Embroidered pencil case for back to school | Popcorn & Chocolate

Embroidered “Stay Sharp” Pencil Case

DIY pencil caseWhat happened to summer?! Just a few weeks ago we were sitting on the beach playing backgammon and eating our key lime pie ice cream. I can’t believe it is already that time when kids are going back to school and the leaves are starting to fall and the weather is getting cooler. I ain’t complaining though; I love the fall. It is definitely my favorite season.

DIY embroidered pencil caseDIY embroidered pencil case | Popcorn & ChocolateLast year we enjoyed quite a few adventures in New Hampshire. I can’t wait to go hiking again and carve those pumpkins! But before any of that fall stuff happens, kids have to get back into the swing of school, and that means buying school supplies! That was always my favorite part of going back to school: getting all the supplies you needed for the year ahead.

Hand-stitched pencil pouch | Popcorn & ChocolateHand-stitched pencil pouch | Popcorn & ChocolateThis year we have a fun, embroidered pencil case that you can make yourself to add to your pile of school supplies. It is fairly simple to make in that I haven’t embroidered much before and I was able to make it. We embroidered “stay sharp” on our pencil case as a cute little reminder to well, stay sharp when working.

Embroidered pencil case for back to school | Popcorn & ChocolateThis pencil case is the perfect addition to throw in your school bag to keep all your brand new pens and pencils together. Plus, since it is handmade, you don’t have to worry about anyone else having the same one.

DIY Embroidered pencil case | Popcorn & ChocolateSo grab your embroidery thread and canvas and read below to find out how to make this embroidered “stay sharp” pencil case!



  1. Cut a piece of canvas to the size you want your pencil case to be. We cut ours to about 9.5 inches by 9 inches. Remember to cut it long enough that folding it in half will be the size you want it. You want to leave extra room on the sides because you will be sewing up the sides and you’ll lose a little room with your stitches. Definitely air on the side of too big.
  2. Next determine what phrase you want to put on your pencil case. We chose stay sharp. If you fold your canvas in half, you will be writing the phrase in the middle of the top half (with the opening at the top and on the sides). Once you have a phrase or word in mind, either hand write or trace this onto your canvas with the embroidery transfer pen. We typed out the phrase on the computer and traced the font onto the canvas. I would recommend spacing your letters out a little bit to make the phrase easier to read.img_1997
  3. Once your phrase is written, you can place the embroidery hoop over the first few letters to make the canvas tight.
  4. Thread your needle with embroidery thread and knot the thread at one end.  Starting with the needle in the back of the canvas, pull the needle through to the front all the way until it hits the knot. Next, take your needle and about 2 centimeters away from where your needle just came out, following your stencil, poke the needle back through so it is now on the back of your canvas. Continue this running stitch until your whole phrase is filled out.
  5. To tie off our embroidery you will flip the canvas over so you are looking at the back and using your needle, thread the needle through the previous stitch to create a loop. Then thread the needle through that loop but hold your finger in the loop you’ve just created because you’ll want to double knot it. Pull the first loop in tight to the stitch in your canvas and you should now be holding a second loop. Now thread your needle through the second loop and pull all the way. These instructions are useful if you’re confused! I’m describing the knot that they did in the green thread. 
  6. To create the little polka-dot-balls, or french knots as they are called, take a new piece of embroidery thread (can be pretty short) and thread your needle and tie a knot at the end of the thread. Poke the needle through from the back to the front of the canvas and then holding the thread in your left hand and the needle in your right, wrap the thread around the needle twice and then place the needle right next to where you just pulled it out and push it through to the back of the canvas while holding the thread in your left hand tight. Tie the thread off and repeat wherever you want little dots!

    DIY Embroidered pencil case

  7. Sew the zipper onto the top of the canvas by using the same running stitch as the lettering.
  8. Leaving the zipper open, flip your pencil case inside out and sew each side together using the running stitch. If you do big stitches, you may want to stitch up and down each side to make sure your pencils don’t come poking out!
  9. Flip your pencil case back so it is no longer inside out and you should have a fully functioning and cute pencil case!

DIY 'Stay Sharp' Embroidered Pencil Case | Popcorn & ChocolateI know this DIY might see a little bit more involved and daunting than some of our others, but honestly I have little to no experience sewing and embroidering and I was able to make this stay sharp pencil case all by myself. I’m quite proud of myself and can’t wait to fill it with some pencils and pens and carry it around with me. So, go ahead and give this DIY a try and let us know how it comes out!

Embroidered pencil case | Popcorn & ChocolateIf you are looking for some more fun back to school DIY’s you can check out our color block and ombre wooden pencils or how about some emoji magnets to add to your locker?!

Hand-Stitched Pencil Case | Popcorn & ChocolateUntil next time, stay sharp my friends.

P.S. if you were interested in the cute patch on my backpack you can find it in our Etsy shop All Wool and No Shoddy

Homemade Patch on backpack

Embroidered stay sharp pencil case | Popcorn & Chocolate

Nautical themed backgammon | Popcorn & Chocolate

Nautical Hand-Painted Travel Backgammon Board

IMG_1591Hello lovelies! We told you in our last post that we had some fun summer DIY’s coming for you to end your summer with good memories. Well that is just what we have for you today with this nautical themed hand-painted backgammon board we made.

Nautical themed backgammon | Popcorn & Chocolate

I love playing backgammon. My mom taught me how to play when I was younger, and once I got to college I roped Rose into the fun of the game and we have been addicted ever since.

Handmade backgammon board | Popcorn & Chocolate

We have this silly old fashioned board that I swear is 50 years old. It gets the job done, but some of the pieces are missing their backs, and we have to lug this whole mini suitcase around wherever we want to play, which is a problem when you like to play on the beach and need room in your bag for the 5 towels and 500 snacks you are bringing too.

Travel Backgammon Board | Popcorn & Chocolate

Being the little crafters that we are, we decided we could easily make a travel friendly hand-painted backgammon board of our own! This way we can easily transport the game and play it on the beach or wherever our hearts desire! Since we had the beach in mind, we thought it appropriate to have a nautical theme to the board – but you can do any colors/designs you want! Keep reading to find out how to make this nautical hand-painted travel backgammon board!


DIY Nautical Themed Backgammon Board | Popcorn & Chocolate

Nautical backgammon board | Popcorn & Chocolate


  • Canvas fabric
  • Acrylic paint
  • Ruler
  • Paint brush
  • Wooden pieces (you’ll need 30 total) – we used these
  • Fabric paint pen or a sharpie
  • Stamps and ink (optional)

How to make this nautical DIY backgammon board:

  1. Start by measuring and cutting out your canvas fabric. For reference, our whole fabric sheet is 16 x 21 inches and then our board within that is 12 x 19 inches. You can decide how much extra fabric you have along the edges of the actual board. But don’t forget you need space on at least one side for your home pieces!
  2. Once your fabric is cut out, now you can make the actual board. Our board is drawn about 2 inches away from the outer edge of the fabric on the longer side and about 1 inch on one of the shorter sides and 2 inches on the other in order to leave room for pieces you take off while playing. Use a very light pencil mark to measure this out and then using a either a fabric pen or a sharpie and a ruler, connect the marks so you have a rectangle.
  3. Now that you have the outer edges drawn, make another light pencil mark that divides your board exactly in half. For us, that meant measuring 9 inches away from one of the shorter sides. Then using the ruler and the black paint pen or sharpie, make the center black line.
  4. Now that you have your board in place, you can start making the triangles. Each of the triangles are 1/4 inch apart and the triangles themselves are 1 and 1/4 inches wide. So starting on one side of the board, measure 1/4 inch and make a light tick mark. From that tick mark, measure 1 and 1/4 inches and make another light tick, then measure another 1/4 inch and make a tick. Continue this alternating between 1/4 inch and 1 and 1/4 inches all the way across the board. You should end up with 12 triangles on each side.
  5. Now that you’ve mapped out where the triangles will be drawn, measure halfway between the 1 and 1/4 inch triangle base (which is 3/4 inch from one side). From this point, measure up 4 inches for the short triangles and 5 inches for the taller ones. Don’t forget to alternate between these! Make a tick mark with your pencil at what will be the tip of the triangle, and then using your ruler and black pen connect that tick mark with the left and right tick marks representing the triangle base. Continue making triangles like this, alternating between 4 and 5 inches long, until all 24 of your triangles are made.
  6. Now your entire board is mapped out and you can start painting. Choose 2 colors: one for the short triangles and one for the long triangles. Using a ruler and a paint brush, fill in each of the triangles with your desired colors. Note: if you want your lines really precise you could use painters tape to outline the triangles. I wasn’t too worried about being precise, so I just used a ruler and a steady hand.
  7. If you want stripes like we did on the the short triangles, you can use the ruler to outline the triangle and then once that is dry use the ruler as a straightedge to make stripes across the triangle. Important: make sure you let the stripes dry one at time otherwise you might stick your ruler in wet paint and smudge it!
  8. Now to make the pieces. To make the stamped anchor pieces, all you will need is a rubber stamp and ink. If you don’t have stamps, you can just paint the pieces a solid color like we did with the yellow ones. If you were feeling fancy, you might even paint interesting designs. Just don’t forget to make 2 different sets of 15 pieces.
  9. Now it’s time to play!


There you have it! A fun way to end summer by playing backgammon with your friends on your new hand-painted backgammon board! You can even pair it with some Lucky Charms Popcorn for some extra luck. Let us know in the comments below what your favorite games are and if you have ever played backgammon before!

Travel Nautical Backgammon | Popcorn & Chocolate

Now I can whoop Rose’s ass in style 😉 That is if I’m not sleeping…


Nautical Travel Backgammon Board | Popcorn & Chocolate