Monday, April 8, 2013

pen organizer {tutorial}

Hello, welcome to my stop on Girl Friday Sews blog hop organized by super nice, wonderfully talented Heidi.

We always, always look for pencils and pens at our house. I don't know what it is, but no matter how many new supplies I buy, when homework time comes there's never a pencil in sight.

So, I decided to make this organizer in hopes that it will keep our writing supplies in one place for at least a while.

This is such a fun and easy project. All you need to do is get some empty jars, make a pretty patchwork sleeve for each of them, add Lazy Susan and you're ready to get those pen, pencils, brushes, or whatever other supplies you have cluttering your desk and drawers organized.

Supplies needed:

Lazy Susan, 3 jars, fabric, washi tape

You can use any size of a jar as long as it's the same width on the bottom and top which means the sides are straight (not slanted).

Let's start, shall we? 

Step 1: : Measure the size of your jar

Measure around the perimeter of the jar and then its height. Add 1" to both the width and the height measurements to know how big your patchwork needs to be.

One of my jars measured 4.5" (height)  x 14" (perimeter) so I needed to make a 5.5" x 15" patchwork rectangle for the sleeve.

Step 2: : Make patchwork sleeves  

Decide on what you want your patchwork sleeves to look like. They can all match or be totally random, it's up to you. 

I made mine using white quilting cotton for the base of each sleeve, adding small patchwork designs in the middle.

Attach fusible fleece to the back of your finished patchwork rectangles. Quilt and "prettify" any way you like. I did pretty dense straight line quilting along each patchwork rectangle and did some more hand stitching around the middle patchwork to make it stand out a little more (the idea totally copied from Krista and her beautiful pouch)

To finish raw edges along the top and bottom of the sleeve, fold over 1/2" along each long side towards to wrong side of your patchwork, pin and top stitch with a 1/4 seam allowance to hold in place.

Wrap the sleeve tightly around the can and mark where the sides meet (very scientific, I know but this is the best way to insure that the sleeve fits just right).

Draw a straight line connecting both the top and bottom mark, pin, and stitch over the line. 

Turn right side out, press, and ta-da!!! your sleeve is finished. Now, wasn't that easy? Make two more sleeves and pull them over your cans. It might be a little tricky as you want your sleeves to be nice and tight, but go slowly and the patchwork sleeves will stretch a little as you go.

You could definitely stop here and be happy with your new pretty pencil/ pen holders, but I thought it would be fun to add Lazy Susan.

Step 3: : prettify Lazy Susan

Use freezer paper to cut out a circle the size to fit your Lazy Susan. 

Make the main patchwork square, attach fusible fleece to its wrong side and use your freezer paper circle as template. Make sure you leave at least 1/4" around the circle for the seam allowance.

Using the same template, cut out one more circle for the backing.

Place the backing (right side up) on a flat surface. Place the patchwork circle on top (right sides are touching). Pin and stitch all the way around using 1/4" seam allowance. Make sure to leave about 3" opening for turning the patchwork circle right side out.

Turn right side out and slip stitch the opening closed. Press. Doesn't it make our Lazy Susan so much more stylish?

One more step. Get your washi tape and attach it all the way around the edge of  Lazy Susan. 

Place your pretty cans on top. What a change, right?

Fill with supplies, step back and admire.

Thank you so much for stopping by and as always, let me know if you have any questions.

Fabric Mutt


  1. That is so cute! I love the "prettified" lazy susan!

  2. How pretty, I love it! You are so creative :)

  3. Cleaver! Great colors. Love the round basket on the oposit corner!

  4. A really practical and fun idea S! Jxo

  5. Whata great idea - now at the top of my to-make list!!

  6. This is ADORABLE! I'm definitely making one of these, Svetlana. Thanks so much for being a part of the blog hop!!

  7. Did you hear me squeal in sheer delight!? usual!

  8. I love recycled things and your pencil organizer is marvelous. I use lazy susans in my cupboards and this zippy look would really make things look more cheerful. Thanks.

  9. Very cute! Amazing how it totally changes the look of the lazy Susan :)

  10. This is just the cutest! Now I'm on the hunt for lazy Susan with a tallish bottom to decorate... I think I need to set aside a month to pretty up my quilting room with little projects like this. Thank you!

  11. This is the cutest tutorial ever!!! I love the idea do putting sleeves on empty jars. This is right up my alley and my girls would love something like this.

  12. Oh and I wanted to say you pick the best color combos of fabric!

  13. What a sweet project! Love the fabric choices!

  14. Krasny navod a nadherne vysledky! Dekuji, Svetlanko! J.

  15. These are amazing... they sure do look great and much better than a bunch of tin cans!!

  16. Oh, that looks great! Seems like the decorating bug is going around =)

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  18. I love this so much, and perfect time for finding it (Thanks to Sew Mama Sew!) as I'm getting ready to move into a new sewing room! I also love that patchwork bucket you have there! Is that from a pattern?

  19. Прекрасно!


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