Shibori Trend – DIY Denim Heart Pencil Case

January 22, 2017

Who doesn’t love a new pencil case? As a child I used to love the ritual of shopping for stationary as part of the back to school routine. Today I am going to share this gorgeous heart pencil case tutorial – combining shibori, upcycling denim and my love of stationary!

I confess to spending far too much time on Pinterest – browsing many inspiring images often sparks ideas. I love the beautiful Shibori style dying images popping up. It’s time to have a go.

My original thoughts were to use denim (you may have noticed I love denim!) using an easily available household dye for light denim, with the plan to try bleaching darker denim another time.

I started with light denim, folding, scrunching, tying then dying in denim navy Dylon dye.

Here are my experiments:

Fabric folded in in half and then pleated as if a fan. This was wrapped round with string.

Fabric folded into squares. Each corner held with a bull dog clips.

Gathering the fabric into a ball, held with rubber bands.

Fabric gathered loosely with a running stitch, then held/ties with rubber bands.

Fabric bunched up and held with rubber bands.

Once dry I played with ideas for hand embroidery to complement the designs. Finally, I made a shibori style denim heart pencil case! I really should make myself a pencil case with the with words printed on Hands Off but it would make no difference, no doubt my pens will soon be borrowed!

Learn how to make upcycled denim pencil cases. The tutorial demonstrates Shibori dye techniques to dye the fabric hearts #DIYPencilcases #pencilcasepattern

If you want more shibori inspiration check out these posts!

How to make a shibori table runner and table mats

How to make a shibori scarf

Shibori Quilt

Shibori inspired denim large floor cushion

Are looking for further ideas for what to do with your old jeans? Check out my 25+ craft ideas for old jeans

Shibori Pencil Case

You will need:

  • Dyed denim, one piece measuring 9 by 5″
  • Two denim pieces of fabric measuring 9 by 5″
  • Two pieces of fabric for lining the pencil case measuring 9 by 5″
  • A navy zip 9″
  • Bondaweb
  • Sharp scissors

To make:

Iron interfacing onto the wrong side of the denim pieces.

Cut out three heart shapes from your denim. I folded the denim in half so I could cut out both sides of the heart at once.


Apply bondaweb to the reverse of the denim, place wrong side of the denim on top of the shibori denim and iron in place.

Hand stitch to embellish the hearts, then machine stitch twice around the heart. This photograph shows a finished heart, a hand stitched heart and the heart as it starts.


Alternatively you can cut out three hearts, bondaweb on top of the main denim bag and embellish.

Now you have finished the decoration of the pencil case its time to sew the zip in.

Place one piece of lining right side up then place the zip long the top edge. Then place the right side down of the denim, edges aligning. Pin, then machine stitch (use a zipper foot) through the three layers.


Fold back and press. Top stitch, this stops the lining becoming caught up in the pencil case zip.


Repeat for the other side of the zip.


Unzip the zip by three quarters. Fold out so the right sides of the lining face each other, and the right sides of the bag face each other. Ensure the zip lies towards the lining.

Stitch round leaving a turning gap along the long edge of the lining.


Turn right sides out, then slip stitch the turning gap on the lining.


Learn how to make upcycled denim pencil cases. The tutorial demonstrates Shibori dye techniques to dye the fabric hearts #DIYPencilcases #pencilcasepattern

Learn how to make upcycled denim pencil cases. The tutorial demonstrates Shibori dye techniques to dye the fabric hearts #DIYPencilcases #pencilcasepattern


This post is linked up at All Free Sewing where you can find thousands of free sewing tutorials.


15 comments so far.

15 responses to “Shibori Trend – DIY Denim Heart Pencil Case”

  1. Claire says:

    These pencil cases are adorable. I too fancy giving shibori a go.

  2. Julie says:

    These are brilliant, I have a bin bag about 3/4 full of old jeans that I’ve been saving for about 10 years. I had an idea I was going to make a denim quilt. I have since gone off the idea a little but in the mean time I have a lot of denim to play with. (My fear is I’ll use it all for other things then decide I want to make the quilt idea after all! )
    I love the different designs you got with the dyeing, it’s fun to see how the different techniques turned out. Thanks so much for sharing at #HandmadeMonday

  3. Doris says:

    I have been wanting to try Shibori also. Love the way these pencil holders came out. I still have part of a Christmas gift to finish, and was planning on a pouch of some sort this would be a great was to combine the two. (It is a dear friend, long time friend; both of us got sick around the holidays and have not gotten together yet. We plan to soon, we live 2 1/2 hours apart.)
    For what it is worth, my favorite hearts are the bunched up bleached fabric that you used in several of the photos.

  4. Caroline says:

    This is an awesome idea! What a lovely way to re-use jeans x

  5. So pretty and a lovely effect with the tie dye. the 3 heart design works so well, I can’t decide if I like the dark denim or light denim best. Pens vanish in our house all the time, I think my kids would benefit from one of these each.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #Trash2Treasure

  6. Awesome pencil cases, Vicky, especially the one with the reverse appliqué hearts.

  7. Ula says:

    I love these! 🙂 Adding to my to-do list!

  8. Ddonna says:

    These are darling! You can never have too many of these little cases. I use them for pens and pencils or even cosmetics when on the go. I find them very versatile.

  9. Becca DuVal says:

    I love those hand stitched details! Super cute project!

  10. Jill says:

    Hi Vicky!
    Just stopped by to let you know that I featured this on my Round Tuit post this week!
    A Round Tuit 347
    Thanks again for linking up to A Round Tuit Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  11. Wow, this is so cool! I really like your pencil cases!
    ( I found your blog on the Round Tuit of Jill )
    Have a very nice day,

  12. Swapna says:

    These are gorgeous! I love the tote too!


  13. June Rostad says:

    These pencil cases are super awesome. I have such a hard time finding stuff to make out of my old denim. #Trash2Treasure I pinned & followed your site via RSS 🙂

  14. Harry Kant says:

    Wow, very beautiful. You are very skilled. A great idea to re-use broken jean battles.

    Harry Kant recently posted Nhan dinh bong da mien phi

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A passion for sewing, upcycling and caring for the environment - the perfect excuse to haunt charity shops for bargains!

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