Bags, Wallets, and Zips

Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial

Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead

Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead

Finally, right?! Eeek! I hope you find this tutorial fun and helpful!

Quite a few months ago I made these pencil pouches from the canvas fabrics in my collection for Cloud9 Fabrics, Rain Walk. So today I’m sharing the how-to and pattern template as a way of saying thank you to all who stop by my website, leave kind note, and are excited about sewing! I’m grateful for the community and fun and sharing!

Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead


  • 10″ zipper
  • templates CLICK TO DOWNLOAD (print at 100%, no scaling)
  • fat quarter – 18″ x 22″ cotton canvas for lining (I use an unbleached 9 oz. weight cotton canvas from my local Joanns, it’s perfect for showcasing all your pretty pencils and pens!)
  • 6″ x 18″ main print (canvas/denim/twill)
  • 6″ x 12″ accent fabric (canvas/denim/twill)
  • 1/4 yard fusible woven interfacing (I prefer Pellon SF101 which is 20″ wide)
  • zipper pull (optional) available here and here

Note about materials: If you choose to substitute a different fabric type than suggested, you may need additional interfacing for desired structure. Just sayin’.

Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead

All seam allowances 1/2″ unless otherwise noted. Seam allowance included in template.
RST=Right Sides Together, WST=Wrong Sides Together

Approx. finished size: 3 1/4″ tall x 10 1/2″ wide x 1 1/2″ deep


(1) Main, (1 Main reversed)
(1) Accent, (1 Accent reversed)
(2) lining
(2) fusible woven interfacing – using lining template

A note on cutting: Because you’ll want the color blocking to reflect on each side of the zipper, make sure you cut the exterior pieces accordingly (reversed as directed), they’ll look like this:

Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead

*my exterior pieces in the following steps are shown without interfacing so as to hopefully better show the process.

Piece the exterior

  1. Start by sewing the exterior together by placing the main print and accent fabric RST and sewing using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press seam to one side and topstitch. Fuse woven interfacing to wrong side.
    Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead
  2. Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - NoodleheadRepeat to assemble remaining exterior panel.Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead

Prepare the zipper

  1. Bend zipper ends in place and sew (at both the pull side and end stop side).

    Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead

    View from wrong side of zipper.

    Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead

    View from right side of zipper.

Attach zipper

  1. With assembled exterior panel right side up, center zipper right side facing down (zipper pull at left) along top edge. Pin in place.Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead
  2. Place one lining piece, right side down on top. Pin in place. Using your zipper foot, sew along top edge using a 1/4″ seam allowance.Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead
  3. Press exterior panel away from zipper and topstitch along zipper using an 1/8″ seam allowance.Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead
  4. Position exterior panel and lining panel WST. Press away from zipper.Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead
  5. Repeat 1-4 to attach remaining exterior panel and lining panel to remaining zipper side. This time placing zipper pull at right. Make sure your exterior panel seams match up at the same location as best you can.Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - NoodleheadCanvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - NoodleheadCanvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead

Complete Pouch

  1. Open zipper halfway!!!
  2. Position exterior panels RST and pin along sides and bottom. Position lining pieces RST and pin along sides and bottom. Be sure that you place pins at the intersections of where the lining meets the exterior on each side of the pouch.Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead
  3. Sew around perimeter of exterior and lining leaving a 4″ opening at the bottom of the lining.
  4. Press seam allowance open. If desired, trim lining seam allowance to 1/4″ except at opening.Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead
  5. Reach inside the pouch and wiggle the zipper open fully.
  6. Box corners by pinching one bottom seam to match its corresponding side seam. Sew. Repeat for remaining 3 corners.Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - NoodleheadCanvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - NoodleheadCanvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead
  7. Turn pouch right side out through opening in lining.
  8. Sew opening in lining closed (by machine or by hand)
  9. Push lining into exterior and press along zipper edge. Tip: To get the pouch corners crisp, use your fingers to squeeze the seam allowance together at the side seam when the zipper is fully open. Use a chop stick or other dull instrument to poke out the corner on the metal end stop side. Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead

I hope you enjoy making some pencil pouches! They make such fun teacher gifts and of course my kids love theirs. If you want extra credit these would be an awesome companion to a Wool + Wax Tote. I also wanted to point out that this is just one way to install a zipper or make a pouch, believe me when I say there are many many more options! Check out my other tutorials and patterns if you’re interested in working with zippers or love to make pouches.

Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead

120 thoughts on “Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial

  1. Krista says:

    Great timing! I need to make a few little gifts for an exchange student we are hosting, and this pencil pouch is perfect (I get a little bored with the ones I usually make ;)). I like how the angle of the sides is adjusted to keep them straight with the boxed corners.

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Thanks Krista! Yayyy! I feel the same sometimes, it’s always fun to mix it up a bit. 🙂 Yes, I love how the sides come out straight, too!

      1. chloe-nil acerol says:

        Hello! I bought the Everydat essential book at Dry Goodsnin Seattle. I am excited to make the petal pouch. I used to see a lot and never do. Trying to get back into it Ans thought this would be a good start. Would this tutorial also be a helpful reference to make the Petal Pouches ? Lsitning to your interview now on the podcast Love to Sew. Thanks !

      2. Marianne says:

        Hi! These are so nice! Can I sell items made with this pattern?

        1. Anna Graham says:

          yep! 🙂

  2. Love the shape! Looking forward to making one…

  3. Joy Swanson says:

    Well, what’s not to love about everything you do and now a cute pencil pouch! Thanks so much! (But I’m having trouble getting the templates! I just get a blank screen!)

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Hi Joy, you might have to wait a few seconds for the file to pop up, depending on the speed of your internet connection.

      1. Anna Graham says:

        Or just right click, and then click “save link as” and download it to wherever folder you’d like on your computer.

    2. velia6 says:

      Highlight the templates, and copy to document, I named mine Puoch 10″ so I would know where the photos are. Hope this helps you.

  4. Jeni says:

    These are so cute! Can’t wait to stitch some up! 🙂

  5. Cass says:

    How fun! I’m excited to try it! Thank you!!

  6. Thank you very much! And the fabrics are really wonderful…

  7. Christina says:

    It’s that little leather pull that elevates this to amazing. Where can I find one? The leather I have isn’t soft or thin enough for this.

  8. Claudia says:

    Thanks so much for the free template and tutorial! I’ve had the original photo of these pinned since you first posted it! Off to make one ASAP!

  9. dolores says:

    Sweeeeeet! Amazing how just the two fabrics sewn vertically adds so much! Now to buy some canvas! Thanks so much for the inspiration and tutorial!

  10. Lois Baldwin says:

    Thank you for the tutorial! I always appreciate your designs and the fabric combinations! You are always so generous with sharing great patterns!

  11. Lucinda says:

    Thanks SO much for posting this! Ironically, I had your post from October 2015 with the exact same pouches up on my computer screen in a separate tab as a reminder to myself to try it . . . but lo and behold, today you gifted us with the tutorial! I love your aesthetic so much, and your fabric choices are just so spot on. Thanks again for sharing your creativity and talent with us in such a generous fashion!

  12. Ann says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial!
    Saw it first thing this morning and this afternoon I made one! Easy to follow your instructions, thank you!

  13. Anjali says:

    Love these so much! Thanks for the tutorial! 😀

  14. Karen says:

    Potentially a Sewtopia Swap item….thanks…. c u in DENVER!!

  15. Debra says:

    A fantastic tutorial. Gets me excited to get out my machine.
    These would also make wonderful knitting needle pouches.

  16. Natasha says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! Your “open wide” pouch was one of the first things I ever made and I was so happy with the modern shape. I’ve gone on to make lots of your other patterns, but those pouches have a special place in my sewing heart. (I know, I’m a total cheese ball.) I am a teacher, and I know what I am going to make for my teaching friends for my end of the year gifts now! We always need these for our professional development classes or meetings. These look so modern and fun. I know my friends are going to LOVE them! Thanks again! Keep doing your thing. I love it!

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Thanks Natasha! I’m so happy to hear that, so great!!! 🙂

  17. leratdesfils says:

    Thank you for the tuto

  18. Ann says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! These are perfect little gifts to have on hand for just about everyone!

  19. Gillian says:

    Thanks so much! Such a great gift so definitely a pattern I want to perfect. Do you think you could do a tutorial for how you attach your facing on the Poolside Tote? Can’t quite get it right. Thanks again.

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Hi Gillian, I’d be happy to answer and questions and pass along tips, just shoot me an email with specific things you need help with on that. 🙂

  20. S Hansen says:

    lovely pouch and tutorial, thank-u for sharing. I have a question. I have been sewing for years, but have problems cutting straight lines when cutting out a pattern. Your’s seem perfect. Do you have a secret?

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Thank you! I just use a rotary cutter and cutting mat. Sometimes I’ll lay my clear ruler on top of the paper if there’s straight lines, just depends on the shape and how particular I want to be. 🙂

  21. Ramona Putnam says:

    Thank you for walking us through this tutorial. I love the little things you do that make your bags so special. I will definitely be trying that trick with the zipper.

  22. ginger says:

    I have a bunch of canvas scraps that may be turned into pencil pouches.

  23. Alys Hay says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! This just jumped to the front of the line in my “to do” list. I see a zillion of these in my future.

  24. Michelle says:

    These are lovely, and look quite similar in shape and size of a favorite zipper pouch I have (from Target). Thank you.

  25. Sharon says:

    This is a great idea for boys & girls. I think it would be great for many other things as well. Thank you so much for sharing your talent with us.

    1. Claire says:

      Why is it just great for boys and girls? What about everyone else? I don’t want to be rude, but that seemed like an unnecessarily gendered comment.

  26. Jill Ivie says:

    I just ordered your book last night! And now this cute pencil pouch…. Where do you get your leather accents and handles?

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Hi Jill, you can find the leather handles in my shop. Just click at the top of the page. 🙂

      1. Jill says:

        Thank you! I received your book today and off to get my Essex linen now – woo hoo!

  27. lafataligure says:

    Thanks, very cute

  28. Bonjour
    superbe cette trousse a crayons
    merci pour ce tuto bise raymonde

  29. erin says:

    Thanks for sharing, Anna! It’s so cute – I can see myself making a gazillion of these.

  30. Tracy says:

    Thank you so much for this! The timing couldn’t be better. I’ll be heading to a crochet conference this summer and have been wanting something like this to store my tools in during classes. I envisioned something that will stand up and be easily accessible while I’m working so this is perfect!! Thank you!

  31. janequiltsslowly says:

    Perfect little pouch for so many uses! Thanks for the tutorial and pattern. Bookmarked.

  32. Brenda says:

    Thank you, Anna! I’m going to make some of these for my crochet hooks and sock needles. I participate in swaps with some of the groups I’m in on Ravelry, and these will be perfect for that.

  33. Jenny says:

    Thank you Anna.

  34. Joyce Hunt says:

    I’m really looking forward to making these pouches. Thanks so much for the pattern and tutorial.

  35. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for the pattern/tutorial! This is going on my to-do list for sure.

  36. Randi says:

    Thank you for the pattern and tutorial . Ive cute out 4 sending some to my daughter for her teacher friends. Where do those boxes and binders come from in the background of the first photo I like the clean lines of the brown paper.

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Thanks Randi! Sounds fun!! The kraft paper boxes and file folders are from Ikea a few years ago. I’m not sure they make them in the kraft color, but I know they have white for sure.

  37. Thank you so much for this Tutorial. I have waited so long that it comes. I am so happy. This pouch ist just so beautyful. Warm greating from France : )

  38. Thank you Anna, love this pouch and I’ve been waiting, not so patiently, for your tutorial. Thank you for sharing!

  39. Julie Cefalu says:

    Thank you for the lovely pattern and tutorial. I enjoy all of your patterns and your book!

  40. Patti McGarry says:

    Thanks, Anna! This is such a cute pouch. I’ll be making some of these for my grandson’s teachers! You always inspire me!

  41. Bonnie Jackson says:

    As always, clear, concise and easy to follow directions. Thanks for a perfect pencil case pattern. Love it!

  42. Susan Quisenberry says:

    Thanks for the pencil pouch pattern and tutorial. I’ll be making these for the grandkids.

  43. Stephanie says:

    Super cute, pinned it!

  44. Carolynn says:

    Love how you do the zipper! Can’t wait to give that a try. Very nice design.

  45. Cindy says:

    Love this- super cute! Thanks for sharing- definitely on my to do list!!

  46. Pam says:

    I made one, then two, then three, and hopefully have stopped at seven! They’re addicting and fun to make. Thanks for sharing the pattern with us!

    1. Anna Graham says:

      So glad you’ve enjoyed it Pam! 🙂

  47. I love these! I need one of these for my drawing pens when i’m traveling. I always love your fabric choices, too. I need to get a better selection of these kinds of fabrics in my stash.

  48. Jill Dawson says:

    Thank you so much for this. You explain so clearly with great photos to support. This Londoner will be making a few.

  49. Janine P. says:

    Thank you, Anna, for this tutorial and pattern. I just finished some Divided Baskets and still have to finish my Campfire Messenger Bag, but these Pencil Pouches will make such a cute gift, I have to make some for my dears first. Yesterday your book arrived, I’m so looking forward to try all these lovely patterns! Your descriptions are really good and the images so helpful to finish a project, even if I don’t know every word as a non native speaker (I’m from Germany). Have a nice day!

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Oh I’m so glad you enjoy them Janine! 🙂

  50. Amanda Jean says:

    thanks so much for the tutorial! I finally got around to making one yesterday. I even used scraps that you gave me! thanks for being so generous in so many ways!

  51. Mrs. Jones says:

    Oh, I love you! Thank you so much for posting the pattern!!

    Love your book, too, btw. I think I’m going to make the chambray dress first. And here’s a link to the zippered pouches I made for my daughter.


  52. Sue H says:

    Thanks for the tute! Jeni Baker from In Color Order sent me!

  53. Ezgi says:

    Thank you very much for lovely tutorial.

  54. Liz M says:

    So kind of you to give this “freebie”! I love this tutorial. Found you via In Color Order blog. Thank you for sharing, can’t wait to make some of these!

  55. tangobleu says:

    Thank you for sharing your lovely tutorial. Warm geetings from France.

  56. Christine McGuinness says:

    So nice. Thank you.

  57. Lorraine Newman says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. This will be a perfect little pouch for my tube turners, which I’m always losing!

  58. Liana Bacashihua says:

    Thank you for the tutorial! I’m working on it right now! Question I have is when boxing my corners, is my seam allowance 1/2″ (as you mention at the beginning of the tutorial)? The pictures of the finished pouches makes it looks like it’s a little wider than an inch. Thanks!

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Hi Liana, yes, the seam allowance is 1/2″. I think you’re looking at the seam line and not the seam allowance. The seam allowance is the distance from the needle to the raw edge.

  59. paulakenn says:

    Such a cute pencil pouch … a great gift for child with a new set of colored pencils ! thank you so much 🙂

  60. debra gates says:

    Thank you for another wonderful tutorial. Just one question…Under Attach the Zipper – step 3, you are pulling the lining away from the main fabric before top stitching. Is there a reason for this? I’ve never seen it done this way.
    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful talent

  61. Linda says:

    Hi Anna, I’m making a couple of these for a neighbor’s kids tonight. Of course the fabric one picked (sharks!) is not canvas. Do you suggest using two layers of SF 101 or a different interfacing? Thanks!

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Hi Linda! Two layers of SF101 should do the trick!

      1. Linda says:

        Thanks for the quick reply!! I’ll tag you on insta 🙂

  62. Tiffany says:

    Hi there, thank you for such a great tutorial! I am having trouble boxing the corners I can’t quite see from the photos how you are doing it with the notched corners. Thanks for any help!

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Hi Tiffany, Thanks for your comment. To box the corners you’ll pinch the side seam to meet the bottom seam, right sides together seams aligned, pin and sew. You’ll repeat the same steps for the remaining exterior fabric corner and remaining lining corners. Hope that helps a bit.

  63. Debbie Stertz says:

    Beautiful pattern and work! I am trying to download the pattern so that I can print but it won’t download. Are you able to send me the pdf?

  64. Elaine says:

    Lovely little pattern and something that is always needed – I intend to make a few for all my grandchildren and my own sewing room. Thank you.

  65. Janet Daly says:

    thank you — made one today — very nice!!

  66. Nan Cumming says:

    A great pattern for a quick gift. Thank you so much!!

  67. Debbie Stertz says:

    You are so talented! I had tried earlier in the year to print the directions but without a pdf it was not possible so alas, I have your page bookmarked so that when I am ready I can make several of these adorable pencil bags. I will be hard pressed to make this with a pattern much less develop the pattern!!! You are very talented. Thanks for sharing the process pattern in a printable format!

  68. Erica says:

    I can’t wait to try this! Just downloaded the pattern, thanks Anna!

  69. Catherine Lay says:

    I have had my eye on these pencil pouches since you posted them years ago. I only found the tutorial today when I clicked on the tutorials instead of the shop. What a wonderful surprise just in time for Christmas sewing. Thank you!

  70. Sonya says:

    The zipper ended up being too long on mine and I don’t get that neat top edge. So sad. What did I do wrong? I even bought the same exact zipper from Zipit.

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Hi Sonya, well it’s hard to tell without seeing pictures or having further information from you. The first thing I would suggest checking is that you printed the pattern pages at 100% (no scaling) and that the test box measures 1″. If you have further questions please email me instead – 🙂

      1. Sonya says:

        I measured and you are correct, my printer scaled it to 93%. ARGH. I’m so mad I didn’t double check this measurement because I embroidered the larger exterior piece. I’m a fool.

        1. Anna Graham says:

          Hi Sonya, you could definitely save it by using a smaller zipper size. I’m thinking a 9″ zipper would work, or even an 8″ with zipper tabs added. It can be rescued! Hang in there. 🙂

  71. Dorothy says:

    I’ve had this pattern for a while and I finally made my nephew a Black Panther pencil case. I think he is going to love it! Great idea mentioned above about putting some goodies inside like pencils or crayons!

  72. Amy Cav says:

    Hello. The tutorial doesn’t say how far in you put the zipper. Is it half an inch from each side?

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Hi Amy, the zip gets centered on the pouch, so no need to measure from the sides. Just find the center of the fabric (fold in half and crease) and make a mark and do the same for the zipper.

  73. Laura Patterson says:

    Anna, I love this pattern so much, I’ve made it a bunch of times for gifts (one I’ve kept for myself) and I’m making two more right now to give my brother and sister-in-law as a thank you gift. I decided it was time to say thank you to you!

  74. Camila says:

    Thank you for this pencil pouch pattern! It’s lovely and I find it roomy enough without being too big! I made one for myself and I plan on doing a couple more for some classmates and friends 🙂 I also made a matching trail tote for my notebooks. Again, thank you for sharing! Love your fabric combinations and style!

  75. Nicole says:

    Is it possible to make this with a longer zipper that is cut down, or with zipper tape?

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Yep! You can totally do that!

  76. Heike Wilke says:

    Loved so much to make this pouch, it’s gonna be the first gift for chtistmas ythis year, I will give it to my nice who is a Young teacher, I hope, she will love it as much as I already do! I think, I do some others, it’s such a joy to create them. Thanks you so much for this pattern and your tutorial!

  77. Ellen says:

    This is a good tutorial. One suggestion would be to clarify that when you sew around the perimeter, you don’t sew around the ‘notches,’ just the sides and bottoms of the exterior and lining. I went all the way around then had to remove the stitches in the notches in order to box the corners.

  78. Sandy says:

    Thanks so much for another great pattern! I know it has been around for awhile, but new to me! Cut out 3 today, and just finished the first one! Love it! I see many more in my future. This will be the go to pattern for pencil, brushes, etc.

  79. Lucas says:

    I’ve made a couple in different sizes (I just adapted the pattern to make it taller or wider) and I love them! I’ve got one for my knitting needles, one for sewing projects, I even embroidered the outside of one for my grandmother. Very versatile and so cute!

  80. Theresa Coventry says:

    10″ zipper seems too short; what am I doing wrong?

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Hi Theresa, it’s possible you printed the templates not to scale. Be sure to set your printer to 100% (do not scale). Of course there are several other spots to check along the way, feel free to email us (contact page on the top menu).

  81. says:

    Very good

  82. Daniela says:

    Anna, made this pouch quite a while ago and today whipped one up just like that. The zipper finish is so simple yet neat and satisfying. Thank you. I needed something to start the holiday sewing after feeling discouraged to sew at all for more than two month because of the overall problematic things happening all aorund us. Your pattern was just perfect. All the best – Daniela from Germany

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Hi Daniela, I’m so glad that sewing the pouch was fun for you!

  83. Simone says:

    Thank you very much for the beautiful Poch Tutorial !!

  84. S C says:

    This pouch is so cute! I was wondering if you have any tips for shortening a longer zipper to make it usable for this project.

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Hi SC, yes, for shortening a nylon zipper you’ll need to measure from the top end stops (by the zipper pull when it’s closed) and measure to your desired length. Make a mark there or pin and then just stitch over that mark with your sewing machine a few times (or a few hand stitches work, too). Then you can cut your zipper so 1/2″ remains past those stitches you just made. Hope that helps!

  85. Fran says:

    Love…LOVE the Canvas Pencil Pouch! So cute I have to try this one.

  86. Linda Rogers says:

    I would love to have a printable version of the instructions. Is there a way?

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Hi Linda, you can copy/paste them into a Word type document and then print from there. Hope that helps a little bit. 🙂

  87. Lorena says:

    Hi, Anna. Is there an easy size/measurement conversion to make the pouch smaller to fit a 7” zipper? I’ve made the original one a few times and it’s a great pattern, thank you for sharing it! 🙂

  88. Cindy says:

    Thank you so much! Fantastic directions!! Just made one for my son for Christmas.

  89. Cyclist says:

    I made this as a beginner but wasnt successful. The tutorial on how to do the box corners was not good, and the directions lacked clear explanation on how to set the zip as my zip is odd at both ends despite following the blog to my best ability. I am a beginner sewer but normally have more success following tutorials than I did with thiis.

  90. Cherri says:

    Thank you so much for the pattern and tutorial. I plan on making some of these to go in my Samaritans Purse boxes this year.

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