crayon roll for sticks and blocks

December 24, 2009

I’ve been wanting to make myself a roll for my growing collection of Stockmar block and stick crayons for a while now and last week I finally got started. I had figured there would be instructions available somewhere on-line but I didn’t find them. I like figuring out these sorts of things for myself so *maybe* I didn’t look that hard. A few friends have asked how I made mine so now I’m sharing my how to.

First off, I used two fabrics and interfacing to give the roll a little more body and support to the outside layer. A scrap of denim, flannel or home dec weight fabric would likely work just as well and is probably only necessary when the two visible fabrics are quilting cotton.

crayon roll

Because I wanted to maximize the use of my fabrics, I worked it out so that I could make 2 crayon rolls for each of my fabrics. The yardage (meterage?) requirements for two crayon rolls are:

Fabric A (purple fabric in my example): 0.4 metres
Fabric B (batik): 0.3 metres
Interfacing: 0.8 metres (or 0.4 if you’re only making one roll since it’s usually less than 104 cm wide)
Matching ribbon or cord for ties: 1.3 metres

Before really getting into this project I washed, dried and ironed the fabrics (but not the interfacing).

1. Cut fabrics and interfacing:
– from fabric A cut two rectangles (one for each crayon roll) measuring 36 cm x 52 cm (14 1/4″ x 20.5″).
– from the interfacing cut another rectangle (or two) measuring 36 cm x 52 cm (14 1/4″ x 20.5″).
– from fabric B cut two rectangles measuring 30 cm x 52 cm (12″ x 20.5″).

2. Stack one piece of each fabric in the following order from bottom to top:
– interfacing
– fabric A, right side up
– fabric B, right side down
being sure to align the two short sides and one long side.

3. Pin the 3 materials together along one long side and sew 1 cm (1/2″) away from this edge.

crayon roll - pinning long edge

4. Align the materials along the opposing long side (note that fabric B will be shorter than the rest but all three should be lined up together). Pin and sew as in step 3.

crayon roll - inside panel is shorter

5. Press seams allowances towards fabric B, then turn the fabric tube right side and press these seams again.

crayon roll - pressing seams towards inside panel fabric

6. Centre the panel of fabric B so that even amounts of fabric A show above and below. (Note that this alignment doesn’t need to be perfect since the seams will be hidden in the pockets.) Press the edges at the top and bottom of your fabric tube.

crayon roll - centering inside panel

7. Make the folds for the pockets. To accommodate stick crayons, I made a fold 5.5 cm (2″) away from one of the creases I made in step 6. For blocks, I folded the fabric over 4 cm (1 5/8″). No matter what the pocket sizes, the folds need to be firmly pressed for the subsequent steps to work.

crayon roll - folding first pocket

8. Pin the the centre of the fabric or ribbon tie in place on one of the short sides of the fabric. Pin to either fabric A or B before turning the whole works inside out.

crayon roll - attaching ties

9. Preparing the fabric for sewing is the most difficult process. In order for the side seams to be neat, the fabric tube needs to be folded along the creases made in steps 6 and 7 but now the pockets stick into the middle of the inside tube as show in this photo. Be sure that the loose ends of the ribbon are away from the open ends so they don’t get sewn into the wrong spot.

crayon roll - positioning pockets

10. Place pins and sew down the side of the roll where the ribbon is attached using a 1 cm (1/2″) seam allowance. Be sure to double back at the start and the end of this seam and where the ribbon attaches.

11. There needs to be a space for turning the roll right side out so at the end without the ribbon, pin and sew a seam over each set of pockets using a 1 cm (1/2″) seam allowance being sure to double back at each end of each pocket.

12. Clip corners. If you would like to reduce the bulk you may also want to grade the seams.

crayon roll - clipping corners

13. Turn the roll right side out. It should look much like it did after step 7 except that the side edges are now concealed by the seams you just sewed.

14. Fold over the loose fabric edges at the opening where you turned the pouch right side out. Pin in place. (Hand sew if desired.)

crayon roll - pinning opening closed

15. Mark sewing lines to make the individual crayon pockets.
– You’ll want 48 cm (19″) between the top stitching on either end of the roll so that each crayon can have a 4 cm (just under 1 5/8″) wide pocket. When I used a lightweight cord my top stitching on either side needed to be 7mm from the end of the fabric.
– Draw (with chalk) individual pocket lines every 4 cm starting after the top stitching line on one side.
– This pattern allows for top stitching along the top and bottom of the pocket 0.5 cm (1/4″) from the edge. Mark this stitching line with chalk.

crayon roll - drawing out stitching lines

16. Add a few pins to ensure that the pocket flaps stay where you want them and then sew the pockets in a zig zag pattern like so:

crayon roll stitching pattern

Once you’ve reached the far end of the roll it’s time to do one final round of the perimeter.

17. Use a clean, dry toothbrush to remove chalk lines and stuff with 12 block and 12 stick crayons!

finished crayon roll



  1. I was surprise that you made the pockets etc. out of the double thick rectangle. it’s a great way to add some thickness which does make a difference in these kind of projects. If you hadn’t posted your tutorial I would have assumed a totally different way of doing. And to be frank it would have likely been more time consuming.
    It’s it neat how two people can look at the same project and accomplish it totally differently…hey, there’s a lesson in schooling there. Ha ha ha.

  2. It is neat that we can come up with all sorts of different ways. I’m definitely not saying mine is the best way, but it is what works for me. Step 9 is a bit challenging but for me it’s worth it because it produces a much nicer result. It drives me crazy when the inside fabric shows up on the outside edges. That way is definitely easier but oh well.

    And one strange surprise is that by not grading the first two seams you have a little more bulk to help hold the crayons in.

    The only thing I’ll likely change in the future is to cut my fabric 51cm wide since what I’m using isn’t that thick and I don’t really like 7mm seam allowances on the outside edges.

    Am I making any sense?!

  3. This is so fantastic. I love the corduroy with this project too. This looks fun and easy to make. I’m definitely going to make one too.

  4. Alright Annie! I look forward to seeing yours. I didn’t have a clue how many of those crayons you had and I’m still debating whether I want room for 16 of each or 12 of each for hauling mine to school and back every day! For maximizing fabric 12 is definitely the way to go.

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