My sister goes nowhere without her organizer, so she asked me to make this handy elastic case strap to hold her pencils and pens. If you never want to lose a pen again, just grab some fabric, a piece of elastic and some velcro tape and you can whip up your own pencil holder in an hour. Really!
1. Make the Fabric Strip
First, pick a fabric that matches your organizer’s design. Cut the fabric in a rectangular shape of 16cm x 10cm (6.3 x 4 in).
Fold the fabric in half length-ways. Keep the printed side of the fabric facing inwards. Thread your needle with the red thread.
Start sewing on the lower right corner of your rectangle, where the fabric is folded. You need to sew along the right short side of the rectangle and the long upper side opposite of the fold. Sew the fabric along these two edges leaving a zone of about 1cm (0.5 in.). You can stitch by hand, as it is a fairly small piece of fabric.
Use back-stitch, where the individual stitches are made backward to the general direction of sewing. Bring your needle up on position 1, then back down at position 2 and bring it back up and through at position 3. Repeat for the next stitch.
When you’ve completed stitching, cut off the upper right corner (be careful not to cut the stitches) without ruining the stitches, allowing the corner to be sharp when you turn the tube inside out.
Now, turn the tube of fabric inside out, pulling it through the open end. Iron it to make it neat.
Fold inwards the fabric on the open end of the tube. Back stitch the last side of the rectangle to turn the tube into a two-sided fabric strip.
2. Prepare the Elastic
Cut a piece of the elastic 35cm (14 in) long. This should work well for a medium-size organizer or notebook around 15cm (6 in) wide. If your notebook is a different size, just add 2-3cm (1 in) to the circumference measurement.
Fold inwards the one short edge of your elastic by 0.5 cm (0.2 in). Fold again and stitch to prevent the elastic from fraying. Repeat at the other end of the elastic.
3. Sew the Fabric and Elastic Together
Place the the fabric strip on the center of the elastic. Make sure the folding at the ends of the elastic are facing downwards. Now use sewing pins to attach the fabric on to the elastic at both ends.
Don’t stretch the fabric on the elastic; keep it a bit loose. Keep pinning, leaving a space of 2.5cm (1 in) between pins. I also created space for a bigger pocket at one end. Make sure the pins are placed perpendicular to the length of the elastic and parallel one to the other. They will serve as guides for stitching.
Take two pieces of sew-on velcro straps in black, around 3cm (1.2in) in length. Make sure you have one piece of loop velcro (the soft one) and one piece of hook velcro (the harder, scratchy one), which together will form the closing of the notebook strap.
Now place the velcro hooks at the left end of the elastic, on the inner face directly after the fold. Make sure the hooks are facing outwards and the straight side of the velcro strap is placed directly on the elastic. Pin it in place.
Pin the velcro loops at the other end of the elastic. This time place the velcro strap on the outer face of the elastic. When you pin both velcro straps, check that when you wrap the elastic around the organizer they meet (and stick!).
All you need to do now is keep the velcro straps in place with some stitches around their perimeters. Use black thread for this. You might like to use a thimble for this step, as velcro is a bit harder to sew than fabric.
Now thread your needle with some red thread (or a color that matches your fabric), and stitch along the pins attaching the fabric on the elastic.
Wrap the pencil case around your organiser, keeping the fabric part on the front. Turn it over and attach the velcro fastener.
Now pop your favorite pens and pencils in the strap.
Keep Your Pens and Pencils in Order!
Well done! Your elastic notebook strap is ready to use (or gift to someone) and you’ll always have a pen or pencil handy. My sister loves her notebook strap, so I’m sure you will love yours, too!
In this tutorial I demonstrated how to make a two-faced fabric strip. Then you learned how to sew on a hook and loop fastener, which you can use on several sewing projects, like a strap for holding make up brushes and pencils around a make-up box.