easy tutorial

15 Minute Pencil or Make-Up Pouch Tutorial

With school starting again, your kiddos are probably in need of a place to keep all their school supplies. Even homeschoolers like us need a spot to stash our pencils and markers. Don’t have kids in school? This zipper pouch is perfect for make-up, your secret chocolate stash, or even carrying a couple diapers and wipes! And the best thing is that it only takes about 15 minutes to make!15 Minute Pencil or Make up Pouch

This project is so simple, all you need is a small scrap of fabric and a zipper. What size zipper? This depends on what you want to put in your pouch! If you want to put school supplies in it, make sure it’s long enough to fit your pencils. Just make-up? Use a shorter zipper!

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While you can make this with regular quilting cotton, I recommend a heavier weight fabric to give the pouch some stability. I used a home dec weight fabric (I’ve had both of these in my stash for awhile, so I’m not exactly sure what they are).

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The longer (blue/green) pouch: 12 x 14in. fabric, 11in. zipper (cut from a longer zipper)

The shorter (grey/white) pouch: 9 x 14in. fabric, 7in. zipper

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Ready to get started?

1. Cut the fabric to your desired size. Serge or zig-zag the edges to prevent fraying.

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2. If needed, cut your zipper to fit your pouch. Zig-zag a short stitch where you’d like the zipper to end.

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3. Press the short ends of the fabric over (wrong sides together).

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4. Pin one folded edge to one side of the zipper. Using your zipper foot, stitch the two together.

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5. Open the zipper and repeat with the other side.

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6. Turn the pouch inside out and fold it so the zipper is in the center.

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7. Push the zipper down a small amount. Beginning at the folded edge, zig-zag across the entire end of the pouch (making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end). Be sure to keep to the right of the metal zipper stop.

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8. Reinforce the zipper by sewing back and forth several times across the zipper.

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9. Open the zipper halfway and repeat step eight to sew the other end of the pouch closed.

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Turn the pouch right side out and fill with your favorite pens (affiliate link… because seriously, these are my favorite pens!)

Simple Pencil Bag Tutorial

How much would your kiddo love to take his or her school supplies in a custom made pencil bag? Plus, you can make this faster than you can drive to the store to buy one. ;)

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The possibilities for these pouches are endless! These would be perfect for a teacher gift, don’t you think?

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I’m going to fill one with our art supplies for when the kiddos and I go on nature walks. We can keep it with our art journals for a quick grab-and-go! And that grey one has already been claimed as my new make-up bag. ;)

DIY Pencil or Make up Pouch

What will you fill your pouches with??

Happy sewing!!

DIY Reversible Mouse Pad: a tutorial

I love when I can take a little bit of fabric, a short amount of time, and come up with something that can brighten up a space. When I got sick of looking at my plain, black mouse pad, I decided to sew up a new one that would bring a little color and fun to my desk. It only takes a small amount of fabric, so its a perfect scrap buster project – great for those scraps that you’re hoarding and you can’t get rid of… you know what I’m talking about. Plus, this is a great beginner’s project to try!

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  • Two pieces of non-stretchy cotton fabric – size can vary, mine were approximately 8.5in x 10.5in.
  • Slightly smaller piece of fusible fleece (such as Pellon TP971F Fusible Thermolam Plus – affiliate link)
  • sewing machine, thread, etc.
  • scissors
  • iron

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1. Cut your two cotton fabrics to your desired size. I cut mine to be approximately 8.5in by 10.5in. Round the corners.

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2. Cut two fusible fleece pieces at least 1/2in. smaller than the cotton fabrics. Iron one piece of the fusible fleece to the wrong side of each fabric piece (be sure to check the instructions that come with your fusible fleece).

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3. Pin the two fabric/fleece pieces together, with the right sides together.

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4. Sew the pieces together, using a 1/2in. seam allowance. You want to sew around the fleece, so it’s not caught in your seam allowance. Leave an opening of about 2 inches as shown above.

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5. Clip the fabric around all the corner curves, as shown above. This will help your corners not to be bulky.

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6. Turn the fabrics right side out, using that small opening. Press the seams with your iron.

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When you are pressing your seams, make sure that the fabric around the opening is pressed under.

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7. Topstitch around the entire mouse pad.

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That’s all there is to it! In a short amount of time, you can brighten up your desk. No more boring mouse pad! And now you have yet another excuse to keep all those pretty fabric scraps. As if you needed another excuse. ;)

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And you can flip it over when your mood changes and you’re looking for something new. This would make a great gift for anyone who works at a computer – dads, husbands, teachers, or a blogging bud!

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Getting Ready for Baby: Cloth Wipes and Burp Cloths

If you’ve had a baby or seen a baby before… ever… you know that babies make a lot of messes. And usually at the times that are the most inconvenient [like when you’re sitting in church or cleaning the house for guests to come over].

So some of the obvious baby prep for me was making more burp cloths and cloth wipes. We use burp cloths all the time still – even when we don’t have babies spitting up. We use them to wipe boogies and drool and tears and … well, whatever else might need wiping. And since I’ve had the same burp cloths for more than five years, some of them are looking beyond sad.

DSC_0950So using some of the flannel I scored from Jo-Ann Fabric’s Black Friday sale [three bolts! woot!] I made some easy peasy burp cloths.DSC_0946I just sandwiched two pieces of flannel together and used the rolled edge setting on my serger.DSC_0942Then I whipped up a bunch of cloth wipes in the same fashion. We use these with our cloth diapers, but they’re the perfect size for washing up in the bath or after meals too. We spend very little money on baby wipes by using these, and it’s one more way to use less waste.DSC_0944Plus they look cuter than baby wipes! And don’t worry, if you don’t have a serger, these are still easy for you too! Make them in a similar fashion to my quilted coasters [minus the quilting step].

And just in case you don’t follow me on instagram1ebedc4e8c0a11e2a0a022000a1f968b_7The baby belly in all it’s glory. And my “I went to the hospital in labor and they sent me home when it stopped so now I’m still waiting for this baby” face.

Happy sewing, friends!

Simple Tote Bag: a tutorial

One thing I feel like I can never have too many of is a simple tote bag. Use it for groceries, library trips, whatever. And the great thing about a tote bag is that it’s so super easy – and quick – to make your own! I’ve made a few of these over the last year, including as part of a Christmas gift.

simple tote tutorial


  • Sturdy fabric – outdoor decor or canvas work well [a less sturdy fabric will work fine, it will just make a bag that isn’t as structured and won’t hold as much weight]
  • Coordinating thread
  • Scissors or rotary cutting tool
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine/serger

DSCF72711. Cut one long rectangle of fabric for the body of the bag and fold in half. The size depends on how big you want your bag to be. When folded in half, this fabric measures 14in x 16in. If you don’t have fabric long enough, you could also use two fabric pieces instead of one long piece.


2. Cut four rectangles for the straps. I made mine 22in x 2.5in – you can make yours longer if you prefer a slightly longer strap.


3. Serge or zig-zag stitch along the two longer sides of the bag body. [if you used two different pieces of fabric instead of one long piece, make sure you also sew along the bottom edge]


4. Finish the top [open] edge of your bag to prevent fraying. You can serge along the edge, zig-zag stitch, or use pinking shears and cut along the top edge.


5. Pinch the bottom corners.


6. Sew across the pinched fabric and cut off the triangle of fabric you created. This will help give the tote a boxy bottom so that it can stand and have a little more structure.


7. Fold the top edge over twice and press. Pin to hold in place.


8. Sew a straight stitch along the top edge.


9. Put two pieces of the long strap fabric right sides together. Sew/serge along the two long sides.


10. Turn right side out. Fold both ends under and press the whole strap.


11.Straight stitch around the perimeter of the strap.


12. Pin the strap onto one side of the bag and sew on each end.


close up of how I sewed on the strap

The X in the center isn’t totally necessary, but I think it just adds some extra stability to the strap.


13. Repeat with the other strap, and you now have a tote bag to use for whatever your heart desires!