The flame version was my first attempt at a paper and pencil case. I made a few of these about a year ago for my boys and for a couple of gifts. I thought they came out pretty cute, but they had some major design flaws. First, the ribbon to tie it together was frustrating for my guys that couldn't tie bows at the time (not to mention the bow is just a little bit feminine looking.) Also, there was nothing to keep the pencils and pad of paper from falling out if the case was ever tipped over. And, at least with my kids, they had a difficult time keeping it in the upright position at all times. The last frustration was that the pad of paper had to be taken out of the case to draw. In the car, that meant juggling the pencils still in the case (but constantly falling out) with the pad of paper separately. In the end, these were tossed to the side because they just weren't very functional.
As I was searching for ideas for a birthday gift last week I stumbled on this paper and pencil holder at the Skip to My Lou website and blog. The blog is really wonderful! It's full of all kinds of ideas including a great list of handmade gift ideas. Since her design solved all of my design flaws, I decided to give it a try. I'm really happy with how it turned out. I used an old pair of jeans for the denim in the inside as well as a short section of the jean waistband for the closure. I used some scrap floral and lavender material for the cover and pencil pocket. Instead of a snap or button, I used iron-on velcro. I think the velcro will make it really easy to open and close. This one was obviously a gift for a girl, but I think it could very easily be made very boyish with different fabric. I'm really excited about that, because I sometimes struggle with handmade gift ideas for little boys. All three of my kids have already requested them too!