find the midpoint of the fabric. If you used my measuring recommendation of a 19 1/2 inch long strip, the midpoint is 9 and 3/4 of an inch. Draw a straight line down the midpoint of the fabric.
- If you have never used your fabric pencils or markers, be sure to test them on the fabric so you know how they are going to work. I have had some frustrations with the fabric pencil marks not coming out of the fabric.
- Continue drawing lines in one-inch intervals until you come to each end of the fabric. The red ruler I have in the picture is one inch wide. I used it as a template. If you have anything in your home that is one inch or close to an inch, it should work great for drawing the lines one inch apart.
- Pin the lined fabric to the front of one of the other fabric rectangles. Be sure the sides and the bottom are lined up. Sew down each line you drew to create the pencil pouches. Be sure to secure the stitch at the top of each pouch.
Step 4: Create a Fabric Sandwich
Now is the time to layer all the fabric, batting, and ribbon into a sandwich. While this is not complicated, this is a step that must be done correctly. Otherwise, when attempting to flip your pencil holder right side out, you may come out with something other than a pencil holder.
- Lay down the bottom layer of batting (I used a cheaper polyester batting).
- Next, lay down a rectangle of fabric you haven't used yet facing up (the one without the pouches you just sewed.)
- Next, pin your ribbon with the pattern facing in.
- On top: lay down the pencil pouch fabric facing down.
- After you have created your sandwich, pin around all the edges.
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Step 5: Sew Around the Perimeter
- Using a liberal quarter-inch seam allowance, sew around the perimeter of the pencil holder. Be sure to leave a three inch gap on the end without the ribbon. This is the gab you will use to flip the pencil holder inside out.
- Start sewing at the end opposite the ribbon. When you reach a corner, stop sewing a quarter of an inch from the corner, put your needle down in the fabric, raise your presser foot, rotate your fabric, lower the presser foot, and start sewing again. Sew all the way around the fabric. Remember to leave a three-inch gap instead of sewing a complete rectangle.
- Once you are done sewing, I recommend trimming the corners while your pencil holder is still wrong side out. Giving the corners a blunt edge while wrong side out will give the corners a sharper point once they are right side out.
- Once you are done trimming the corners, turn your pencil holder right side out.
Step 6: Sew a Small Border Around the Outside
- In order to sew the gap closed, sew a border about an eighth of an inch from the outside of the pencil holder. Sew the border around the entire perimeter. Sometimes it is helpful to iron the gap so the fabric stays nicely creased and folded toward the inside.
- If you happen to iron the gap, be sure not to iron over your pencil or fabric marker. Unfortunately, sometimes the ironing can turn the marks into the equivalent of a permanent marker.
Hopefully this is a quick project for you. I enjoy a project that I can start and finish in a few hours.
Learning From My Mistakes
I always learn from my mistakes. I am completely satisfied with my new colored pencil holder, but I learned two changes I would make for next time.
- I sewed my ribbon on backwards. In other words, when I pinned the ribbon, I folded it so the chevron print was facing out. As a result, when I tie the ribbon around the pencil holder, the pattern is hidden.
- I think I would make the pockets smaller than an inch in width. The pencils easily slide out of the pockets. I have to tie the ribbon fairly tight when I carry my pencil holder around. If I don't, the pencils tend to fall out.
If you make this pencil holder, be sure to correct the mistakes I made!
If you are looking for some specific instruction for a crayon roll, I found some at the following links. Some pretty cute creations from what looks like some crafty ladies.
I have made a few crayon rolls, but I tend to get a bit riskier every time I make one. I used the instructions from The Pleated Poppy a few years ago, and I have altered the instructions a bit more each time I make it. But, her tutorial was my first inspiration.
This time around was the first time I quilted the crayon roll. This one is for a baby gift for a new little girl. She won't be able to use it for a few years, but, as I have learned, children grow up fast, and it will be useful before her mommy knows it. Enjoy a little inspiration.
Trish Galloway on April 25, 2020:
Preston and Kate (author) from the Midwest on April 29, 2015:
Hi RTalloni, did my hub inspire a new project? :)
Thanks ChitrangadaSharan! You are such a supportive fellow hubber!
Preston and Kate (author) from the Midwest on April 27, 2015:
Hi SusanDeppner! Good to meet you and thanks for stopping by!
Hi sallybea! Thanks for the compliment and vote. They're much appreciated!
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on April 23, 2015:
Congratulations for HOTD!
Very cute and creative craft idea. I loved this well presented hub and your pictures and instructions are very helpful.
Thanks for sharing, voted up and pinned!
RTalloni on April 22, 2015:
Congrats on your Hub of the Day award for this neat project with your tips on improving it. Making something useful in a creative way often leads to other ideas and you've got me thunkin'… :)
Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on April 22, 2015:
A very pretty and well-formatted hub. Congratulations on your well deserved HOTD.
Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on April 22, 2015:
Such a pretty and practical project! Congratulations on Hub of the Day honors!
Preston and Kate (author) from the Midwest on April 22, 2015:
Hi vasanthatk! Thanks for the vote! I appreciate you stopping by. -Kate
Hi Kristen Howe! Thank you for stopping by and thanks for the vote!
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on April 22, 2015:
PrestonandKate, congrats on HOTD! Way to go! What wonderful and crafty ideas. Voted up!
vasanthatk on April 22, 2015:
Interesting. I liked the pencil holders, innovative. Voted up, Useful.
Preston and Kate (author) from the Midwest on September 13, 2014:
Thanks peachpurple! I make a similar holder with crayons for kids all the time. They make a great gift! -Kate
peachy from Home Sweet Home on September 10, 2014:
this is one cool pencil case i must make for my boy, thanks, voted up
Preston and Kate (author) from the Midwest on January 27, 2014:
Hi Glimmer Twin Fan! Glad you enjoyed the hub. Yes, this project is so easily adaptable for toting around other craft supplies. Thanks for stopping by! -Kate
Claudia Mitchell on January 27, 2014:
Oh I love this prestonandkate. What a great gift for a child going off to school or as you suggested, adapting the sizes. Beautiful hub! Pinning for later reference.
Preston and Kate (author) from the Midwest on January 25, 2014:
Hi Sheri Faye, thanks for the inspiration. Hmmm...I wonder what else I could use this for to start organizing some of my other crafting supplies.
Preston and Kate (author) from the Midwest on January 25, 2014:
Hi Chin chin! Great idea. Just by changing the size of the pouches, this project could be easily adaptable for other supplies.
Sheri Dusseault from Chemainus. BC, Canada on January 24, 2014:
What a great idea! I could adapt it for my jewelry making pliers etc which are always a mess and can never find the one I need! Thanks
Chin chin from Philippines on January 24, 2014:
Like this project. And there's plenty of things that can be used for this one and not just colored pencils.
Preston and Kate (author) from the Midwest on January 24, 2014:
Hi purl3agony! Good to meet you! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, you're right! This could easily be adapted for so many supplies...and a cute way to tote them around. :)
Donna Herron from USA on January 24, 2014:
Great hub and an easy-to-follow tutorial! This pencil holder could be adapted for so many tool and supplies. Much better than the plastic bag that I keep my colored pencils in :) Voted up, pinned and shared!