Thursday, August 8, 2013

Box-shaped zipper pencil case tutorial

Next month spoonflower is having a zipper pencil case contest and I am SOOO excited, I usually don't do too well at their contests but with this one my mind has just been buzzing. Because hey, let's face it, I got into etsy only after I learned I could buy zippers at bulk prices for 1/10th of the cost they are in stores, crank out adorable bags for all my loved ones, and then everyone else's loved ones too!

But I've never posted a whole lot about my methods, and I need to for this contest, so here are the instructions for how to make a zipper pouch that's got some 3-D-ness to it.

It was also a fun chance for me to try scrawling on my photos with an ipad stylus... my handwriting is not the most beautiful but this method certainly gets to the point.

Here we go: the box-shaped pencil case in only a few EASY steps!

First, the pattern: I've got two here, one that's 3" and requires a 12.5x12.5" square of fabric, and one that gives you 2.5" sides and requires a 10.5"x12" square. Both require 8 inch zippers, but you can use a smaller zipper and add fabric to the ends before sewing it to make up for that, or you can use a longer zipper and just add inches of fabric.

To start: lay your lining and outside fabric on top of each other, right sides together. Sandwich the zipper in there, teeth up. Sew along the top edge. I don't get out my zipper foot for this, I just hit that lever on my sewing machine that moves the needle over a smidge.

Then sew the other side of the zipper.

Now this is important... open your zipper, at least halfway!

Then sew the side edges.

Then the corners - leaving the lining corners open.

Check to make sure each side's top and bottom are the same length, so your box will have square ends, not trapezoid ones. Then turn the whole thing inside-out through the open lining corners. This will be really easy as long as you remembered to leave your zipper open.

And topstitch the lining corners closed.

And you're done! Here's about what it should look like:


  1. What a fantastically simple pattern. It makes an exquisite pencil case.... and without zip stress or zip rage!! Now to hop to it and make my other Grandson one. Thank you very much for posting this pattern and tutorial!

    1. thanks, I'm glad this helped you! and yes I definitely only tackle projects that are free of zip rage, lol!

  2. Qhat is the dimention for the pencil case for a 12 inch zipper

    1. For every inch of zipper, add an inch of fabric. So here I have 12.5" for an 8 inch zipper - you'll want to use 16.5" for the length to use a 12" zipper.

  3. I found this pattern hard to follow in relation to zipper. I got gaps at each end of zipper. also the doing final seam was hard to understand and follow.