Rainbow Pencil Roll Tutorial

tutorial for making a pencil roll

A new year meant some new pencils for the girls at school and in an effort to keep track of them all an not lose any pencils I made a couple of pencil rolls for them. I’m sharing this rainbow pencil roll tutorial with you all in case you’d like to make one too.

rainbow fabrics

With a rainbow of fabrics in my stash I thought (and was right) that we’d be able to match each pencil to a fabric of the same colour.

picking fabrics for rainbow pencil roll

This was the really fun part of this project, working out the order and matching the fabrics. My middle daughter wanted to help so we did a lot of this together which was fun too.

cutting fabric strips for pencil roll

Once you have selected all your fabrics use a cutting mat and rotary cutter to cut 4cm strips (1.5 inches) from each of the colours. We made the strips 12 inches long so we could sew nice long strips easily and then cut them in half to make two whole pencil rolls instead of one. Sometimes it’s just as easy to cut out enough for two projects instead of just one.

matching coloured pencils with fabric

We pressed all the fabrics flat and then placed them in order ready to sew.

sewing a rainbow of fabric

One at a time line your strips up in order and sew them right sides together using a 1cm seam allowance. Try and sew nice and straight so that they will all line up at the end and the pencils will all slip inside easily when the pencil roll is completed.

rainbow fabric strips

Press all the seams open.

sewing rainbow strips

Straighten up the top and bottom edges with a ruler and rotary cutter.

sewing kids presents

Lay your sewn rainbow piece on top of some backing fabric and cut out one piece of fabric the same size. We chose the last fabric from our roll which we used for the black pencil. Then with right sides together sew around three of the sides leaving one long edge open.

pencil roll

Clip the two corners you sewed to reduce the bulk and then turn this right sides out and press this flat with an iron.

homemade pencil roll

To make the actual pencil roll lay the pencil part you have just sewn on top and cut out two backing fabrics larger. You’ll need to allow extra fabric on either side for it to roll up and quite a bit more up the top so that it is longer than the pencils. It’s a good idea to use some fabric that is a bit firmer and actually interface one of them with some padded interfacing to help protect the pencils once the pencil roll is finished.

Now place your pencil section on top of one of the backing fabrics with the bottom edges lined up together. Next you need to sew in the ditch between each of the coloured pieces so that the pencils can slip inside each of them. Make sure you backstitch at the top so that it is nice and strong.

homemade rainbow pencil roll instructions

With the wrong sides of the two backing fabrics together sew around the outside edge to join it all together. I used an overlocker to do this part and clipped the corners to be rounded edges to make binding easier.

rainbow pencil roll how to

Using some co-ordinating bias binding sew this around the outside edge of the pencil roll and then add a long strip of bias binding, which has been folded in half and sewn,  to the right edge of the roll so that this can be wrapped around the pencil roll once it’s rolled up and you can use this to tie the whole thing together.

faber castell pencils for a pencil roll

We chose these Faber-Castell pencils for our pencil roll which we purchased from Officeworks. I love them as they have a little label part on each pencil so you can write your name.

how to sew a pencil roll

All that is left to do is to place each pencil in and roll it up ready to take to school.

rainbow pencil roll instructions

We’ve made pencil rolls before however not with a rainbow of fabric. It takes a little longer to make this way however the results just make me so happy. I always loved getting new pencils when I was little and only wished I’d had something this pretty to keep them in.

Do you love new pencils? What sort of pencil case do your kids use?

  • http://faithandfabricdesign.com/ Jen @ Faith and Fabric

    Love this idea, so so cute! It’s a great use of scraps, and beautiful to look at.

    • Lorelei

      Thanks Jen. It felt good using up some fabric from my stash.

  • Tracy Redford-Smith

    Ah, so pretty! I have kept so many fabric scraps to make a string quilt, but this might be a better project!

    • Lorelei

      Thanks Tracy. It seemed easier to do two lengths at once and then they were so long that we cut them in half.

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