How to sew a pen holder for notebook

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Learn how to sew a functional DIY pen holder for your journal or notebook, ensuring you always have a writing utensil readily available for capturing your thoughts and ideas.

DIY Pen Holder Sewing tutorial

Notebook pen holder

In a world filled with endless distractions and constant digital noise, there is something deeply satisfying about putting pen to paper and capturing your thoughts in the timeless medium of a journal or notebook. But how often have you found yourself in a frustrating predicament, desperately scrambling to find a pen buried somewhere in the depths of your bag or pocket? Fear not, for I have the solution you’ve been searching for: a DIY Pen Holder that you can sew in 30 minutes or less.

This article has been converted to a PDF file, available to purchase HERE! However this tutorial is free to read on the website. 

From choosing the perfect fabric to customizing the design to reflect your unique style, I will cover every aspect of sewing this lovely notebook pen holder. I’ll answer common questions such as what kind of fabric to use and how to measure it precisely for the perfect fit. You’ll also discover special sewing techniques that will make assembling the pen holder a breeze.

Need more easy sewing ideas?

Moreover, I understand the importance of personalization, so I’ll share some tips on how to customize your elastic pen holder to reflect your unique personality and flair. And if durability is a concern, fear not, for I have some tricks up my sleeve to ensure your DIY pen holder stands the test of time.

But what if you have multiple notebooks? I’ve got you covered! I’ll reveal a special technique that will allow you to make a pen holder that fits multiple notebooks, giving you the flexibility you need.

So gather your materials and get ready to embark on a creative journey. With my step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to craft your very own elastic pen holder for notebook  tailored to your needs and preferences. No longer will you have to endure the frustration of a missing pen or worry about being unprepared when inspiration strikes.

What kind of fabric should I use?

When it comes to creating your own DIY pen holder for notebook, one important consideration is the fabric you choose. The right fabric can make all the difference in both the functionality and aesthetics of your finished product. So, let’s explore the options and find the perfect fabric for your DIY pen holder.

Fabric type

While you may be tempted to dive into your fabric stash and use whatever catches your eye, it’s essential to consider the specific requirements of this project. You’ll want to select a fabric that is durable and can withstand the daily wear and tear of holding pens or other writing utensils. Cotton or canvas fabrics are popular choices due to their sturdiness and longevity.

Fabric pattern

Additionally, think about the look and feel you want to achieve with your pen holder. If you prefer a more classic or professional appearance, solid or subtle patterned fabrics in neutral shades would work well. On the other hand, if you want to infuse some personality and vibrancy into your notebook pen holder, consider using bold prints or colorful fabrics to bring your creation to life.

Fabric weight

Another factor to consider is the weight of the fabric. Keep in mind that you’ll be sewing multiple layers together, so a medium-weight fabric will provide the necessary stability while still allowing you to work with it easily. Lightweight fabrics may not hold their shape as well, while heavy fabrics can make sewing cumbersome.

As you embark on your fabric selection journey, don’t forget to wash and iron your chosen fabric before starting your project. This step ensures that any shrinkage or color bleeding happens before sewing, preventing any issues down the line.

Elastic pen holder

Are there any special techniques that will help me with sewing the pen holder together?

By taking the time to measure and cut your fabric accurately, you’ll be setting yourself up for success when it comes to sewing the pen holder together. With precise measurements, you can create a pen holder that fits your needs perfectly.

One helpful technique is to use pins to secure the fabric in place before stitching. By pinning the fabric, you can prevent any shifting or misalignment while sewing, ensuring that your pen holder stays neat and professional-looking. Additionally, using pins can help you maintain a consistent seam allowance, leading to a more polished final product.

Another tip that might be very useful is to mark your seam allowance using a fabric marker. This helps you sew an even seam allowance all around your DIY pen holder.

Another technique to consider is backstitching. When sewing the pen holder, it’s important to reinforce the beginning and end of each stitch to prevent unraveling or fraying. Backstitching involves sewing backward for a few stitches before continuing forward, creating a secure and stable seam. This technique also adds durability to your pen holder and guarantees that it will withstand everyday use.

Furthermore, using a smaller stitch length can enhance the strength and stability of your pen holder. A shorter stitch length creates more stitches per inch, resulting in a stronger seam. This can be particularly beneficial when sewing multiple layers of fabric together, as it ensures that the pen holder will withstand the weight and pressure of holding pens.

By incorporating these special techniques into your sewing process, you can confidently create a pen holder that not only fits perfectly but also withstands the test of time.

How do I make sure that my DIY pen holder is secure in my notebook?

To ensure that your DIY pen holder stays securely in your notebook, there are a few key steps you can take. First and foremost, consider the positioning of your pen holder within the notebook. Placing it near the spine or towards the center of the notebook can help distribute the weight of the pens more evenly.

Moreover, designing and sewing your pen holder in the same height as your notebook as well as adding a medium strong elastic to the back, will offer more stability to the holder when attached to the notebook. The elastic should not be too loose or too tight, just a bit smaller than the height of the notebook. A wider elastic will also provide more stability to the pen holder than a narrow one.

Elastic pen holder for notebook

Is there an easier way to make a DIY pen holder for my notebook?

Absolutely! While the traditional sewing method I’ll be discussing below yields excellent results, there are alternative options to explore. One such option is using fabric glue or adhesive tape to create your pen holder. This approach eliminates the need for stitching and makes the process much simpler and quicker. However you will need a strong glue or adhesive tape and bare in mind these alternatives are not as durable as sewing.

While this method may not offer the same level of durability as sewing, it can still create a functional and practical pen holder for your notebook. It’s worth noting that certain fabrics may adhere better with fabric glue or adhesive tape, so test it out on a small piece of scrap fabric before committing to your final pen holder.

How can I customize my pen holder to reflect my style and personality?

Adding a personal touch to your DIY pen holder not only makes it visually appealing but also allows it to serve as a reflection of your individuality. It can be a great conversation starter or a little reminder of your unique style whenever you reach for a pen.

Feel free to experiment with different fabrics, patterns, and colors to create a pen holder that matches your personal taste. Whether you prefer bold and vibrant designs or subtle and minimalist aesthetics, there are endless possibilities to explore.

Consider incorporating elements like buttons, ribbons, a colorful elastic or even lace elastic or even embroidery to add an extra touch of creativity.


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Are there any tips for making sure my pen holder is durable and long-lasting?

When creating your pen holder, durability is key to ensure it withstands regular use and maintains its functionality over time. Here are a few tips to help you achieve this:

  • Firstly, choosing the right materials is essential. Opt for sturdy fabrics, such as canvas or denim, that can withstand the weight and movement of your pens without tearing or fraying easily. Reinforcing the edges or using double layers of fabric can also add extra durability.
  • Secondly, consider incorporating additional reinforcement into your design. Adding a layer of interfacing or using a heavyweight fusible web can provide stability and prevent your pen holder from sagging or losing its shape.
  • Another tip is to pay attention to the stitching. Using a strong thread, such as nylon or upholstery thread, can ensure that your pen holder withstands the test of time. Reinforce stress points, such as the pen loops, with extra stitches or zigzag patterns to prevent them from coming undone.
  • Additionally, if you plan on frequently carrying your pen holder or using it on the go, consider adding a closure mechanism. This could be a button and loop, a snap fastener, or even a zipper. A secure closure will not only protect your pens but also prevent any accidental spills or damage.

Is there a way to make a pen holder that will fit multiple notebooks?

When it comes to organizing our stationery supplies, having a pen holder that is tailored to our individual needs is essential. But what if you have multiple notebooks and need a pen holder that can accommodate them all? Luckily, there is a simple way to create a DIY pen holder that will fit multiple notebooks, providing a convenient and efficient solution for your writing needs.

Start by making your notebook as tall as the smallest of your notebooks. Choose a quality elastic that will not lose flexibility with wear. Instead of using an entire piece of elastic, cut it in half and add a piece of fabric between the 2 pieces of elastic. This will allow your pen holder to expand and contract with each notebook size with ease without compromising the elastic.

Not only will this allow you to have all your notebooks in one place, but it will also make it easier to switch between them without needing to search for a different pen holder.

DIY pen holder for notebook

What materials do I need?

In order to create your own notebook pen holder/bookmark, you will need a few key materials:

  • First and foremost, you’ll need a sturdy fabric. Opt for a fabric that is both durable and visually appealing. Consider choosing a material that complements your notebook or reflects your personal style. Fabric scraps are perfectly fine for this project and you’ll need two strips for the body and one strip for the pencil pocket (the loops)
  • Next, you’ll require a sewing needle and thread. Make sure to select a needle appropriate for your fabric and a thread that matches or complements it. The needle should be strong enough to handle the fabric without breaking, while the thread should be durable and secure.
  • Additionally, you’ll need a pair of scissors to cut the fabric and thread. It’s important to have sharp scissors that can easily glide through the fabric, ensuring clean cuts. This will contribute to the overall quality and appearance of your DIY pen holder.
  • To hold the pen holder securely in place, you’ll need some elastic. Opt for an elastic band that is wide enough to keep the pen holder securely attached to the notebook.
  • Lastly, you’ll need a measuring tape or ruler to ensure precise measurements.
  • A rotary cutter and a table mat
  • Light or medium weight fusible interfacing fused to the wrong side of the fabric pieces.

How to make a pen holder?

Prepare the fabrics

The first step in making your pen holder is to measure and cut the fabric according to the desired dimensions. By customizing the size, you can ensure that the pen holder will fit snugly around your notebook, holding your pens securely in place. Remember, accurate measurements are key to achieving a functional and well-fitting pen holder.

I made my pencil holder for a notebook of 8 1/2″ by 6″. If you want to use my measurements, here they are:

  • 2 strips of fabric (for the body) of 2 1/2″ by 8″
  • 1 strip of fabric (for the pocket/loops) of 3 1/2″ by 9″
  • 1 strip of elastic of 8″ long (my elastic was 1/2″ wide but a bit wider will provide even more stability)

Once you have cut the fabric to size, it’s time to interface all fabrics so cut the interfacing in the same size of the body fabric strips and half the height of the pocket fabric.

Create the pocket/loops panel

  • Fold the pocket fabric in half lengthwise. This will create a long, narrow rectangle. Top stitch the folded top.

  • Place one of the body fabrics right side up. Pin the elastic to the middle of the top and the bottom edges. Sew the elastic with 1/8″ seam allowance.

  • Mark 1/2″ on each side away from the edge.

  • Start marking the loops according to the width of your pens or pencils you plan on using with this holder.

  • Place the second fabric strip right side up and top it with the folded pocket fabric placed with the fold upwards.
  • Pin the sides so the edges align.

  • Sew the sides with 1/4″ allowance.
  • Sew the loops to the back fabric as marked above.

Sew both panels together

  • When done sewing all loops, top this panel with the other fabric strip for the body, placed wrong side up. So the back and the front of the holder are facing.

  • Pin and sew with 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a gap of about 2″ in one of the sides of the holder. Make sure the gap is above the pocket.
  • Clip the corners then turn the holder right side out.
  • Smooth out the seams and push the corners with a blunt tool.
  • Push the gap inside and press.

  • Sew all around the pen holder with 1/4″ seam allowance. Make sure you don’t catch the elastic in the seam.

Once you have put any finishing touches you like, your DIY pen holder is ready to be used. Slip it onto the cover of your notebook, and you’ll have a convenient and stylish way to carry your pens wherever you go. With your writing essentials neatly organized in one place, you’ll never have to search for a pen again.

This DIY pen holder sewing tutorial offers a practical and stylish solution for ensuring you always have a writing utensil at hand for capturing your ideas. Start making your own pen holder today and enjoy the benefits of having a writing utensil readily available for all your creative and practical needs. Happy sewing and let your ideas flow!


sewing better, faster!!

In this special FREE series, you'll learn my most powerful SECRETS that will improve your sewing skills and help you sew like a pro! Join 38,210 sewing enthusiasts like you!


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How to sew a DIY pen holder for a notebook

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about petro


Hi, I’m Petro, author and founder of Easy Peasy Creative Ideas. Sewist, crafter, avid DIY-er, foodie, photographer, homemaker and mommy to one. I’m an expert at coming up with quick, clever sewing tips, recycling crafts and simple, easy recipes! You can find my ideas featured in reputable publications such as Country Living, Good House Keeping, Yahoo News, WikiHow, Shutterfly, Parade, Brit & Co and more. Thanks for stopping by and hope you’ll stay for a while, get to know me better and come back another time. Stick around for real fun projects! Read more…

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  1. On you matereal list your first says to cut two strips, is it two and a half by eight? Your are missing a number.