Shoddy Seamstress Adventures: Pen Holder Bookmarks

Behold! Some pen holder bookmarks on a composition book!

The end of the school year is quickly approaching for my kids. That means TEAHER GIFT TIME. Their teachers have been AMAZING. Between full virtual, and simultaneous hybrid (virtual and in-person), and all the madness that goes along with it, the teachers have been beyond PHENOMENAL. I want to thank them. And I’m not NOT giving gift cards, but I wanted to do something a bit different. Usually I forget all about specials teachers- not this time!

While perusing Pinterest the other week looking for little things to sew (and sell??), I stumbled upon these Journaling Bookmarks. This week I’ve been inspired to try my hand at sewing them. I didn’t love the aesthetics of the 1″ elastic on my first one, although my spouse claimed it for one of the testing log books for work. I knew I was onto something when my spouse claimed something I made, he tends to like practical things.

Prototype 2.0 on my Personal Planner

I made a second one with some 1/2″ elastic, but I don’t love this elastic either. I absolutely love having a pen ATTACHED TO MY PLANNER and I can easily bookmark where I want to open to. I’m still trying to figure out how I’ve lived without one of these penholder bookmarks.

Today I tested out using 2 pieces of 1/4″ elastic: WINNER. Its a bit more effort to get my placement correct. These are about as difficult to construct as a basic rectangular mask. However, flipping them right side out is a BEAST. I used a wooden “stuffing tool”, which looks like a chopstick, to help turn it right side out. My topstitching isn’t perfect. I need to remind myself that I’m NOT a machine. Nor am I a professional seamstress or even a particularly good sewist.

Today’s efforts.

I took advantage of having the machine already out to make some singe pocket versions. The single 1/2″ elastic is PERFECT for these! They were really annoying to turn right side out! I don’t love making these.

Other notes: I used a cutting mat and a rotary cutter to do most of the holders. It was fast and efficient. Usually I use my giant fabric shears to cut all the fabric, but the rotary cutter made for neater cuts and straighter edges. I will continue to improve my rotary cutter skills (and invest in a larger cutting mat.

I think these would be a little big for A5 sized books, but for a composition book, planner, or a regular letter (A4) sized notebook they work great! To make it work for the smaller A5 notebooks, shortening the elastic would be easy!

How I’m gifting:

For the school’s Reading Specialist!

I purchased 8 “dot” journals and a two packs of the Uniball Signo 207 pens in multiple colors. Each teacher and specials teacher is getting a journal, a pen holder, and 2 different color pens. Each teacher is getting a different pattern holder (all the notebooks are blue)! I’m going to make the kids main teacher a pencil case with a gift card inside. Those will be pretty simple to put together by next Thursday, I even have the zippers ready for the projects!


8 responses to “Shoddy Seamstress Adventures: Pen Holder Bookmarks”

  1. I have a similar item that’s made of leather and elastic and is called a Quill, it is super handy and mine fits a pen, pencil and even a 15cm ruler. I have never thought of making myself some for other note books and regularly find myself struggling to find pens in a house full of them in odd places. Thanks for sharing. I don’t think in the UK gifts for teachers is a thing, well definitely not when I was at school.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Teacher gifts are appreciated, but not required. You can’t give them cash (at least you aren’t supposed to). Its been a thing as long as I can remember, particularly at the elementary level.
      The holders are super fun to make! I like combining fabrics that coordinated from my stash.

      Liked by 1 person

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