Pencil Case Tutorial

February 20th, 2009  |  Published in Crafts, Sewing, Tutorials  |  96 Comments

I saw this great Little Boxy Pouch tutorial on Sew, Mama, Sew the other day, and I just had to make one for myself. But I couldn’t really think of a good use for my little (very adorable) pouch. So I altered the pattern quite a bit by changing the size and adding a lining and some tabs to make myself a cute little boxy pencil case. I took photos of my steps so that I could share my pattern with you! This is my first time altering a pattern and my first sewing tutorial, so please let me know if anything doesn’t make sense. Or if you have a better way to do any of the steps!

Step 1: Gather materials

Cut fabric:

  • Two 5″ x 11″ pieces of main fabric
  • Two 5″ x 11″ pieces of lining fabric
  • Two 5″ x 11″ pieces of iron-on interfacing
  • One 4″ x 8″ piece of lining fabric

You’ll also need:

  • Zipper at least 12″ long

Step 2: Iron interfacing to wrong side of lining fabric.

Step 3: Baste right sides of lining fabric together along 1 long edge. Iron seam allowance open.

Step 4: Iron down 1/2″ (wrong sides together) along long ends of main fabric. (ug, my fabric is so wrinkly!! I tried so hard to get it to iron flat, and failed miserably. But isn’t this the cutest striped fabric? I found it at IKEA.)

Step 5: Lay wrong side of zipper along seam of lining fabric (I used an extra long zipper and just let both ends hang over the side. It’s okay, you can cut it later). Pin folded edge of main fabric on top, along the side of the zipper. Stitch close to zipper using a zipper foot.

Step 6: Repeat with remaining piece of main fabric.

Step 7: Use a seam ripper to pull out seam in lining.

Here’s what you should have.

Step 8: Pin right sides of remaining long edges together. Sew, leaving a ~3″ gap on the lining side.

Here it is stitched, with a little gap left in the lining section. This is what you’ll use to flip your work right-side out. Iron seam allowances open.

Step 9: Remember that smaller piece of lining fabric you cut out? Fold right sides together and stitch. Iron seam allowance open.

Step 10: Flip right-side out, iron with seam in center, and cut in half. These will be your tabs.

Step 11: Okay, here’s a tricky part (or at least tricky for me to explain). Pin your fabrics in the order: bottom seam of lining, zipper, one of your tabs folded in half with seams together, and finally bottom seam of main fabric.  Make sure that your zipper pull is pulled to the middle of your work.

Step 12: Sew up both sides. Trim zipper (again, make sure your pull is in the middle! I don’t want anyone trimming off the section that contains the pull!).

Step 13: Turn your work right side out through that 3″ hole you left in the bottom seam of the lining. Slip stitch seam closed. Keyka Lou has a great tutorial on How to Slip Stich a Seam Closed.

Here’s what you should have so far. You can stop here if you want a flat case, or keep going if you want it to be boxy.

Step 14: Working with your pouch inside-out, pinch corners into triangles with seam running straight down the center. Sew perpendicular to seam. The longer the line that you sew, the taller your case will be.

Step 15: Ta-da! Make one to fit your pencils, makeup, crochet hooks, knitting needles, or whatever you can think of! It’s really simple to just change the dimensions to get different shapes. Let me know if you decide to make one and send me the photos.

96 Responses

  1. LollyChops says:

    February 21st, 2009 at 7:15 am (#)

    This is the BEST pencil case tut I have seen to date! You really did a killer job on this! You should tell Rachel from One Pretty Thing. I bet she would feature it in a second!

    HUGS!

  2. Rachel says:

    February 21st, 2009 at 10:33 pm (#)

    Oh that is fabulous, I love it! And I love Lolly’s comment! =) I’ll be linking.

  3. Ashlee says:

    February 23rd, 2009 at 10:29 am (#)

    I LOVE IT!!!!! Zippers scare me.

  4. Joan says:

    February 23rd, 2009 at 6:02 pm (#)

    Just found your blog via One Pretty Thing! WOW – this is an EXCELLENT tutorial! Thank you for sharing.
    Have a great day! (P.S. Zippers scare me, too! – however, I’m gonna try it anyway!) P.S. – I love your blog name: Annie Get Your Glue Gun! Very cute.

  5. Nicole says:

    February 23rd, 2009 at 9:30 pm (#)

    This might be obvious to a more experienced sewer, but what’s your seam allowance for this project? I’m excited to make it. Thank you!

  6. Annie says:

    February 23rd, 2009 at 9:34 pm (#)

    Thanks Lollychops and Rachel!

    Ashlee and Joan – Don’t let the zipper scare you! If you have a zipper foot, it’s not so bad.

    Nicole – I sewed this with and .5″ seam allowance, but you can sew it with whatever you are comfortable with since it doesn’t really matter if there is a small difference in size.

    Good luck to all! Definitely let me know if you make it and how it goes! – Annie:-)

  7. Kay says:

    March 1st, 2009 at 3:13 am (#)

    Hey =) Thank you for the tutorial. I needed something to make as a present for a male friend of mine the night before the birthday party and stumbled across these instructions.
    Well, let’s just say he liked it a lot! So, thanks again – great instructions!
    I’ll make one for myself too…

  8. Pencil Case « Smiles of a Summer Night says:

    March 1st, 2009 at 3:20 am (#)

    [...] 1, 2009 Following a great tutorial by Annie Get Your Glue Gun I made another birthday present, a pencil case. It was a last-minute thought and turned out really [...]

  9. celia says:

    March 1st, 2009 at 7:44 am (#)

    Wowww, tricky but so beautiful that’s worth a try!
    Love it!

  10. Recycle Raccoon says:

    March 3rd, 2009 at 5:19 pm (#)

    Annie – too cute! What a great way to make something useful of all the fabric scraps I seem to accumulate! I look forward to becoming an avid reader of your blog.

  11. Margeaux says:

    April 20th, 2009 at 8:16 pm (#)

    Great tutorial! I’ll definitely be using it. I really like your favorite fabric choices too.
    If you’d like a slightly easier way to do the zipper, check out this tutorial:
    http://www.twelve22.org/2006/07/zipper_tutorial.html
    I’ve been using that method on my zipper pouches for a long time and it’s really easy!

  12. Bird Ornaments « Sewperstitious says:

    April 29th, 2009 at 8:35 am (#)

    [...] habe ich für mich eine lange benötigte Stiftetasche genäht. Eigentlich sollte es ja diese werden – aber das kommt davon, wenn man die Anleitung nicht richtig liest. Habe mich gegen das [...]

  13. Rebecca says:

    May 11th, 2009 at 4:45 pm (#)

    This is a great pattern :) thank you so much I love this one a lot. I will definitely be using it with my students in the college I teach textiles in xxx

  14. Phyl says:

    May 22nd, 2009 at 2:08 pm (#)

    this was best tutorial i’ve ever followed! the directions were so clear and the pictures made it so easy to follow. plus the case is just adorable =) LOVE IT!!!

  15. Gabby says:

    July 21st, 2009 at 4:01 am (#)

    I think this tutorial is amazing and i loved the style of the pencil case, it so creative… Its the best pencil case tutorial i’ve seen.. so gunna make this!! x

  16. Alex says:

    August 23rd, 2009 at 8:32 am (#)

    Wow, thanks for this surprisingly easy tutorial!

    I made a few modifications, adding just one tab and skipping the whole basting the lining step after several attempts. I posted the result on my blog, here: http://journaltransience.blogspot.com/2009/08/pouch.html

    Just the pattern and tutorial I needed, and it would make such sweet (and useful) gifts!

  17. mandy says:

    August 24th, 2009 at 12:34 am (#)

    WOW! that’s sooo neat! You are very creative! =)

  18. alexw says:

    August 26th, 2009 at 1:36 pm (#)

    i did it :)
    and im 14
    thank you

  19. luci says:

    September 3rd, 2009 at 5:21 am (#)

    oh thank you amazing tutorial!!

  20. luci says:

    September 3rd, 2009 at 5:22 am (#)

    thank you, amazing tutorial!

  21. Elena says:

    September 14th, 2009 at 2:27 pm (#)

    Thank you. I posted your link in my blog .
    Elena

  22. Katharina says:

    October 10th, 2009 at 12:11 pm (#)

    Can I just say THAAAAAAAANK YOU!!!!
    I have always been scared of zippers, this tutorial has been amazing. I am very pleased with my pencil case and think all my christmas presents are definitely sorted for this year :)
    Thanks again for taking the time to write such a helpful tutorial!

    x

  23. November 25 ~ Teach & Learn « Sew,Mama,Sew! Blog says:

    November 24th, 2009 at 11:44 pm (#)

    [...] Case You’ll be prepared to teach and/or learn with Annie’s Pencil Case Tutorial at Annie Get Your Glue [...]

  24. gillian says:

    November 26th, 2009 at 12:33 am (#)

    i love this! we’ll see how many i can make in the next month…

  25. georgia says:

    November 26th, 2009 at 9:52 am (#)

    Fabulous tutorial! I agree–very simple to follow. I just made two for my niece and nephew. Thanks for the inspiration and great instructions.

  26. Ida says:

    December 6th, 2009 at 4:39 pm (#)

    This is the nest tutorial I’ve ever tried!! I just made 6 of these as presents (just couldn’t stop again!)

    You can see them here: http://idathue.blogspot.com/2009/12/christmas-presents.html

  27. Ida says:

    December 6th, 2009 at 4:39 pm (#)

    Oops, I meant ‘best’ instead of ‘nest’ ;-)

  28. Elf at Work Day 1 « Su Loves Sew says:

    December 21st, 2009 at 7:26 pm (#)

    [...] after the coloring pages are all colored up. I am also going to make her a pencil case using this tutorial and library book tote using this. All of them from Sew Mama Sew’s 2009 Handmade Holidays [...]

  29. Elf at Work Day 2 « Su Loves Sew says:

    December 22nd, 2009 at 9:14 pm (#)

    [...] pencil case pattern is from glue gun annie. The instruction is easy to understand but the zipper installation was a b*&^*, not [...]

  30. Show and Tell | r2girls design says:

    January 5th, 2010 at 11:32 am (#)

    [...] bag to keep all her sewing gear in and a matching pin cushion. I found a great tutorial for the bag here. She has great photos and step by step instructions! And here’s the tutorial for the pin [...]

  31. Kelly Jo says:

    January 29th, 2010 at 2:41 pm (#)

    Very awesome! I’ve been looking all over for the perfect knitting accoutrements bag, and I think I’ve found it!

  32. Tash says:

    April 8th, 2010 at 1:05 am (#)

    Hey i just wanted to know what is the final length of the bag?

  33. Lillian C. says:

    April 24th, 2010 at 4:15 pm (#)

    Hello!

    Thanks for sharing this tutorial. I just finished mine. Here it is. –>
    http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h90/cake_gal/IMG_0892.jpg

    Isn’t it neat?

  34. Cathy says:

    June 6th, 2010 at 11:00 am (#)

    The tutorial was perfect and my niece loves her pencil case. It matches her backpack.

  35. Jessica says:

    August 16th, 2010 at 5:31 pm (#)

    Knowing me, I would have skipped the lining! But your pencil case is so cute, and since the fabric pieces are not very big, this is a great craft to get rid of those extra pieces from bigger projects with.

  36. Kate says:

    August 20th, 2010 at 4:53 am (#)

    Just what I was looking for! I’ve already cut the pieces but on hunting through my habby stash, realised I don’t have a suitable zip (boo) so I’ve had to order some. I’ll post a pic when it’s done. I’m planning on making most of my supplies for my Post Grad course in September!

  37. pilar satorres says:

    October 14th, 2010 at 12:12 pm (#)

    muy buen trabajo, y super bueno el tutorial. voy a intentarlo

  38. Eman says:

    November 9th, 2010 at 9:36 pm (#)

    thks, I did this at a go with your guidelines. great job

  39. Michele says:

    November 12th, 2010 at 8:56 am (#)

    Great tutorial, thank you! Have made several of these for birthday presents for my daughter’s kindergarten friends and I found the tutorial easy to follow – the pictures at each step are invaluable!!

  40. Rosh says:

    December 12th, 2010 at 3:31 am (#)

    I made it! Thanks for the great tutorial. Zippers scare me too!

  41. weengorgeous says:

    December 14th, 2010 at 7:19 pm (#)

    I followed ur tutorial and had completed few pencil cases to be distributed for orphans :)

    http://weengorgeous.com/2010/12/15/back-to-school-charity-project/

  42. Pamela- The Culdesac Mom says:

    December 29th, 2010 at 4:31 pm (#)

    I posted a link to this tutorial, along with my finished product on my blog here: http://culdesacmom.blogspot.com/2010/12/top-10-projects-from-online-tutorials.html

    Thanks for the great tutorial!

  43. Chris says:

    February 26th, 2011 at 3:08 pm (#)

    thankyou so much for this. it was rally helpful. the instructions were very simple and easy to follow. me and my sister made one each and they are AMAZING!!!! sorry we couldn’t put a picture up.

  44. Sadie says:

    February 28th, 2011 at 12:46 pm (#)

    I made one but I also used small pieces of the liner fabric as a cover over the seams inside. It gives the inside a more finished look. All it takes is small scraps ironed in half and then iron the cut edges inside again.(confused?) If you do a longish strip and cut to length needed.

  45. Elisana says:

    June 16th, 2011 at 2:07 pm (#)

    Thank you so much for putting together this tutorial. I just made 2 pencil cases for my daughter’s teachers and they came out darling. Such a useful gift to give!

  46. Tucked away in my bag says:

    June 30th, 2011 at 8:12 pm (#)

    [...] I didn’t consider the diminishing amount of school days. I Googled a tutorial and found on at Annie Get Your Glue Gun. Using the tutorial, and an old hawaiian shirt of my dads, and some leftover fabric, I created a [...]

  47. P-p-p-pencils Cases, Yay! « Maxine & Joan's says:

    July 28th, 2011 at 1:55 pm (#)

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  48. Isabel says:

    August 1st, 2011 at 8:26 am (#)

    This is so easy! I wanted a pencil case for school and this is the perfect size! I love how easy it is to alter the dimensions and how fast I made it!!!

  49. Tucked away in my bag says:

    August 15th, 2011 at 11:57 am (#)

    [...] I didn’t consider the diminishing amount of school days. I Googled a tutorial and found one at Annie Get Your Glue Gun. Using the tutorial, and an old hawaiian shirt of my dads, and some leftover fabric, I created a [...]

  50. Luukia says:

    August 24th, 2011 at 6:30 am (#)

    Thank you for the tutorial! It was very easy to follow and my daughter is so excited about her new pencil case to start kindergarten with!

  51. Économies pour Canadiens: coupons, rabais, échantillons gratuits, ventes et promotions au Canada » Rentrée des classes: Économisez et recyclez! says:

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  52. Piuma says:

    September 1st, 2011 at 8:36 am (#)

    Thank you for the tutorial!I sewed for my son to school.

  53. marie says:

    September 6th, 2011 at 1:24 pm (#)

    Just did it to finally get a classic pencil case instead of a trashy one like those I can find around my place and it’s a big success ! Thank you for the tutorial !

  54. Inger says:

    September 13th, 2011 at 3:34 am (#)

    Thank you! This is the best tutorial I could find on the internet!!

  55. Judy says:

    September 24th, 2011 at 3:52 pm (#)

    THANK YOU!! This helped a lot. FYI, I made mine using French Seams for the internal seams (which make it a boxy case), as I didn’t want “unfinished” seams on the inside (and don’t have a serger!).

    Thanks again!!

  56. Mackenzie says:

    September 25th, 2011 at 9:19 am (#)

    Fanks soooooo much! This is such a great tutorial, I customized mine by making it bigger and I didn’t use the tabs. I use it for school and I’m always getting compliments on it and asking where I got it. There’s no better feeling then telling them that I made it myself! (:

  57. Carry Wilcox says:

    October 14th, 2011 at 1:38 pm (#)

    Thank you for this amazing tutorial.

    I made a prototype early one morning, then I spent the whole day making them in all sorts of sizes and shapes. I sew all the time and have found many “perfect designs” this one definitely goes in the category.
    Thanks,
    Carry

  58. Pam says:

    December 6th, 2011 at 6:50 pm (#)

    FABULOUS pencil case and a great tutorial!!! I’m pinning this one.

  59. Amiee says:

    January 23rd, 2012 at 11:38 pm (#)

    Brilliant!! Just made one and its turned out great! I’m all sorted for school now. Thankyou :)

  60. Laura says:

    January 31st, 2012 at 2:12 am (#)

    This is exactly the tutorial I’ve been looking for! Is there a way to sew this without the tabs?

  61. Elizabeth says:

    February 6th, 2012 at 10:38 pm (#)

    Pretty Cool. I just started doing sewing projects by hand…I don’t have a sewing machine yet! This was fun:) I did it a little different mostly because I used what material I had on hand. My first zipper project too! I am not sure how to post a picture of it here?

  62. Getting somewhere… | Make. Think. Sew. says:

    March 10th, 2012 at 12:24 am (#)

    [...] Pencil Case tutorial by Annie Get Your Glue Gun! [...]

  63. Pencil case | Th? gi?i len s?i says:

    March 14th, 2012 at 9:25 pm (#)

    [...] lòng cái pencil case này, mà l? m? ?i l?c v?i ?? [...]

  64. Cotton Candy » New Pencil Cases says:

    March 29th, 2012 at 7:21 pm (#)

    [...]  I don’t really need an excuse to make anything for the girls. But I found this pencil case tutorial from Glue Gun Annie  which was really easy and I made [...]

  65. THa says:

    April 7th, 2012 at 12:22 pm (#)

    Thank you. I followed the guidline and did make a nice one for my daughter. Very clear and easy to catch up. Thank you very much Annie.
    Best
    THa

  66. more pencil cases « Stacey Can Sew says:

    April 12th, 2012 at 5:20 pm (#)

    [...] used this great tutorial from Annie to make and it is no [...]

  67. Nguyen says:

    May 4th, 2012 at 6:00 pm (#)

    Your tutorial is amazing! (:
    What kind of fabric did you use for your main fabric?

  68. justleo says:

    May 22nd, 2012 at 11:08 am (#)

    I managed to handsew it without the use of a sewing machine because your tutorial is so clear cut! Thanks Annie! (: But it was a tad too small as a pencil case so I might make a bigger one. xD

  69. lily says:

    July 29th, 2012 at 8:33 pm (#)

    Does anyone know what the dimensions of this pencil case are?

  70. Maria says:

    August 17th, 2012 at 3:09 pm (#)

    Hi, I’m also wondering if anyone who’s completed this pencil case be able to tell us what the final dimensions are??

    Thanks!

  71. CL says:

    August 23rd, 2012 at 5:49 pm (#)

    Hey, I just finished making this pencil case; it’s suppose to be a tester because I haven’t sewed anything in a really really long time. I left out the tabs.
    I took some pictures :) Thanks for the tutorial, I feel so good about this first case I’m going to make more!

  72. CL says:

    August 23rd, 2012 at 5:50 pm (#)

    Oh, here’s the link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hip2b2/437292709634298

  73. Christina says:

    September 10th, 2012 at 1:47 pm (#)

    Thanks for your great tutorial, annie! I just finished my pencil case, I will give it to a friend as a birthday present!
    The dimensions are 19cm x 5cm x 6cm (length, width, height) in my case. Thats 7,5 x 2 x 2,4 inch i suppose… :-)

  74. Belinda says:

    September 23rd, 2012 at 3:36 am (#)

    That was the first pencil case I have ever tried to sew (actually the first thing ever on my own) and it was a success!! Yee-haaa! So: very easy to follow instructions! Thanks :)

  75. Jessica says:

    October 21st, 2012 at 6:54 pm (#)

    This was my first time trying to sew in a zipper. I did it! I made two of these cute little pencil cases, one for my niece and nephew. Thanks for the excellent instructions! The step-by-step pictures were so very helpful.

  76. fee says:

    November 10th, 2012 at 11:28 pm (#)

    Great tutorial and beautiful pencil case! Can’t wait to try it. What are the dimensions of the finished product. Thanks!

  77. Rosário says:

    November 13th, 2012 at 10:34 am (#)

    I did it!!!!! And it is lovely!! Thanks!

  78. Anne says:

    November 16th, 2012 at 2:56 pm (#)

    Best pencil case ever! It was so easy to make! This was my first time EVER using zippers (I’m a beginner) and it turned out so well that my friends had me make them all one of their own! Thank you Annie!

  79. Let’s learn! | Sarah Jane says:

    November 24th, 2012 at 7:13 am (#)

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  80. Andrea says:

    December 19th, 2012 at 6:39 pm (#)

    Great tutorial, thank you for sharing.
    Just finished mine (it’s stupid o’clock here in London) ready for my Molly to take to school in the morning. I used Ikea cotton for the lining and cheap PVC (tablecloth) on the outside and it looks fantastic!
    On the zipper puller I attached a little piece of PVC with a note: ” I made this for you while you were asleep, my little angel. Love DAD x”

  81. Lilly says:

    December 29th, 2012 at 1:04 am (#)

    Nice tutorial! I am making this over the summer holidays for year 8 next year and Im really excited to have something unique. I just have to beg my mum to get out the sewing machine!
    Is there any easy way to alter the dimensions a bit so that I can have round amounts in centimeters
    (I dont think I will be able to find a 30.5 cm zipper)

  82. Sam says:

    January 14th, 2013 at 9:38 pm (#)

    This tutorial is great and so much easier to do than to read…

    mine turned out great thanks a lot for this great tutorial and i love mine so much and all my friends are jealous.

    This is really worth a try!!!!!

  83. Tracy Louw says:

    January 15th, 2013 at 3:19 pm (#)

    Thanks so much for the step by step tutorial! I enjoyed making this pencil case for my son who starts Grade 6 tomorrow. I used denim from an old pair of jeans and added some skateboards that I cut out from an old T-shirt that Nicolas had outgrown. I want to make one for myself…. or a few! Storage for crochet hooks, pens, knitting needles…. yes!

  84. Clarissa Ward says:

    January 23rd, 2013 at 11:23 am (#)

    This tutorial is brilliant!! I’ll be trying it out with my Cath Kidston fabric to sell on my website and eBay — I hope thats okay!! Thanks again!! :-)

  85. Kathy says:

    January 25th, 2013 at 7:13 am (#)

    Love it. It’s brilliant, simple and elegant. Thanks so much.

  86. Free Sewing Patterns: Bag Accessories | married to a bmw says:

    January 31st, 2013 at 7:40 pm (#)

    [...] Tutorial by drago[knit]-flyZipper Pouch Bag by KerriButton Pouch by mairuruZippered Bag by twelve22Pencil Case by Annie Get Your Glue GunPencil Clutch by Craft LeftoversLil Zipper Bag by Moda Bake ShopZippered [...]

  87. Gus says:

    February 8th, 2013 at 12:27 pm (#)

    Wowza coolio mate dude ate.

  88. Loki says:

    February 8th, 2013 at 12:28 pm (#)

    Wait, this is way to complicated. You should make a vid.

  89. emilia says:

    June 5th, 2013 at 1:05 pm (#)

    I want to back one of these for school but have a pile od 7.5 1inch zips. Will this pattern work if I change the sizes? :)

  90. Jesse says:

    July 23rd, 2013 at 11:35 pm (#)

    Please change the pattern to mention the 1/2” seam in the blue lining fabric(as 1/4” does not work). Thanks

  91. Maya says:

    August 25th, 2013 at 12:13 pm (#)

    Great!!! My mum and I made this pencil case for my back to school, I love it! Thanks much!

  92. bklynebeth says:

    September 9th, 2013 at 8:34 pm (#)

    Just made one for my son and found that it zips the easiest if you sew the corners about 1/2″ in when making the little nips into the lining at the end. I tried it first as the pattern shows and it was too hard for my 9 yo to get it zipped all the way. At 1/2″ it was perfect! A bit of form and good proportions.

  93. Alicia says:

    January 1st, 2014 at 5:56 pm (#)

    This is so fabulous, I have used this twice now. Linked you in my blog post about it here http://allhappinessishomemade.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/pvc-pencil-case/. Thank you so much for this tutorial!

  94. Rike says:

    April 13th, 2014 at 4:18 am (#)

    That’s exactly what I was searching for. I’ll give it a try, the fabric and the sewing machine is already waiting for me.

    Thank You!

  95. Heidi Kroth says:

    April 15th, 2014 at 4:48 pm (#)

    Annie,
    This pencil case is so useful! When I’m finished with my old ones at the end of the year (I use this tutorial to make a new one once a year), I fill it with hairties, colored pencils, beads, whatever I need a small bag for. The size is also really easy to adjust. Thank you so much!

    -H

  96. Kristen says:

    August 14th, 2014 at 5:59 am (#)

    I was wondering if you knew how to adjust the measurements so that the pouch wouldn’t be so wide

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