Free Happy Face Pencil Toppers Design and Tutorial

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 With the new school year about to begin, it seems appropriate to run this post again. These quick and easy pencil toppers will give your favorite students happy  encouragement.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One of the things I love most about sewing is that it can be a useful tool when applied to almost any situation.  It can solve so many problems–and I’m not just talking about a ripped out hem, or torn seam.   This past week, the problem was  my Sunday School lesson and the solution was these pencil toppers and an embroidery design.

The teacher instructions were to print out the memory verse on an index card for each child to use in class and take home.  Even on colored cards this would be BO—RRRINNNNG.  Instead, I pulled up the .pdf file from one of my favorite collections, Designs by JuJu’s  Heavenly Inspirations 2 , which includes this scripture.  Won’t that get more attention than a hand written index card?




With my wonderful, free, photo editing program Picasa, a frame was added and the verse was printed on card stock.  On the back, other information was printed–the “bottom line,” and “basic truth” they could take from the story. The children went away with a shortened version of Cliff Notes for their lesson that day.

Thank you, JuJu, thank you Sewing!

Next the teacher’s guide suggested draping the room in Christmas lights as an indication of rejoicing.  What?!?  Hauling extension cords and lights and stringing them across the room certainly didn’t make me rejoice.  My students had been surrounded by Christmas lights like these



FYI this is not my house.


for weeks now, so I doubted the suggested display would inspire them to rejoice.

Then I thought about pencil toppers.  Frankly, before this week, I had never given them much thought.  But 9 yo granddaughter Laurel Cade was bubbling with excitement when she told me about her discovery of these “cool” school kid accessories.  Mind you, as a homeschool student, she doesn’t sit in a classroom with kids other than her brother, so her exposure to such trendy items is limited.  To her, pencil toppers were a new wonder.

Hmmmm…a smiley face pencil topper could be  taken home and be a longer lasting reminder to rejoice.  I found none for sale so I quickly made this one up.  Each child was given a new pencil and topper then directed to list things God has done for them which make them rejoice in Him. The smiley faces  stitched out quickly and the children absolutely loved them.  In fact, they asked for all the extras.  I like to think they were rejoicing.

Thank you, again, Sewing,  and Brother sewing machines.

It is interesting to note that 8 year old Peter, one of my fidgety boys, was the only one who asked how they were made.  He’s somewhat of a budding engineer, always interested in how things are made.  As I explained the process and described the embroidery machine, his already-bright eyes lighted up and he asked, “Could I come to your house and make some?”  I guaranteed him that that would happen.

If anyone would like the FREE design, just leave your request as a comment below. I will happily share two files, one a single face for the 4 x 4 hoop and the other 6 faces for the 5 x 7 hoop.  They are quick and easy but I’ve made up a quick tutorial for you.  I think it is easier to follow pictures than words.

Here is  the how-to tutorial.

Materials:   for a sheet of 6 pencil toppers in a 5 x 7 hoop:  1 sheet stiff craft felt   9″  x 12″, tearaway or cutaway stabilizer, embroidery thread

Directions:  Hoop up medium weight tearaway stabilizer.  Stitch Color 1, basting outline that shows the area which must be covered with felt.


1 baste stabilizer

Step #1–stitch outline on stabilizer


Print template of design.  Cut felt 1″  wider than template.  I just left the extra length, but you may trim that away.


2 template felt

Step #2–Print template and cut felt larger than template.


Place felt over the stitched rectangle and repeat color 1.  This bastes the felt to the stabilizer.  Thread machine with thread for head outline and face and embroider.


3 color 1 circle face

Step #3–Baste felt to stabilizer then embroider pencil topper shapes outline and faces with color #2.


Wind a bobbin with color 3,  the same thread you will be using to work the satin stitch around the head.  This stitching will show on the pencil topper back, so it looks nicer if the bobbin thread is decorative like the front.  Children always like variegated so I used that.


Wind bobbin with matching thread for color 3.

Step #4–Wind bobbin with color #3 thread and thread needle with same.


Slip the remaining piece of felt under the hoop.


5 back felt

Step #5–Slide remaining piece of felt under hoop, beneath top piece.


Stitch color #3 through three layers, felt, hooped stabilizer and “floating” felt under hoop.


Step #6--Embroider smiley face outline.

Step #6–Embroider smiley face outline.


Cut out smiley faces, trimming felt close to satin stitch outline.


Step #7--Remove piece from hoop and cut close to satin stitching.

Step #7–Remove piece from hoop and cut close to satin stitching.


Use scissor point to loosen opening for easy pencil insertion.


Open pencil topper with scissor point.


These could also be made without an embroidery machine and would be a fun project for children.

  • First, on a piece of felt, trace around a small jar lid or other circular piece with a fine line sharpie.
  • With felt markers or sharpies, draw the face.
  • Either by hand or machine, stitch the outline.
  • Trim away excess felt.

However you choose to make these, they will be a hit with children.

Isn’t sewing great?

281 responses to “Free Happy Face Pencil Toppers Design and Tutorial

  1. Carol, the pencil topper designs have been sent. Happy sewing!

  2. Sheryl, the designs have been sent. I hope the pencil toppers bring a smile to the faces of your grandson’s classmates.

  3. Peggy, the pencil topper designs have been sent. Don’t you love to be the cause of a grin from those grandchildren?

  4. R., the designs have been sent. This simple little project does, indeed, bring lots of smiles–and with so little effort! Have fun making smiles.

  5. Donna Jo, you are all set to offer smiles to those teachers who had a bad day. How thoughtful you are!

  6. Thank you for you kindness to share the designs. I would like it if you would send them to me too. I am learning to embroider on my machine and this looks like an easy one, and a plus, it would benefit others too. Thank you, Chrystal

  7. Chrystal, the designs have been sent. There is so much machine embroidery fun in your future! I hope you enjoy stitching these designs.

  8. I would love to use these for our 4 & 5 year old Sunday School class. Would you please send me the patterns. I don’t know what info you need but I will be using a HV Designer One to sew them out. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Linda, I hope your class enjoys these pencil toppers as much as mine did. The designs have been sent.

  10. Jennice Wilson

    These are sew cute! Thank you for your faithful witness and for sharing. Unfortunately, we have no young children in our small south GA church. However, we do help sponsor a free dental/health clinic annually. I would like to have some of these on hand to give to the children who come with their parents. The smiles will transcend the language barrier. I may also make them for my youngest grandson’s kindergarten class. Thanks!

  11. Jennice, the pencil topper designs have been sent. What a thoughtful person you must be!

  12. Kathleen Mitchell

    I love your scripture embroidery Phillipians 4:4. I am doing gifts for a ladies activity at church and this would be great. Thanks so much.

  13. Kathleen, the embroidered Scripture for Philippians 4:4 was from a set by JuJu. She has many, many free Scripture designs, as does SewBird. Check them out.

  14. Rena G. Stidham

    I really like your happy face pencil toppers.

  15. Rena, the pencil topper designs have been sent. I hope you enjoy stitching them.

  16. Love it!!! I would love the smiley face pencil design.

  17. Betsy, the designs have been sent. Happy stitching!

  18. I would really like the design please. Love it for my school children Thanks

  19. Robyn, the design has been sent. I hope your school children like it.

  20. Ruth Crawford

    Thank you for sharing! I would certainly appreciate it if you would share your design with me. I would like to make the toppers for my granddaughters 3rd grade class. Thank you again!

  21. Ruth, the pencil topper designs have been sent. Happy stitching!

  22. Would you mind sending me the file for the pencil toppers. I have a daughter who has a horrible habit of chewing her pencil erasers and I’m hoping this will help break the habit with a happy face 🙂

  23. Vanessa, the designs have been sent. I hope a few of these pencil toppers will help your daughter.

  24. Hi 🙂 can I get the happy face designs as well? Thank you 🙂

  25. Apryl, the pencil topper design has been sent. Happy stitching!

  26. Tracy Cheever

    I would love to have the happy face pencil top design too 🙂 Thanks

  27. Tracy, the pencil topper design has been sent. I hope it gives you a happy face.

  28. These happy face pencil toppers are so cute. I would love to do this for my Pre K grandson. I would need the 4×4 PES format please. Thank you for offering this.

  29. Denise, the happy face pencil topper design has been sent. i bet your little pre-K gandson will love them.

  30. Would you please send me the files for the pencil topper.
    I am going into a craft fair early November and I was thinking
    of making some inexpensive items for children looking for something under a dollar they can buy with their own money. Your happy
    faces would be just the thing to brighten their days

  31. Joy, what a great idea for a child-affordable craft product! The designs have been sent. I hope these are a big hit with the junior shoppers.

  32. Please send me the free smiley face pencil topper.. Thank you

  33. Eva, the designs have been sent. Have fun with these!

  34. Would you be able to email the happy face?

  35. Sara, the designs have been sent. I hope you enjoy stitching them out.

  36. phyllis stanley

    can you please send me the design for the happy face pencil toppers
    thank you,

  37. Phylis, the designs have been sent. Happy stitching!

  38. I love these happy face pencil toppers, could you please send me the design? Thankyou so much. Have a great day.

  39. Alva, the designs have been sent. Enjoy!

  40. Would love the pattern for the 5.7 pes file

  41. Lani, the designs have been sent. Have fun with these.

  42. love it… would love to have the design in pes… THANK YOU!

  43. Barbara Deetlifs

    Love the design could I please have it in pes. many thanks

  44. Barbara, the designs have been sent. I hope you enjoy this little project.

  45. Could I please get this design file. I think it would be a great end of the year gift.

  46. Connie the happy face design has been sent. I hope it makes you smile.

  47. They are sooo cute. I would like to have them.

  48. Shyamala, I’m glad these cute little pencil toppers caught your eye. The designs have been sent. I hope you enjoy stitching them.

  49. Where do I find the smiley pencil topper design ? Thanks

  50. Judith, you just have to ask, as you have done already. The designs have been sent. I hope you enjoy making these cuties.

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