Pencils. Notebooks. Crayons. Markers. School supply lists for kids in elementary school tend to look the same. As a result, the supplies we parents buy tend to look the same as well. This year, I was determined to make at least one item on my daughter’s back-to-school list by hand. Since I’m no good with power tools and I made crayons for her last Christmas, I decided to try my hand at making a pencil case.
Understand that I am a complete novice when it comes to sewing. I can sew a straight line, hem curtains or make a pillow cover, but I’d never, ever tried to make anything with a zipper involved. I thought the process would be complicated. But I really wanted to create a zippered case to make sure my daughter wouldn’t lose all her pencils and markers. A pouch with a flap just wouldn’t be secure enough. So I tried to find the simplest possible tutorial for making a zippered case. I stumbled upon this one over in the Craftster forums and decided it was just simple enough.
I don’t want to be redundant, so I won’t repeat all the steps, but I did make a couple of small changes. I wanted a really durable fabric, but nothing I had on hand really fit the bill. I decided to use an old pair of jeans that no longer fit me. I used the bottom portion of one leg because the width of the fabric was most even there. I also wanted my case to be a little larger than the one in the tutorial, so my fabric was 11″ x 11″ to begin with. Other than that, I followed all the steps as provided. And trust me when I say if I can do this, anyone can do it. I will say that does help to have a zipper foot on your sewing machine.
The finished case was no masterpiece, but I managed to get it done without blowing up my sewing machine. Still, I knew it needed a little something extra. Thankfully, I’d picked up more than one zipper from Walmart when I was planning the project. I bought a black zipper and a pink zipper because I hadn’t decided which fabric I was going to use for the case. I wound up using the black zipper, but I remembered seeing jewelry made of zippers on Etsy. I figured I could use the pink zipper to make some sort of embellishment.
The process of making my zipper flower was relatively simple. Click the photos to view them larger.
1. Open the zipper as far as possible and cut off the pull.
2. You’ll be left with 2 zipper halves. Cut each side of the zipper into 4 equal pieces, for a total of 8 pieces. I used a 16″ zipper, but you can use any length you have on hand.
3. Fold each segment into a petal shape and secure the ends with a drop of hot glue. Try to make them as flat as possible.
4. Attach the petals together at the ends, starting with the first 2 and building from there.
5. Once all the petals are glued together, you’ll need something to cover up the center so you won’t see all the overlapping areas. I used a fabric-covered button that I happened to have in my sewing kit, but you can use a regular button, a circle cut out of fabric, a few rhinestones or anything else you can think of.
6. Attach it to your case with hot glue, and you’re done!
I’m pretty proud of my little case, and my daughter loves it!
Disclosure: I am a member of the Walmart Moms program. Walmart has provided me with compensation for sharing a back to school DIY project with You. Participation is voluntary and as usual, all opinions are my own.