DIY Oilcloth Zippered Pencil Case

When I first learned how to sew a zipper, I felt like it took my sewing skills to the next level. It’s really not as hard as it seems! I’ve put together a simple tutorial for an adorable oilcloth pencil case to help you learn this intermediate sewing skill. Once I made one of these, I wanted to whip up more and more…they’re durable and cool enough for the kiddos to take to school, and they also make great travel pouches to hold everything from lip gloss to credit cards and car keys.

You can substitute cotton for the oilcloth if you’d like, but oilcloth will hold its shape much better.

apple fabric scissors and zipper


  • Oilcloth
  • zipper (8”)
  • pins
  • scissors
  • sewing machine and matching thread

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oil cloth fabric and gold zipper

Step 1: Measure your zipper across and cut two matching pieces of oilcloth the same length x 4” height. My zipper was 8” so my oilcloth pieces were 8” x 4”.

white fabric and zipper

Step 2: Holding the right sides together, place one oilcloth piece on top of the zipper, lining up the edges.

stitching oil cloth

Step 3: Sew a simple basting stitch (and long loose stitch) to hold it in place temporarily.

green apple fabric with zipper

Step 4: It should look like this after you finish the basting stitch. Open up the zipper now.

sewing zipper in sewing machine

Step 5: Using a zipper foot on your sewing machine, sew along that basting stitch, very close but not on top of the metal zipper.

green apple fabric with gold zipper

Step 6: Do the same with the other piece of oilcloth and the other side of the zipper.

sewing a zipper to two pieces of fabric

Step 7: It should look like this when done, after finger-pressing it open.

pencil case turned inside out

Step 8: Fold the sides back on top of each other, right side to right side. Making sure to leave the zipper open, stitch the other three sides together on the machine with about a ½” seam.

pencil case with zipper

Since the zipper is open it should be easy to fold it right side out, and it should look like this when you’re done!

green apple pencil case with #2 pencils

Now you’ve got a fun and stylish way to store your pens and pencils. More importantly…you sewed a zipper. Bravo! Welcome to the intermediate sewing club.


This post is sponsored by Mott’s.

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