Completed: pencil roll

My daughter’s school participates in a project that collects shoeboxes filled with some school supplies, personal care products and small toys. These are then shipped to other countries and distributed to children living in poverty so they receive a gift with some practical and fun items.

handmade pencil roll rolled open showing 12 coloured pencils.

All packaging material has to be removed from the gifts because in the receiving countries they may not have the ability to dispose of the waste in a sustainable manner. Fair enough, but I thought it was a bit messy to have 3 pens, 3 pencils and 12 coloured pencils just lying around in the box among all the other items. So, I decided to make a pencil roll to at least keep the coloured pencils organized. I imagine that this will also be useful for the eventual recipient as a storage solution.

Two fabrics on top of eachother. The one below for the outside of a pencil roll. the one on top will form the pockets for the pencils.

I didn’t want to spend too much time making one and searched for some quick tutorials. This 10-minute one was definitely the quickest tutorial I found! Not sure I’d be able to finish one in just 10 minutes though, but it’s definitely quick. I did not follow the instructions exactly because in the tutorial the roll is made from a single fabric and I wanted to include a print on the inside to brighten things up.

A pencil roll in progress. The pockets for the pencils have been sewn but the edges still need to be finished.

The outside fabric is a curtain remnant and I used the part that was already hemmed (time saver!) for the top of the roll. It was cut to 8 1/4” x 12.5” which allowed me to make twelve 1” slots for the pencils leaving ¼” on each side to finish the edges.

A pencil roll in progress. The edges of the fabric have been overlocked but the tails still need to be buried.

The pocket is a piece of quilting cotton that I doubled up so the top also didn’t require any finishing. I simply sewed from top to bottom to create the pockets, but at the top of the pocket I did some backstitching to reinforce that part. The sides and bottom were finished with my overlocker with the threads that it already happened to be threaded with. The tails were hidden in between 2 fabric layers at the very end.

The outside of a handmade pencil roll showing the ribbon that is used to close it.

On the outside I sewed a 50 cm ribbon to one of the sides as a closure. I am happy with how this pencil roll turned out and I hope one little girl will be able to use it for a long time to make pretty drawings.

A handmade pencil roll, rolled up and tied up with a ribbon.

October 27, 2021

Emmely Treffers

About Emmely

I am a sewing enthusiast from the Netherlands. I live in the Leiden area with my husband and two daughters and I am currently working as a senior researcher in molecular virology. With my quilting patterns and sewing blog I want to infect as many people as possible with my love for sewing.

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  1. katechiconi

    Thoughtful as well as useful and pretty. And I love the new look of your blog!

    • Emmely

      Thank you! The look will change even more once I get the new website up and running and it’ll certainly be better!

  2. tialys

    It looks a treat and will be very useful for the lucky recipient, This idea also works well for crochet hooks – I use mine all the time.

    • Emmely

      Yes, it certainly works for a lot of different tools!

    • Emmely

      Yes it is certainly very portable! Hmmm, and I still need to send you a package…. I’ve gathered everything but haven’t gotten round to shipping it yet.

  3. marissthequilter

    What a generous and thoughtful thing to do. I am sure your pencil roll will make the child who receives it very happy indeed.

    • Emmely

      Thank you! I sure hope it will!


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