Oh, school supplies, how we love you! But, we’re bored when you all look the same. So, we’re going to sew Back to School Pencil Keepers and create handmade, uniquely perfect pencil chic. Get ready to zip it up – you’re going to love the three excellent pouches I found!

Back to School Pencil Keepers knotted zip pouch finished

Each of these pouches captures my heart differently and the Knotted Zipper Pouch wins the adorable award! As creator Kate of See Kate Sew says, it’s a weirdly shaped pouch, but oh, so worth it. Watch for the hints Kate offers as you sew and you’ll do just fine. It’s not a quick project, but adorable takes time!

Back to School Pencil Keepers to Sew Knotted Bow Pouch supplies

You’ll choose fabrics for the outside and lining, add a zipper and interfacing and be ready to cut. Think about which version you’d like. Bows on both ends or bows just at the top. This will make a difference in how you cut and sew and you’ll want to know where you’re headed.

Back to School Pencil Keepers to Sew Knotted Bow Pouch sewing

Kate wrote wonderful instructions for this version of Back to School Pencil Keepers and I love her clear step-by-steps. If you’re new to inserting a zipper, you’ll be glad she’s so thorough. Her hints and tips make it very doable! Click here for the Knotted Zipper Pouch tutorial.

Back to School Pencil Keepers to Sew Monogram Pouch finished

The boys probably won’t want a bow on their Back to School Pencil Keepers. Bev from Flamingo Toes put together a Monogrammed Zipper Pouch that will be just splendid in any color. Grommets make it ideal for a binder and uber-cool for back-to-schoolers of any age.

Back to School Pencil Keepers to Sew Monogram Pouch lining

Your supplies will include outer and lining fabrics, fusible fleece, a 7” zipper and three grommets. Bev used a metal tooth zip, but I love the flexibility and ease of the poly tooth zips made by Coats. Click here to see the selection. Choose school colors, your students fave colors or theme and you’ll have a winner for sure. If you don’t want to hand embroider the monogram, I bet your sewing machine can help you out. Or use a purchased or self-made applique instead. Personalized – that’s the plan!

Back to School Pencil Keepers to Sew Monogram Pouch zipper insertion

Bev’s zip instructions are terrific. Follow them and you’ll be incredibly pleased with the results.  A few parts may seem odd, but just follow the girl – she knows what you need! Options are up to you – grommets or no grommets, matching zipper or contrast, solids or prints. It’s a super easy pouch and you’re the Back to School Pencil Keepers designer today! Click here for Bev’s fun tutorial.

Back to School Pencil Keepers to Sew pencil pouch finished

I saved this one for last because it’s so amazingly, stand-out cool!!! It’s the BIG finish for today! Look at this Pencil Shaped Pencil Pouch and shout ooh, aah – you can’t help yourself, right? Gwen of the Gwenny Penny  blog designed this little cutie and it is so fabulous!

Back to School Pencil Keepers to Sew pencil pouch lining

As a former teacher, Gwen knows the extreme importance of having your supplies ready to go at school. Once you make Back to School Pencil Keepers, your student will never arrive at class unprepared again.  Your supplies include bits of solid fabrics, a 9” zipper, fusible fleece (again) and thread. Have I mentioned thread? Stock up on Dual Duty XP when you buy your supplies! You don’t want to be caught without good thread.

Back to School Pencil Keepers to Sew pencil pouch pinning

Your pouch assembly will start with sewing the pencil pieces together and adding the fusible fleece. Stock up on fusible fleece, if you can, too. I use it constantly and keep a little roll in my studio at all times. Plan to buy plenty of fusible fleece and you’ll be glad it’s on hand! After you’ve assembled your fabrics and fleece, you’ll trim the “lead” end of your pencil into shape. Next add your lining and zipper and you’re almost done. Click here for the tutorial for this wonderfully clever pouch!

Are you ready to make your plans? Start now so you can make plenty of Back to School Pencil Keepers. Your kids will love these and their friends, cousins and teachers will, too. Yep, you’re going to be busy!

About the Author


Annette Millard began sewing at the age of three, made her first dress at ten and is always happiest with needle, fabric and thread in her hands. Annette feels very privileged to have spent most of her work life in the sewing industry and loves teaching, making her own handmade wardrobe and writing about sewing. She spent over ten years as the newsletter and web site content writer for the Pacific Northwest's largest locally-owned family of fabric stores and is now thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for sewing with the Sewing Secrets community.

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