Making your own pencil case is a great and very useful project. I decided to use cherry wood and some veg tanned leather, however any kind of wood or leather would work here. This is a perfect project if you have some wood and leather scraps on hand, and it's also a project that doesn't require a whole lot of tools. In terms of size, you can certainly customize this case to fit any number of pens and pencils you'd like.
Step 1: The Wood
I decided to use cherry for the wood, however you could really use any wood you have on hand. Something simple as pine, or a good opportunity to use any exotics you may saved for a small project.
I wanted the case to fit about three pencils, so I measured it to fit that size. In terms of joinery, I simply went with butt joints, because I didn't want to go with anything complicated.
The wood I worked with measured about 3/8 inch in thickness, and 1 1/4 inch for the front and back, and 7/8 inch for the sides. I simply planed down my pieces to fit the perfect size, and then to length with a hand saw.
Step 2: Sides
Once the wood was mainly cut up, I decided to round the sides down for a sleeker profile. After marking with a pencil I used my coping saw to create a smooth angle.
Step 3: Magnet
I knew I wanted a clasp to be able to close the case, and after thinking about different methods, I decided to go with a magnet. I marked where the magnet would be located, and then carved out the section with a chisel. Once it fit snuggly, I mixed up some 5 min epoxy and glued it in.
Step 4: Glue Up
Once all the pieces were cut, sanded, and the magnet was glued in, I glued the box together using regular carpenters glue. I used several small clamps to keep the box together during glue up.
Step 5: Shaping & Finishing
Once the box was glued up and dry, I rounded the corners all around using my spoke shave and carving knife. After that I sanded the case down and finished it with some of my own linseed oil polish.
I wanted the cherry a touch darker so I left it out in the sun to darken for a couple of hours, which works very nicely.
Step 6: The Flap
To be able to close the box together, I decided to go for a leather flap. I used some 4-5 oz veg tanned leather.
First, I marked out how big of a flap I needed, taking the position down to the magnet, and a little extra, then I cut the leather to size.
Step 7: Securing the Magnet
To prepare for the magnet, I marked out where the fold would go, and I used a v-groove tool to make the fold crisp, and I removed some material with the skiver tool on the side that's going to be folded.
I positioned the magnet in the middle and added some contact cement to glue the flap in order to encapsulate the magnet.
Step 8: Stitching
Once the magnet was glued in, I punched some holes surrounding the magnet and sewed the end together so it won't come apart.
Step 9: Securing the Leather to the Magnet
In order to secure the leather to the back, I decided to drill a few holes on the bottom of the case, and then glue the leather to that space. Once glued in place, I drilled through the leather as well and stitched the leather to the wood for a stronger connection. And the case is ready!
Step 10: Conclusion - Watch the Video!
For a much better perspective, be sure to watch the video that goes over making the pencil case, as well as making an accompanying notebook!