Do you dread the amount of money you have to spend every year on back to school stuff? The only time of year I spend more money is at Christmas – and no matter what, it stresses me out. Between clothes, school supplies and registration fees, I have to spend around $300 per kid, and that doesn’t include the fact that I have to buy more clothes come December because they always seem to get a huge growth spurt the minute I buy them new outfits. The Goodwill staff likes me a whole bunch.
Related Pages: Bulletin Board Decorations, Peanut Butter & Jelly Recipes, Teacher Newsletter Templates
Over the weekend I was brainstorming some back to school craft ideas as a way to try to make a dent in this budget. This pencil case tutorial came together way easier than I thought it would – and all of my kids loved the results. The best part is that it technically cost me $0 dollars, because everything I needed to make it I already had around the house.
Easy Pencil Case Materials List
NOTE: You can easily change dimensions of this pencil holder and make it smaller or larger as you choose.
1 sheet 12″ x 12″ (preferably double-sided) scrapbook paper
Clear contact paper (the re-positionable kind rocks, but isn’t necessary)
3 hole punch
2 sets of Velcro dots
HELPFUL, but not required, is a grid cutting mat, though most contact paper also has a grid on the back you could use.
BTW, if you have contact paper with a pretty pattern, you can just make this pencil pouch with regular (non-corrugated) cardboard or card stock.
Pencil Case Tutorial Step by Step
Cut up 4 pieces from your scrapbook paper. I made this pencil pouch 11 inches wide to fit neatly into a 3 ring binder.
In order, they are (1) at 1″ x 11″, (1) at 3″ x 11″, and (2) at 4″ x 11″
Lay down your paper onto a piece of 13″ x 15″ contact paper as shown. This is easiest done on a grid so that you can measure and line things up perfectly.
Leave a 1.125″ gap between the 3 hole punch flap and the back of your pouch, as this will be covering the other side of the 3 hole punch flap. If you think it’s tight, err on the side of being too large of a gap rather than too small. You can always cut off the excess contact paper, but you really need the front and back of the pouch to line up nicely.
Carefully fold the pouch in half so that the front and back of the pouch are right on top of each other.
Make sure that your front flap has enough room to fold over the top of the pouch when it’s all assembled. Only press the contact paper in place over the three hole punch flap, because you are going to cover the inside of the pouch with contact paper, too.
Lay the pouch flat again with the contact paper on the bottom.
Cover the inside of the pouch with another piece of contact paper, with piece sized 11″ by 11″ . It’s OK if the top and bottom edges don’t cover all the way, but the sides do need to be pretty exact.
Now you need to clip your corners and fold lines so that you can tape the parts together into a pouch. The first photo shows where the cuts need to be made, but are kind of hard to see in the picture. So I’ve included a second photo with better lighting so that you can see what I mean:
Clip the corners off completely, but just make slits in the sides:
Starting with the Front Pouch Flap, Fold over the excess contact paper to the inside of the pouch:
Next fold in the sides for the Back of Pouch:
Lastly, fold the Front of the Pouch over, and fold the contact paper around the entire pouch, sealing those side flaps on the back of the pencil pouch:
Almost done! Here is a rear view of the pouch. Simply clip off the excess contact paper on the sides of the 3 ring punch flap:
Carefully punch holes in your 1″ flap to be able to carry it in a 3 ring binder. If you want your hole circles more centered than mine are, then pay more attention than I did to how deep your hole punch is set! ‘Doh!
Attach your sticky velcro circles on the corners of your flap, and your pencil case is ready to pencil hold!
The beauty of this back to school craft is that you can find any kind of scrapbook paper (or fabric, for that matter!) to suit nearly any personality. I’m making one for my son with Star Wars scrapbook paper, for example. You could also use wrapping paper, but I admit I’m not sure if that would work as well because the paper is so much thinner (let me know if you try it!).
The finished pencil case is surprisingly sturdy and should hold up for a good amount of time. It’s similar in weight to plastic folders, which are the only kind I buy for my kids, because the paper ones disintegrate in just a few weeks.