How to make a Giant twin zip pencil case in 5 steps and 15 minutes

My girls can always use a new pencil case. They have lots of different styles, sizes and colours already but still I had a request for another new one - this time with two zips.  It was nice and simple to make - so I thought I'd make another of my tutorials that anyone can sew in just 5 steps and 15 minutes! Here it is!

First gather your materials.  You will need two long zips - 37cm (14.5") or longer.  I generally get my zips from the local charity shops where they sell them for around 20c each!
Then some funky material - I got this lovely bright octopus fabric as a remnant for just $1!  There's still plenty of it left over to make something else too!

The size pieces of fabric you will need to cut are:
2 pieces 37 x 27cm (14.5 x 10.5")
1 piece 37 x 10cm (14.5 x 4")
1 piece 37 x 18cm (14.5 x 7")
2 pieces 4 x 8cm (1.5x 3")

Step 1:
Attach the middle front zip.  Lay the zip face down at the top of your larger front panel and pin into place:

Using the zipper foot on your machine - stitch into place, then flip the fabric over and top-stitch along the edge of the zip to stop the fabric catching in the zip when the pencil case is opened and closed!

Then repeat this with the top panel of the front of the pencil case. Place the panel face down on the top edge of the zip and pin into place:

Stitch then flip the fabric over again and top-stitch close to the zip again.

Step 2:
Cover the ends of the top zip.
Use your two small pieces of fabric. Fold the edges and pin to either end of the zip so they make the zip a little narrower than the pencil case itself:

Stitch these pieces in place. Make sure you stitch slowly over the zip teeth so your needle doesn't slip or break!

Step 3
Attach the top zip to the front and back panels of your pencil case.
Place one of the larger panels face up, then lay the one you just made with the front zip face up on top of that.  Then lay the top zip face down at the top and pin through all 3 layers.

Stitch the zip in place, 
then once again flip the fabric over and top-stitch.

Then pin the final back panel face down to the remaining free edge of the top zip:
Stitch and top stitch for the last time!

Step 4
Lay the pencil case out flat and make sure your zips are open! This is very important!!

Now fold the pencil case right sides together and pin all the way around the edges.  

Then stitch the 3 sides.

When you stitch over each zip end, run the stitching backwards and forwards a few times to secure!

Step 5
Trim the edges of the zips and the fabric:

If your fabric looks like it might fray - you can finish the 3 edges off either with an overlocker (serger) if you're lucky enough to have one; or just zig zag stitch and trim the edges, or trim with pinking shears!

Turn the case out through the top zip and you're done!!

Fill it up with pens, pencils and drawing books or paper and it's ready to go!

For the downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.

I hope you liked this tutorial.
There are lots more simple tutorials for useful things to make in just 5 steps and 15 mins ; and also over 100 more free sewing tutorials on my tutorials page.


  1. The double zip design is a great idea. I'm pinning this for sure!

  2. A very thorough tutorial! I've been making bags for 35 years, having started in a 'sweat shop' where we made duffles, camera bags, back packs, etc. Have you ever made any bags with gussets? They're a little tricky, but you can make bags with many separate compartments.

  3. Oh wow, that pouch is double-cute! I'm adding this to my favorites. Thanks for the thorough tutorial!

    Hafsah @ IceyBooks

  4. Hi Jill, thanks for this tute! Step 2 of the tute was a revelation for me because I never knew this step existed for zip bags/pouches and ended up with untidy tips. Thank you!!!

    1. You're welcome Agy! Yes, the extra fabric on the ends of the zip does make it all a lot neater!

  5. Wow Jill! That looks amazing! Great post, very detailed step-by-step instructions!

  6. Wow I can use that for all kinds of things!! You have great tute's. Thanks so much. Pam

  7. I made ten of these (a little smaller) for my daughter's birthday party. Thank you for the great instructions. They were a big hit. I posted them in my own blog. As I am still pretty new to this, I hope I linked it properly. If not, please let me know! It is here, if you want to take a peek.
    Your instructions are very clear and easy to follow. Thank you for taking the time to post this and teach me!

  8. That so cool!!! I will try it next time.

  9. That so cool!!! I will try it next time.


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