Zip-It-Up Pencil Case {Tutorial}

Zip It Up Pencil Case

Zip It Up Pencil Case

Picture 1 of 5 (Click arrow for more pictures)


“It’s Back To School time, boys and girls.” This zip-it-up pencil case would be of great help for them to keep their stationary in place. Not only that, it is also a great topic for “Show And Tell” session to their new class-mates of how the magic works with this zipper + ribbon strip…”See, this is a strip of ribbon, and I am going to turn it into a pencil case…. *zip**zip**zippppp***…. tadaaaa…. a pencil case!!!!”. School is fun with friends and books around.

Recently, I received an overwhelming and fantastic responses came all over the world to visit the tutorial of the Zip-Itself Tetrahedron Coin Purse, the same concept of this zip-it-up pencil case. Among the feedback and comments, some of you found it difficult to understand at some point, but I am glad that after putting you hands on it, you’ve made yourself some successful coin purses. As usual, practice makes perfect! Grandma G even tried it on with her sewing machine with a wider ribbon that her daughter Jessica of How About Orange designed. Jessica also shared the post with her readers. I was so happy that you all like the coin purse so much. As an appreciation to all your visits and feedback, I developed another tutorial to the same concept. This time both boys and girls can use this zip-it-up pencil case (just have to be fair to the boys too, right?).

I hope you like this Zip-It-Up Pencil Case as much as the coin purse. Please find the tutorial after this.

Finished Dimension: approx. 4″ x 8″ x 1 1/2″

Materials:
1. Zipper (nylon) – 80″
2. Ribbon (7/8″)- 80″ (Note: you can use grosgrain, woven, satin ribbons, or other alternative materials like lace, fabric strip, soft twill tape etc.)
3. Ribbon – short length for the purse loop.
4. Lining fabric strip (1 1/2″) – 80″ (optional)

Tools:
1. Sewing needles.
2. Matching threads
3. Pins
4. Marker
5. Warm iron (optional, use only with lining)

zipper & ribbon sew coin purseGet ready the materials and tools as per quantities stated above.
You can get the long nylon zipper from craft shop that cut into your requested length, and don’t forget to add a zipper pull.
Sew a few stitches to make a bottom-stop about 1″ from the end of the zipper.
Tie 2 knots on both top zipper tapes to prevent the zipper-pull from accidentally glide out from the zipper.

sew ribbon to zipperMeasure 4 3/4″ from zipper’s bottom-stop. Mark, this is the START point.
Pin and backstitch the ribbon to the zipper tape along line A, start at 3/4″ from the ribbon end and 1/32″ away from the teeth in order for the zipper pull to glide through.
I sewed with longer stitch on the wrong side but shorter loop stitch on the right side for the backstitch so that the thread is not obviously seen on the right side.
When you reach the bottom stop, bend the zipper tape down, smooth the corner by crossing of zipper ends, continue sewing your ribbon till you have done around 70″ from the start point.

zip it up coin purseCome back to the start point. Arch the tape at the marking where the marking should be at the center of the ribbon’s width, pin the ribbon to the tape along line B.
Sew ribbon to the tape of the other side of the zipper.
Fold the ribbon’s end in and slip stitch the ribbon to the tape by following the curve.
A nice smooth curvature determine the beauty of the pencil case.

Continue back stitching the ribbon to the zipper tape until you have done 65″ from the start point.
There will be a different of 5″ of stitching between line A & B.

Zip-up the zipper and the pencil case shape is formed through a upward spiral closure.
Measure your pencil case from the bottom stop, it should be around slightly over 8″ and your zipper goes 7 rounds of zipping.

Press the top edge of the pencil case to find the top corners of a rectangular shape.
Mark both points on line A & B.
The point above the the bottom-stop is the end point, whilst, the point above the start point is the pencil case top-stop with a ribbon loop (please refer the last step-by-step photo for clearer picture).

Unzip the pencil case a little. Arch the line A zipper tape at the marking, the zipper ends should meet and intersect at the other marking on line B.
Place a ribbon loop on the intersection point of the zipper, pin & sew to join.
Trim off the extra zipper, crossed them and make a few stitches to stabilized the position.
Trim off the extra length of the ribbon and fold the raw edge of the ribbon, just like the start point, slip stitch to the tape.
Whip stitch the zipper edges at the back of the pencil case to complete it.

lined your pouchYou may add a lining at the back of the pencil case. The lining will add some stability and aesthetic look to the workmanship of the pencil case.
Iron the lining strip by folding in both edges to form a 7/8″ double-fold tape.
Slip-stitch along the backstitch line to cover the stitches done for the ribbon. When you reach the curve of the start and end points, trim the ends to follow the curvature, fold in and slip stitch like you did the ribbon.

Zip it up pencil caseZip it all the way up and you will get a pencil case.
Or, zip it all the way down to return it to a ribbon with edges full of zipper teeth.

Zip It Up Pencil Case

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72 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Oh, that is adorable! Kids would sure have fun showing it off! Love it!

  2. Oh my goodness, you’ve done it again! It’s wonderful!!! And time-consuming, I bet. Wow, great work.

  3. Ah!!! I love it. It’s absolutely fantastic!!!

  4. That is so fun! I would so get in trouble for zipping and un-zipping it a million times!!

  5. Es increible la cantidad de bellas ideas que compartes!!!
    Adore este proyecto es super lindo y original!!!
    Muchas gracias :)
    Besos

    Translation (by Google):
    It’s amazing how many beautiful ideas you share!
    Adore this project is super cute and original!
    Thank you very much:)
    kisses

  6. I tried it and I agree with you! It is really addictive, you will not notice what time is it when you started to do this. Zip it all the way up! I really love this!

  7. I love it! And would definitely use this for school. It might take me a while to make since I just began sewing a few months ago. lol

  8. Wow! That is amazing!

  9. Is there an option to use a machine for this project? Is it simply easier to hand stitch it all?

    • You can machine sewn the zipper for the straight lines then hand sewn the curved ends and the lining.
      If you are good with machine, then it is a lot faster than hand sewn :)

  10. Is 80″ correct for the length of the zipper? That is over 2 yards. Just checking before I try this project it looks great.

  11. This is very nice. which zip no need to use this.. pls reply. wts ur website? Tns. Harini

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  14. Hihi
    Luv tis soo much..I know u can use tis method to make a small handbag for the girls..
    Looking forward on ur new ideas…

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  16. Fabulous idea!
    A question for you: I’m confused on the construction of this, especially where and on which end to start sewing. Is this pretty much the same construction as the zip-it-up coin purse, just with a longer zipper?
    For some reason I had an easier time understanding the coin purse instructions.

    Thanks!

  17. Thanks for sharing your terrific idea and tutorial…I have posted about you on my Freebies blog.
    Hugs Khris

  18. this looks great! i’m hoping to make it for a teacher gift…i cannot seem to find 80″ nylon zippers, though? am i just looking in the wrong place?

  19. I feel dumb because I cannot for the life of me understand how to do this one.

  20. WOW ! this is soo fun and creative..I would like to give it a whirl..Is there a way to print this tutorial in PDF format ? Thanks for assisting

  21. hello,
    my name is adilah

    wow..so cute n creative..where do you get that zipper.im still a student n i want to try it..

  22. that means the zipper do not close at the end of 80” compare to others zip?

    • Your are right. It is a cut to length zipper, so both ends are open. You need to insert a zipper pull into the zipper (the shop should be able to do it for you). TO close the end of the zipper, simply sew it up across so that the pull can’t pass through.
      Hope this help :)

      20.1
      Reply
  23. thank you for the information..good luck in your career..

  24. Hey..im from sri lanka
    thx so much for this tutorial and many more others
    my mom learnt everything from just the pictures…
    shes a professional seamstress so she found it much faster doing it on the machine for all the straight parts….
    just an idea that instead of ribbon we can also use any beautiful fabric scraps (a bit wider coz will give a bigger purse) left over from other stuff
    once again thanks a million…

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  26. this is so cool! i’m definitely making these for the kids in my life! thanks! :) lisa

  27. This is so COOL!!!!! I’m only 12, but I will totally try to make this!!!

  28. i don’t understand how to finish the top

  29. Hello, I made this pencil box using lace which is very Indian and this was made in almost one hour! (minus the inner lining). Everyone loved the idea and I am going to make some more as giveaways to friends.
    Thanks for wonderful website
    Neha (Mumbai)

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  31. hey there! I would just like to say thank you so much for this tutorial, and the one with the coin purse! It’s so cute and so amazing! I finished making the pencil case today! Thank you again! :D

  32. Absolutely wonderful!!! Although I was wondering if I should use a closed zipper or a open one, does it matter???

    • Alice, I don’t know what is closed or open zipper, please elaborate it a little more so that I can answer your question :)

      28.1
      Reply
      • A closed zipper is a zipper with and ending to it so like the ones on jackets for example but an open zipper is a zipper without the ending.

        28.1.1
        Reply
        • Yes, you can use both zippers, I am using a cut-to-length zipper and it doesn’t come with any stop. If your zipper doesn’t has an end stop then you will need to make a few stitches so that zipper pull won’t slip it’s way out from the teeth accidentally when you open it too fast while sewing.

          28.1.1.1
          Reply
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  34. hi,i just want to ask abaut my zip pecil case that always look bigger on the top,can you help me ?

    • I can’t be sure what’s going wrong without taking a look on your pencil case, but I guessed that perhaps the zipper end is not perfectly matched. Please send me a photo or two, thanks.

      29.1
      Reply
  35. I have seen these more in a rectangle shape, and I shoulder strap. There are two tabs, ont that is straight across the top of the purse and the one that unwinds it all and that is included in the shoulder strap. Any ideas how to do that?

  36. Where would one get a zipper for this project?

  37. Can ou provide a website where one could get a zipper for this project?

    • I bought it from local craft shop that sells sewing notion. You can try to find it in your local craft shop, it is quite common but some shop won’t display it.

      32.1
      Reply
  38. Did you sew the ribbon on by hand or machine?

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  41. can you make a video? more easier for me to understand.

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