Vinyl Pencil Case




When all the ads on TV start playing the back to school tune, I can't help but get giddy at the prospect of new school supplies. Mmmm, fresh Laurentien pencil crayons and brand new Bic ultra fine point pens. I used to use one of those plaid pencil cases in my binder in elementary school (didn't everyone?) so I thought I might try to replicate one for my knitting and sewing design binder. 'Course the new one is a fair bit hipper than plain ol' 70's plaid. There's plenty of higher res pictures in my flickr tutorial set

Step 1: Round Up Your Supplies

Piece of vinyl cut to 10" x 10"
scraps of vinyl for your motif of choice and for your tension swatch
8" zipper
exacto knife
rotary cutter
zipper foot
3/8" grommets
painter's tape

Step 2: Mark Off and Cut the Hole for the Zipper

With a pencil, mark off the zipper placement on the backside of the vinyl by drawing a line at 4" in from the edge and another line at 4 and 1/3." Mark the top and bottom cut lines 1" from the top edge.

Using the exacto knife cut the short end lines as well as a little ways into the long line. This will give you a precise cut when you go in with your rotary cutter to trim out the rest.

Trim out the rest with your rotary cutter.

Step 3: Center the Zipper

Center the zipper in the cut out area with right sides up and tape it down with the painter's tape. When you're sewing with vinyl you can't use pins because they leave permanent holes. That's why removable tape is your new best friend.

Step 4: Sew in the Zipper

With your zipper foot on, sew around the zipper opening. This will be your easiest zipper install ever. It stays flat the whole time. Bliss! I avoid sewing over the tape, it's better to peel it up and stick it back down after.

Step 5: Add Your Motif

Now that the zipper is in, put whatever embellishment or motif you want on the bigger side of the vinyl. You could sew buttons on, a silhouette of some random woodland creature like the kids enjoy or be like me; argyle! Be sure to leave an inch free of embellishment at the bottom, that's where the grommets will be.

Step 6: Sew Up the Sides and the Bottom

Fold the pencil case in half so that the zipper is at the back. Tape the whole thing together with that magic painter's tape. I even put some inside in the middle to keep the whole thing stable. (I told you it would become your best friend)

Sew up the sides with a 1/4" seam allowance and the bottom with a 1/2" seam allowance. I like to keep the top stitching on the zipper side for added interest, but it's not a hard and fast rule. At the bottom, add 1 more line of stitching 1/2" inch in from the previous one. This will create the bottom of the pouch and add stability.

Measure and mark for your grommets. A standard 3 hole binder's rings are 4.25" apart. Mark for the first hole in the center of the first line of stitching at the bottom and measure out from there.

Step 7: Grommet Time!

Cut away the vinyl with the exacto.

Put the grommets through and hammer 'em in according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 8: Square Up the Edges

Last step is to square up your edges with the rotary cutter and you're finished! I got a cool pinking blade for my rotary cutter, but plain edges work just as well. Put it in your binder and you're set!

Ta da! You're finished!



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    5 Discussions


    12 years ago

    very nice! You could use the same principal to make a little change purse as well, just make it smaller and maybe shaped different...I gots ta get myself some vinyl now...


    12 years ago

    this is amazing, I have the lowest sewing-related-frustration-tolerance in the world. Even such an easy thing as a zipper would anger me into just using glue. You are the equivilent to a sewing god/ess


    12 years ago

    This is a great instuctable! I love argyle :P I soooo have to make one of these. Or something like it. I just realized how easy it could be to make a purse or something. Im off to look for a zipper...


    12 years ago

    Man, this is awsome looking! Nice pictures btw, they are very nice.