Make a Cute Rollup Pencil Organizer in 15 minutes

By Brittni • Updated on 07/07/2021

Pencil organizers don’t exactly sound cool, but this one is actually pretty cute.

A colorful pencil organizer with pens and pencils all lined up inside.

I get it. There’s nothing super exciting about a pencil caddy. BUT a rollup organizer that can store tons of pens and pencils without taking up too much space? I’d make one of those. As long as it’s cute. And it is! Here’s the story…

I’ve been working on getting the studio organized (and ‘finished’ to the point of sharing an official studio tour) this last month and a half. And it’s led me to some organizational project stuff that I’ve been wanting to share.

Some projects are large (can’t wait to show you what I’m talking about – very soon) and some are small. Today happens to be on the small side…

It’s a 15 minute project that is almost too easy (and functional) not to take the time to make. It’s a DIY rollup caddy that makes the perfect pen and pencil organizer. All you need is a tea towel and a sewing machine (and thread). That’s it!

We made a couple and I’ve been using them to keep small items like pencils, scissors, paint brushes, etc handy at the studio. But it also totally works for back to school, if you have any little ones. Click through for the step by step instructions.

How to Make a DIY Pencil Organizer

Two tea towels, which are supplies for a DIY pencil organizer

Materials for Rollup Pencil Caddy

  • tea towel with an interesting design*
  • sewing machine / thread
  • (optional) thin leather strip 8-12 inches long

*In case you’re curious, the pink pattern tea towel I used for this DIY is vintage. But the green tea towel can be found right here.

Making a Pencil Organizer (Instructions)

1. Lay your tea towel flat and using a pencil to measure fold up the bottom section, pin on each side and sew.

2. Continuing to use your pencil to measure decide how wide you would like for each section to be, pin and then sew.

3. Fold over your top section and decide how far you would like the fold to come. If your towel is just the right length you can skip this step. But if not, cut off excess fabric and hem.

4. To finish, iron your fabric at the fold and sew a seam from side to side to make a flap that will lay flat.

5. (Optional) To keep the rollup secure, you can add a leather strip, tied in a knot. I didn’t attach mine to the actual rollup – just wrapped it around and knotted it after everything was rolled. But you can sew the two pieces together, if it makes more sense to have that piece connected.

What else can I use this rollup organizer for?

This rollup pencil organizer that works for all kinds of things, not just pencils. It would make the perfect makeup organizer! You can use it for makeup brushes and tubular makeup items (like eyeliner, lipgloss, etc). Or what about as a makeup brush organizer? This would be perfect for that.

Speaking of brushes, artist brushes would fit perfectly in the slots of this rollup too.

What else could you use this organizer for? I’m sure I’m forgetting something.

Photo step by step instructions for making a pencil organizer with fabric.

Honestly, I am always, ALWAYS losing small things in my desk.

These pencils organizers are a lot harder to lose track of than one single pencil. Right? Hope you like ’em too.

Pink pattern rollup fabric organizer with leather cord on a white desk.

Fabric rollup office organizer with pencils and scissors inside.

Closeup of mint green fabric pencil organizer with office supplies around it.

Overhead photo of fabric rollup organizer with scissors and other office supplies.

Sewing Rachel Brewer
Photography Amelia Tatnall and Brittni Mehlhoff

Question of the day… Are you always losing track of craft supplies like I am? Think you’ll give this DIY pencil organizer a try?

17 comments | Click here to reply

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So cute!
im a newbie blogger so come along and visit my blog 🙂


This is absolutely amazing! I’ve always looked for a simple way to organize my stuff. It’s so cute and easy to create. Thanks for this nice introduction 🙂


Your fabric choices are so charming, I might have to find the same exact ones haha! Thank you for sharing such a simple and useful DIY for back to school!

Eden Passante

Wow! This doesn’t look too hard but very pretty! I love the cloth you have used, it looks stunning! Will have to try this!


What a perfect idea, not only for school supplies!


Definitely want to try this for some of my art supplies – even despite my hatred of sewing 🙂

Krista | The Illustrai

I love this idea, it is a great organiser for pencils. I made a bag for my blog once too, it can also be used for pencils:
Check it out, maybe you like my idea of how to make a simple pouch:-)


Favorite colors! Also I love this simple sewing project for a problem I always have… too many great pencils and pen and not enough places to put them!

Amy | Delineate Your Dwelling

What a wonderful idea!! : D



Omg, love this. Perfect! Thank you for sharing. Off I go to find a cute tea towel.. x


Awesome tutorial. This would work for knitting needles and makeup/nail art brushes too. My knitting needles come in something similar.

Laura [Merkitty]

I love this!! It reminds me a lot of knitting needle organizers!



Love this! I’ve wanted to figure out how to make one for a while so this will definitely help. I’ve saved it to use later. Love the title!

Tina x


Haha Kimberly. That song has been stuck in my head for two days for some reason. For clips, you could create kind of a pouch within the rollup that can be sewn directly to the inside. And if they’re binder clips, like mine, you can also just attach them to the outer edges (probably no more than couple would fit, but that could still work). Hope that helps!


I love this organizer; it will help to keep my different types of pens and pencils organized. Do you have a solution for clips? I can’t wait to see your studio makeover to get ideas for other tips. My office is a slam hot mess right now. Oh, and I always love your titles. You have that song stuck in my head now. 🙂

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