Thursday, June 8

Zip and Pocket Pen Holder Tutorial

Sew a Zip & Pocket Pen Holder for Your Notebook
The hard part about keeping a notebook at hand is keeping a pen with it. When I saw a notebook pen holder with a zipper and a pocket, I knew that I could make my own in not much time. And when I noticed some ribbon left from another project, I knew that it would save some time and be cute, too! Here's how to make your own:
Two notebooks with pen holders


Supplies: ribbon, elastic, zipper1 1/2 - 2 inch wide Ribbon (I recommend grosgrain), 2/3 - 3/4 yard, depending upon the size of your notebook. Cut 2 pieces the length of your notebook + 1 inch. Cut 1 piece the length of your notebook minus 1 1/2 inches. (This would vary if your notebook is very small or very large. My notebooks were 7 inches and 8 inches tall.) Zipper, the length of your notebook or longer. 1 - 1 1/2 inch wide elastic, the length of your notebook, or longer, if your notebook is really thick.


Begin with the short piece of ribbon. Fold one end down 1/2 " twice to form a hem.

Press this down, then topstitch in a rectangle.

I drew in yellow stitches here, because the black thread didn't show well.
Fold down twice and press topstitch end
Lay the short piece of ribbon on top of one of the longer pieces, matching the unfinished ends and with wrong side of the shorter piece to the right side of the longer piece. Pin or baste these pieces together.

Don't freak out! I decided that black on black wouldn't show up very well, so I substituted a striped ribbon for one of the longer pieces.
pin ribbons together
Place the ribbon pieces on top of the left side of the zipper with the edges of the ribbon close to the zipper teeth. The unfinished end of the longer piece should be even with the top of the zipper tape. Pin or base as desired.
You'll notice that I placed mine about 1/2 inch below the top of the zipper tape, which later meant that I could sew only a 1/4 inch seam at that end.
Pin to left side of zipper

Using a zipper foot, stitch the ribbons to the zipper, close to the ribbon edge.
sew close to edge of ribbon
Place the remaining piece of ribbon on top of the right side of the zipper, aligning the same way you did in step 3. Pin or baste as desired.
ribbon pinned to right side of zipper

Stitch the ribbon to the right side of the zipper.
sew close to edge of ribbon

If necessary, shorten your zipper at 1/2 inch above the bottom of the ribbon by bar tacking across the zipper teeth, then trimming away the excess zipper.

To bar tack, lower your presser feet and set a zigzag stitch. Center your zipper under the presser foot at the place you want your bar tack. Sew back and forth several times. Don't forget to raise the presser feet when you're done!
shortening the zipper

Pin each end of the elastic to one end of one the ribbons.
pin elastic ends to ribbon ends

Place the ribbon pieces right sides together, matching unfinished edges with the elastic inside (like an elastic taco) and pin.
elastic taco

Stitch the ends, 1/2 inch from the raw edge. Trim seams to 1/4 inch and finish with a serger or zigzag stitch, if desired.

If you sew straight the first time, you won't have to sew twice like I did!
stitch ends

Trim the corners. Turn right sides out.
trim corners

Pin the (non-zipper) edges of all three pieces of ribbon together. Topstitch close to the ribbon edge. Be careful to keep the elastic free from your stitching!

pen holder in use
And now you're ready! Wasn't that easy? I think that this one looks so cute on my bullet journal. I put my favorite pen in the pocket. It's a Pentel EnerGel Needle Tip 0.5 with black ink. In the zipper pouch, I put this awesome 8-color colored pencil, also from Pentel. (I'm not getting anything for the plug, I just like these products.)

Let me know how your pen holder turns out. I hope you'll be sew happy!

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