What 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.
Last 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.
This 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.
This 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.
So grab your embroidery thread and canvas and read below to find out how to make this embroidered “stay sharp” pencil case!
- 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.
- 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.
- Once your phrase is written, you can place the embroidery hoop over the first few letters to make the canvas tight.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- Sew the zipper onto the top of the canvas by using the same running stitch as the lettering.
- 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!
- Flip your pencil case back so it is no longer inside out and you should have a fully functioning and cute pencil case!
I 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!
If 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?!
Until 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