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A Gift a Day 2017: Day 1: Harry Potter Inspired Pencil Bag

Harry Potter Pencil Bag The Prudent Homemaker

I've made lined pencil bags and other lined, zippered bags before. They're a pretty quick and simple gift to make. The important thing is to figure out what size you need it to be, depending on what purpose it will serve.

For this bag, I chose to cut the bag 9 x 4 inches and use a 1/2" seam allowance.

I used scraps to make this bag. As both the inside and the outside of the bag were made with thin fabric, I cut a lining from iron-on interfacing and ironed it to the wrong side of each fabric piece before sewing.

For the outside piece, I simply wrote the word "Quills" with a blue washable fabric marker before embroidering the entire thing by hand with an outline stitch in two strands of embroidery thread.

The outside is made from a line/cotton blend fabric. The inside is sewn with some leftover London map fabric I used for three other projects (a pillow, an apron, and a change purse). I made sure that Kings' Cross Station was visible when the bag was opened from the front.



2 pieces of fabric for outside (9 x 4 inches)

2 pieces of fabric for the lining (9 x 4 inches)

4 pieces of interfacing (8 x  inches)

zipper at least 9 inches long 

embroidery thread



Sewing Machine



Sewing pins


embroidery needle

Washable marking pen or pencil

embroidery hoop (optional)


Harry Potter Pencil Bag Lining The Prudent Homemaker


Time: 30 minutes for the bag itself (including cutting the fabric).  1 hour for the embroidery. 

Cost: $0.10, plus $1.44 for the pencils and eraser to go inside.

I used leftover scraps from other projects to make this, so the fabric didn't cost me anything. I used a few cents worth of embroidery thread. The zipper was one I inherited from my grandmother (she gave me a large number of zippers). The interfacing was purchased at a Black Friday sale. 

I spent $1 on the pencils I included and $0.33 on the polymer eraser. I bought the erasers with a coupon at back to school sales. The pencils were from the Target dollar spot (purchased in August).


For my Gift a Day series this year, I will be making gifts using only supplies I already have on hand. I'll include my cost when I purchased materials for the gift (i.e. when they weren't made from hand-me-down fabrics and/or supplies) but none of this money was spent recently. The pencils and eraser that are part of this gift are probably the only things that I purchased in 2017 for any of the gifts that I will be making. Everything else I already have on hand.

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  • Debbie Fodor November 21, 2017


  • kim November 21, 2017

    I too am making things from my stash as I call it. My girls were so into Harry Potter. We had an entire Harry Potter bedroom. All hand made by me. It is now stored away and will be ready for one of the grandsons. Your embroidery work is so beautiful. I am working on getting better at this skill. Funny I also inherited an huge box of zippers from my grandmother. I have use almost all of them over the past 20 years. Can't wait to see what you do next.

  • Susan November 21, 2017

    I am going to enjoy this series so much. I love, love, love the pencil bag. The lining is adorable. I gave away my sewing machine years ago because I never used it. Now I want it back.:)

  • Dianna November 21, 2017

    Love it.... did you teach yourself how to embroider, or was there a book you used?

  • Ellie's friend from Canada November 21, 2017

    What a great idea! The pencil bag is lovely!

  • lindade montreal November 21, 2017

    comme jaimerais avoir vos doigts de fee bonne action de grace a vous votre famille et vos lecteur

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher November 21, 2017

    Oooh this is so gorgeous!! I need to start learning how to better sew in zippers; my skills right now are pretty darn lacking.

  • Jenni@DitchingOurDebt November 21, 2017

    Your embroidery is just beautiful!

  • Debby in Kansas November 21, 2017

    I love it! I especially love your embroidery projects because embroidery is probably the one thing I think I'm pretty good at!! (I just finished 18 14 x 14" squares that my quilting group will turn into a King quilt for a raffle.) I really want to try making the coin purses and pencil bags. I'm hoping I can handle that!!

    My best friend & her husband (no kids) have their den Harry Pottered! I made them a Monster Book of Monsters box for their anniversary last year. It turned out REALLY good!! I plan to copy your idea of embroidering a pillow from a coloring book page. That was incredible and I think they'd love it.

    Nice work, Brandy!

  • Rhonda A. November 21, 2017

    As always, love your sewing post! Almost made my daughter a pencil case for school this year, but finally found one that met her needs (several pocket departments to separate and organize everything). Love the look of the lettering on this one. Very pretty!

  • momsav November 21, 2017

    Nice! I love embroidery, too. Even though I won’t be making any of these projects, I do like seeing what you come up with. You must be an especially good listener to come up with your Children’s Christmas lists.

  • C November 21, 2017

    I love your handmade gifts and I love Harry Potter. If you ever choose to sell them, I'll be the first customer!

  • Athanasia November 21, 2017

    Those Pentel polymer erasers are the best. I like the pencil caps too. I buy them for my use in the library. The Target dollar spot is a good place for finding nice little items.

  • Cathi November 24, 2017

    I love this and so would my daughter. If I have the time I think I might just have to borrow this idea. Sadly no London fabric in my stash but I'm sure I can find something!

  • Cathi November 24, 2017

    One more thing; question - did you use a specific font or freehand "Quills"?
    Also,what font do you use for your webpage headings and watermark on your photos. It's so beautiful!

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