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An Adorable Back-to-School DIY
The back-to-school season doesn’t have to be all stress and sadness and this adorable pencil case tutorial is here to prove it.
As you get school supplies ready for the year, think about how you can add flair and personality to your gear that will brighten your (or your kid’s) school day. A simple pop of color or unique design will bring smiles to everyone. Try this cute DIY pencil case to welcome fall and an exciting new school year with style.
Gather Tools and Supplies
This project only requires a few simple supplies, easily found at your local craft store and no sewing is required:
Continue to 2 of 7 below.
- 1 piece of fabric (cut to 8 inches by 12 inches)
- 7-inch zipper
- Fabric glue
- Fabric scissors
- Ruler or tape measure
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Cut Your Fabric
The color and design of your fabric and zipper are completely up to you. You can use denim, upholstery fabric and even old T-shirts for an upcycled creation. Experiment with colors to find your favorite combination.
If your piece of fabric is large, use your ruler and fabric scissors to cut it down into an 8-inch by 12-inch rectangle. Scrap fabric from a local thrift store works great for this project as you do not need an entire yard from the fabric store.
It’s easiest to do this on a gridded mat. If you don’t have one, use a pen or marker to draw a straight line on your fabric for you to follow when you cut. With this method, you’re sure to get an arrow-straight cut with no jagged edges.Continue to 3 of 7 below.
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Crease the Edges
Lay your fabric on your workspace face down—meaning the side you want to appear on the outside of your pencil case should be facing down with the inside facing towards you. Use your fingers to make a 1/2 inch fold on the shorter, 8-inch sides of your fabric.
Depending on the type of fabric you choose an iron may be helpful to firmly press the folds. A quick swipe with a hot iron should do the trick to create crisp edges in your fabric.Continue to 4 of 7 below.
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Add Your Zipper
Place your 7” zipper face up in the middle of your fabric rectangle like shown. Then, add a generous amount of fabric glue along the sides of the zipper. Try not to get any glue on the metal parts of the zipper otherwise, it may be difficult to open. If you do accidentally spill some on the zipper or zipper pull, quickly wipe it off with a clean cloth dipped in water or acetone.
If fabric glue isn't an option, there are other alternatives.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
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The Initial Fold
Take the 8” sides of your fabric and fold them each towards the zipper in the middle. Press each side onto the fabric glue on the zipper and gently pat them down. Allow this to dry for a few hours before moving to the next step. Your fabric glue bottle should have directions for use, but keep in mind that the glue doesn’t need to entirely dry before you continue to work on it. Just be sure to handle your project with care as you continue to avoid messes and tears.Continue to 6 of 7 below.
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Glue the Sides
Carefully turn your soon-to-be pencil case right-side-out to test the zipper and glue the sides. Leave the zipper unzipped for the time being to make the next steps easier.
If you dislike the way the zipper and fabric look, acetone may help to remove the glue. Try using a rag dipped in nail polish remover to wipe away the glue.
After the glue has dried, it’s time to join the sides of your bag together to finish the project. Turn your bag inside-out again before moving onto the next step.
Place fabric glue on one of the non-zippered edges of your bag. Then, gently press this glued side with the adjacent unglued side until they are securely stuck together. Repeat this step for the opposite side of your bag and allow the glue to dry for at least two hours. If possible, let the glue dry overnight for a stronger hold.Continue to 7 of 7 below.
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Flip your DIY right-side-out and you should have a fully functional, washable pen or pencil case. Just add school supplies. If you want to add more personality to your project, consider an iron-on patch or your favorite pins.