Zippered Pencil Bag Pattern

Sometimes people think I am a “professional seamstress” or at least an experienced sewer. Yes-I have done a lot of sewing, but most of it is self taught and none of it is professional. So, I had never tried making a zippered pouch before this and was honestly a little nervous to try. Guess what?! This is the easiest thing to make and I LOVE how mine turned out!

Easy Pencil Case Pattern and Tutorial

Zippered Pencil Bag Tutorial

So much fun and a perfect project for our Learn to Sew Series for Kids.

Really you could make it any size-it could be a coin purse, a makeup bag, whatever you want.


Zippered Pencil Bag Pattern:

Supplies Needed:

2 Fabrics (small amounts-scraps or fat quarters will do)

Zipper (I recommend a 9 inch if you are making a pencil bag. If you are making something else, pick a zipper that fits what you are making)



Grab your zipper and lay it out in front of you. You are going to want to cut your fabric to the length of your zipper. So, if you have a 9 inch zipper, cut your fabric 9 inches long. My pencil bag is 9″ x 5.” So, cut 4 pieces of fabric that are the length of your zipper by 5 inches (or whatever size you want your bag to be). This will be 2 pieces of your main fabric and 2 pieces of your inner fabric.

With your zipper laying in front of you, take 1 piece of your main fabric and 1 piece of your inner fabric and lay them on the zipper so that right sides are together and the zipper is sandwiched in the middle. In this picture the zipper is wedged in between the two layers of fabric and pinned along the top. (Be careful if you are using directional fabric that you lay it so that it will be right side up when you finish.


Here’s what it looks like from the inside or your pinned pieces:


Sew a straight stitch along that. When you get to where your zipper pull is, stop sewing, back stitch and remove the fabric. Move your zipper pull out of the way and then begin sewing again where you left off.

Do this to both sides of the zipper.

When you are finished it will look like this. You will need to iron it to get it nice and flat:


Here’s the underside:


Open your zipper half way:


Now, to sew it all together you are going to lay it so that your outer fabric goes one direction and your inner goes the other, making sure that the zipper pull and tabs face towards your outer fabric. Pin the inner fabric to the inner fabric and the outer fabric to the outer fabric:


And sew around it all, leaving a small opening to turn it:


Then turn it all right side out, push out the corners and press it flat. Sew your opening shut:  Sewshut

And you’ve got yourself a pencil case!


You’ve just found another prize in the Sew Crazy Challenge Scavenger Hunt!

1 person will win a Pepe in Paris Rolie Polie Pack:


Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


And here’s your clue for the next prize pack:

Eating too many s’mores might make you gag,

But your kids will sleep snug in this sleeping bag.

Good luck!

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Hey there! I'm Amber, mom of 4 crazy boys, wife of 1 and non-stop, always busy, crazy project doer. (There's a reason why we call it *Crazy* Little Projects.) I love chocolate, reading, sewing and being with people!
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  1. amy Kohn says

    cool. can’t wait to try this. I bought a zipper a while back to practice on something and this will be perfect!

  2. Stacy says

    Do I need to have a zipper foot for my machine to do this? I only have the regular, clear one. (My machine was a hand me down and I’m still learning to use it).

  3. simonnet valou says

    super!ça me motive pr me lancer dans le “cours pose de fermeture éclair” jm y mets la semaine prochaine!jviens de découvrir ton blog,c est genial merci pour tout ces tutos et conseils;bon week end

    • says

      Shhh, don’t tell anyone but I didn’t use a zipper foot. I never really do. Actually, on this particular way to sew a zipper you don’t even need it. Just move the zipper pull out of your way while you sew past it.

  4. michelle neel says

    This is a great simple project. If you have an artsy person that you need to make a quick gift for this is great, fill with some new markers or colored pencils/pens and give with a new pad of paper. Was also thinking to make it a little more special if you have an embroidery machine, you could put their name on it to make it more special. I just recently started doing zentangle and have pens that were getting lost in the shuffle. found this project and it works perfect. I am a quilter also so I had plenty of scrap fabrics around to work with.
    seriously if it took me 1/2 an hour I would be surprised. I did use a zipper foot so I didn’t have to worry about my sewing lines being straight by the zipper.

  5. Mimi says

    If I wanted to put a thickish clear protective plastic over the front of the pencil case, would I just run it through with the zipper and fabrics all together?

  6. Carole M says

    Zippers do generally scare me, however projects like this (I made this one for my son for school!) make it a bit easier.

  7. Leah says

    Zippers scare me for sure. I’m doing the monthly challenges with you and I have all the stuff to do the pin tuck pouch, but I haven’t started it for fear of the zipper.

  8. Renee says

    This one is sort of like the zippered pouch we did for January’s challenge, isn’t it? I wouldn’t have tried this before because of the zipper, but now I know I can do it!

  9. Jen S. says

    I don’t think I was that afraid of zippers when approaching the January Sew Challenge Pintuck Pouch. I didn’t have too bad of a time with it, actually. I have many other things that scare me more (bias tape, sewing sheers, and free motion quilting for example). :)

  10. Leslie says

    Zippers scare me a little, but I sewed a pouch with one last month. Trying the zipper out gave me the confidence to try zippers some more! I am excited to create some things with zippers!

  11. Nannette Elizabeth Nielsen says

    I really need to make this so when my surprise little boy starts school I can make some cute ones for him.

  12. Kim H says

    Don’t scare me anymore, all thanks to your Learn To Sew skirt tutorial! I’ve made zippered sleep-sacks for babies all b/c of you! Thank you!

  13. Michelle says

    We need some of these. I think I may add an extension on the bottom with three large grommets so it can be put in a 3-ring binder like the store-bought type.

  14. Maria says

    I used to be afraid of zippers, but after making a few box bags, I am no longer intimidated. Love this pencil pouch, I think my daughter needs one :)

  15. Michelle says

    Adorable! I have 3 little girls in school. They would love to have a special pencil pouch that they designed themselves.

  16. Tammy says

    Zippers scared me at first but once I started making bags they weren’t so bad, once in a while you get bad zipper instructions but you just figure them out.

  17. Elisa says

    Love this tutorial – I used it to put in my first zipper, which turned out to be not nearly as scary as I thought it would be!

  18. Cristina Bustamante says

    I’ve tried sewing a pencil case where the zipper is in the middle of the fabric, this seems much simpler! Super cute!

  19. Candias Chalker says

    ABSOLUTELY DO….but loved your project last month which forced me to give it a try again….and found out it had been so frustrating all these years because I was not doing it properly….duh….so I did complete two pi tucked pouches with success.

  20. Emily says

    Zippers definitely don’t scare me as much as they use to. The first time I had to sew a zipper it was on a dress and it was an invisible zipper! It scared me to death and I pushed off having to do it for a week or better. Once I had sewn the zipper though, it wasn’t so bad and now they don’t scare me much at all :)

  21. Torrie says

    Yes, zippers scare me. But one of my goals this year is to sew and use a zipper. This looks the a great project to gain some confidence with.

  22. Sophie says

    Thank you for making zippers easier to understand. I’m not afraid of sewing them, but I do get stuck on how to put them all together sometimes…. Oh and the fabric is gorgeous!

  23. mary frtisch says

    Zippers scare me a little bit–I’ve made a few, but I do not have confidence with them… I always need to check how to layer them, etc.

  24. Erin M says

    I haven’t done zippers yet (my grandma installs all the zippers on my projects lol). This seems like a simple enough zipper project to start out with. Can’t wait!

  25. Melinda says

    I have yet to attempt working with zippers, but this looks like a great project to try. You make it all look so easy. Thank you for the inspiration.

  26. says

    Haven’t needed to put in a zipper in a long time. About to get back to the clothes making (over summer) so I guess I’ll just have to cross my fingers and hope I remember how to do it.

  27. Sharon Williams says

    I have been wanting to make a zippered pouch to keep my envelope system, for my Dave Ramsey , in….this would be great! And I could make clothe envelopes to put inside it!! Love this, thanks….

  28. Mippy/Sabrina says

    Yes, zippers scare meh. I am brand new to sewing. I just bought my first machine and haven’t even gotten thread yet…lol

  29. Christina Walters says

    Zippers used to scare me, until I tried last months sew monthly challenge. Now I’ve made 3 things with a zipper (bean bag, tablet stand, and the pintuck pouch) and plan to make a large cosmetic bag with a zipper. I even ordered a few zippers so I have some on hand.

  30. Katie says

    I can’t wait to try this. Saturday when I can I will buy a zipper and try this. If I wanted to make this with vinyl fabric would a table cloth do? I have one with a flannel back and I think it would be great to try this on it. To cover the flannel would I sew the inside fabric at the same time as the zipper?

    • Katie says

      And zippers scare me too. I am semi beginner. as I have sew a bunch of stuff I just never sewn a zipper cause it scares me.

  31. Sherry S says

    Zippers can be scary things. You need to approach them with caution as they have a lot of teeth. Taping them down or (lamb-) basting them into place sometimes helps. Either way you need to not make any sudden moves and take it very slow.

  32. Lisa says

    This looks so easy to sew and with five kids I will have a lot of fun letting the older ones pick out their own fabric. Thank you for the neat project!

  33. Lisa H says

    Yes! I have a zipper pouch project all cut out and ready to go…but I’m doing other projects first becuase I’m too scared :(

  34. Angelia L. says

    No, not really. I have made a few zipper pouches with no problem. They do scare my sewing machine though….it doesn’t like to sew over them very well.

  35. Rebecca Brewer says

    I have yet to be successful with a zipper. I’m prepared to try again though. Nothing like a glutton for punishment:)

  36. Brittany Duso says

    They do scare me, but that’s because I have never put one in a project before. I’m going to give it a try soon though! Wish me LUCK!

  37. Prerna Kapoor says

    Perfect excuse to finally get myself a sewing machine. I’m sick of my pens and pencils leaving marks in my handbags.

  38. Lydia Che Lee says

    Yes but only bc I’ve only done one and I butchered it…lol…I’m attempting another go of it this weekend…and using your tutorial this time.

    • Patti McAvoy says

      Zippers… Not so bad..unless you are two days from your wedding day and you still have not put in the zipper in your wedding dress

  39. Lisa Smith says

    I need to practice zippers more. The pouch could be used for so much more than just pencils.
    Need to give it a try soon.

  40. Kristen says

    Zippers scare me! I have tried a few and all I can say is…you win some, you lose some. This projects is cute and will be good practice for me.

  41. Tari McDonald says

    Zippers only scare me when we are talking about clothing installation. I’ve used zippers now in a zipper pouch and in some pillow covers- both were easy. Perhaps clothing zippers won’t be so scary after I actually try it :)

  42. Crystal S says

    Zippers totally scare me!!! unless i’m making them into a funky bracelet….sewing wise scary, accessory wise adore them :)

  43. Rachel says

    I love zippered pouches – they are great for many different things! I especially love them for out-n-about with the kiddos (treats, matchbox cars, crayons, etc,)

  44. Rachel says

    I would like to meet you but it is not possible because i live in Africa( Ghana)
    I would like to make a pencil case with one fabric

  45. Nicki says

    I just found your blog and I am loving it!!!! The back pack tut…I was about to buy a pattern, not now, and this one :) I’m sewing the backpack for my 4 yo whose starting pre-k and big bro going into 3rd is wanting one too…I dont think thats the best idea so Im looking for other little things…he needs a zipper pouch to fit his binder…I am going to attempt to add the rings to one for him…I will use canvas and interfacing to make it sturdier as well, but they are asking for a fabric one, so he’s gonna get one!!! Thanks so much!!!

  46. Wendy says

    I stumbled on this pattern and I love it. Your tutorial is ideal and easy to understand for the novice sewer :) I have made several . Thank you

  47. Margaret says

    I am making this now, and I found that with a 9″ zipper, the 9″ indicates the opening of the zip hole. So when cutting your fabric, don’t measure and cut it “9×5″ cut it to THE LENGTH OF THE ENTIRE ZIPPER. You will need the extra on both sides. The zipper I’m using measures about 10 1/4” from end to end, so cut to that length.

    Maybe this is common knowledge, too bad I don’t have any of that!!

    • Jennifer says

      Thank you for mentioning this! I wish I’d read your comment before starting this project. I’m new to sewing and made one of these pouches today, but I followed the cutting instructions exactly. It was difficult to sew over the ends of the zipper because the edges of the fabric lined up with the stopping points of the zipper – metal pieces which are, um, challenging for a machine to sew through/over. It also would have been helpful to have a photo of the whole project laid out just before sewing around it, as it would have shown me which way to fold the sides of the zipper (toward the lining or toward the exterior?). Despite the challenges, this was a fun project and mine turned out quite cute, so I will be doing it again with my daughter (with the fabric size adjustment).

  48. Robin says

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful and clear tutorial. I am a self taught sewer, and often do not measure, nor do I use patterns. I like the learning that comes with trial and error. But, sewing in a zipper proved more confusing than I imagined. So, I bought myself a few zippers (14″) and actually decided on a project, a water resistant ipad mini sleeve. I cut up one of those recyclable grocery bags for the lining, and cut up the top of 100% fleece pajamas. I got a new pair for $9.99 online this winter, and I never use the tops (I don’t like the buttons), so I save them for scrap projects. It worked out PERFECTLY!!!! Thanks again.

  49. Louise says

    So glad to find this! My 8 year old granddaughter got sewing machine for her birthday because she took an interest in my sewing. Mom & Dad are so pleased she wants to sew. Both have lots of projects planned for her, sewing buttons and hems etc. I just want to teach her fun projects. She wants to make pockets for her friends and this is perfect for her. Thank you!! :-)

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