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Project

Roll-Up Pencil Kit

Our organizer safely keeps pencils together in one place and rolls up, too, making it compact enough to tote to school and back. We used an old place mat for extra sturdiness and a cheerful design, and added shoelaces instead of ribbons for the ties.

Materials

  • Place mat (approximately 18 inches wide)
  • Pins
  • Ruler
  • Washable marker
  • Shoelace
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Lay place mat facedown; fold the right edge over to be 2 inches short of the left edge. Pin in place (see below).

  2. Step 2

    Use a ruler and a washable marker to draw parallel lines perpendicular to the fold, about 1 inch apart.

  3. Step 3

    Fold a shoelace in half, and tuck its fold between the layers at the midpoint of one side.

  4. Step 4

    Next, sew up the two sides of the pouch -- the shoelace will be sewn in -- and along the parallel lines.

  5. Step 5

    Slide pencils into the compartments, and roll the case toward the shoelace side, then tie the laces.

Source
Martha Stewart Kids, 2002

Reviews (37)

  • ZKH 3 Sep, 2013

    I was able to whip this one out before school this morning for a friend. I used fabric instead of a placemat, and it was a hit! Very fast and easy, the perfect gift for all ages; thank you for your never ending craft ideas, Martha!

  • Twilightstruth 13 Aug, 2012

    I love this! Being a very crafty person I always carry around multiple pencil cases with different things in them, this should allow me to put everything in one case! Also I have a girlscout troop who are itching to learn to sew, with straight lines, you can't go wrong!

  • Coral256 27 Aug, 2011

    I make something similar for crochet hooks. Love this for pencils. Agree with the "shorter pockets" suggestion.

  • bookladyma 14 Aug, 2011

    These pockets are so long that once you use the pencils and sharpen them down they won't be easy to get out of the slots. I recommend shorter slots.

  • GabrieleRdB 13 Aug, 2011

    Also works for smaller paint brushes. Turning the mat sideways works for longer brushes. Tho it won't hold as many.

  • catherinehildum 31 Aug, 2010

    With some variation in the sizes of the slots this idea will yield a terrific make-up brush holder for home storage and travel.

  • geoferr 29 Aug, 2010

    If you fold 2 inches less of the bottlom edge up, you will leave enough at the top to fold down over the pencils to keep them from falling out. Works for knitting needles too.

  • seajewels 11 Aug, 2010

    You could also leave the slots sewed up all the way for shorter pencils and just push the pencil up like an ice pop. but good idea about the erasers.

  • Dova53 10 Dec, 2008

    I sew the slots for each pencil only 1/2 the length of the pencil, making it so you can fold down to get shorter pencils. Also make one slot wider to put erasers in.

  • Diegokid 22 Sep, 2008

    I have to agree that this project is a great Christmas gift for your children and grandchildren who are art students or anyone else. I too have remolded it to fit my paint brushes and other tools even my scrap booking supplies.

  • POOKIE2 16 Sep, 2008

    With a few changes this would work perfectly for a placesetting of silverware on the boat. I love to go the extra mile when we picnic on the boat with our family and friends. This would be so cute!

  • judyr2008 3 Sep, 2008

    This woul be great for tools such as wrenches, etc. A great gift for the man in your life. The fabric from a placemat would be sturdy enough too. Denim would be nice.

  • Sera_Dalli 3 Sep, 2008

    I have made one of these for my paintbruses, only the flap is longer so I can cover my brushes completely so they are kept tidy inside. A great travel kit for anything you like :o)

  • kmy 30 Aug, 2008

    My daughter makes these for crayons from a box of 16. She gives them for birthday favors. This is an excellent travel item. She uses an elastice pony tail holder instead of ribbon or shoe string.

  • marthaban 28 Aug, 2008

    I bet if you made it larger you could even use this for knitting needles.

  • kokoo 27 Aug, 2008

    It is anice idea i like it ,i will make it for my baby and give to him when he can use it.

  • cookiesgalore 26 Aug, 2008

    This would be great for makeup,lipstick,eye pencils and makeup brushes!
    ALSO: for putting forks,knives and spoons for a picnic (just make the compartments bigger).

  • Jarzab 25 Aug, 2008

    I tole paint and use one to keep my brushes in order and to protect the bristles.

  • Aars 25 Aug, 2008

    I have a similar case from my grandmother containing knitting needles - very handy! Greetings from Norway!

  • kathystewart 25 Aug, 2008

    I used this same idea for knitting needles but used fabric and ribbon. Now each size needle has a slot of it's own. I just made the slots different sizes for the different size needles, Works great and my needles are organized.

  • my-job-sparkles 25 Aug, 2008

    I made one like this for my knitting needles, I love it!
    I'll definately make one for my son's pencils and such when he starts school:)

  • jendutten 25 Aug, 2008

    This is a super cute idea! I always buy those "orphaned" placemats in department stores from the clearance section, sure I will find some use for them. Now I actually have one! I love that there are already all of the finished edges -- talk about a time saver! These would even be nice party favors for kids' birthday parties that don't have too many attendants. Thanks for the fun idea and good use of those myriad placemats!

  • jendutten 25 Aug, 2008

    This is a super cute idea! I always buy those "orphaned" placemats in department stores from the clearance section, sure I will find some use for them. Now I actually have one! I love that there are already all of the finished edges -- talk about a time saver! These would even be nice party favors for kids' birthday parties that don't have too many attendants. Thanks for the fun idea and good use of those myriad placemats!

  • jendutten 25 Aug, 2008

    This is a super cute idea! I always buy those "orphaned" placemats in department stores from the clearance section, sure I will find some use for them. Now I actually have one! I love that there are already all of the finished edges -- talk about a time saver! These would even be nice party favors for kids' birthday parties that don't have too many attendants. Thanks for the fun idea and good use of those myriad placemats!

  • jendutten 25 Aug, 2008

    This is a super cute idea! I always buy those "orphaned" placemats in department stores from the clearance section, sure I will find some use for them. Now I actually have one! I love that there are already all of the finished edges -- talk about a time saver! These would even be nice party favors for kids' birthday parties that don't have too many attendants. Thanks for the fun idea and good use of those myriad placemats!

  • jendutten 25 Aug, 2008

    This is a super cute idea! I always buy those "orphaned" placemats in department stores from the clearance section, sure I will find some use for them. Now I actually have one! I love that there are already all of the finished edges -- talk about a time saver! These would even be nice party favors for kids' birthday parties that don't have too many attendants. Thanks for the fun idea and good use of those myriad placemats!

  • jendutten 25 Aug, 2008

    This is a super cute idea! I always buy those "orphaned" placemats in department stores from the clearance section, sure I will find some use for them. Now I actually have one! I love that there are already all of the finished edges -- talk about a time saver! These would even be nice party favors for kids' birthday parties that don't have too many attendants. Thanks for the fun idea and good use of those myriad placemats!

  • Snapperdoodle 25 Aug, 2008

    These could also be useful for storing double-pointed knitting needles, short straight ones, or crochet hooks!

  • creativelady2 25 Aug, 2008

    I think this is a GREAT idea. I want one for me, and I am 63!!! BUT - I am going to have the strip (where the lead sits and will make a HORRIBLE mess) with BROWN Gro-grain(sp?) Ribbon and Velcro - so I can take it off and wash it. I think it would be great for pens and highlight pens, etc. !!!

  • Pablena 25 Aug, 2008

    Love the crochet holder idea as well!

  • Pablena 25 Aug, 2008

    When I was in my 20's I took a drawing class and the art instructor made cases similar to these for everyone in the class. Now, 30 years later, I'm interested in taking up that hobby again and this is perfect for holding my drawing pencils.
    Great for make up brushes, eyebrow pencils. And for a young child's favorite
    crayons, to be taken along with them on a ride to grandma's house. Or for older kids to take their pencils to school in their backpacks. Great idea!

  • mjalto 25 Aug, 2008

    This great. I did this same thing a while back for my crochet hooks. Keeps them all in one place. I got the placements from Kohl's on clearance for a buck.

  • flidhais 25 Aug, 2008

    Probably best for watercolor markers since pencils get shorter and shorter and soon you can't see them or know what color they are.

  • jpnlpinlove 25 Aug, 2008

    These are hot right now. I've seen them for $8 and I know I could make it cheaper than that.

  • greenknitcat 25 Aug, 2008

    Makes a great crochet hook holder and a knitting needle holder if you use pre-quilted yard goods.

  • jeannecre 25 Aug, 2008

    Would make a great gift for a child by putting in colored pencils and maybe an activity book or blank paper for drawing.

  • Ichorica 31 Jul, 2008

    This is really easy and heat to make. I am a beginner at sewing VERY beginner..lol but I was able to pull this off gonna make a couple more of these different sizes.