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. Would like to do the pencil toppers for my grandchildren…TIA

  2. Nancy, the pencil topper designs have been sent. I hope you enjoy stitching them. I expect they will make your grandchildren smile.

  3. inmensamente agradecida Dios lo bendigas por su bondad y siempre tengan sus corazones de llenos de amor y paz que el padre les depare mucha properidad

  4. Amarilys, me alegro de que estos diseños son útiles para usted. Y que Dios los bendiga , también!

  5. I just saw your happy faces for penile toppers. May I please have a copy to sew up for may Grand Children ,great nieces and nephews. Thank you

  6. Judy, the pencil topper designs have been sent, just in time for the new school year.

  7. would love to make this topper for my daughter’s 3rd grade class

  8. Ann, the designs have been sent. I hope you daughter’s classmates will enjoy these.

  9. Janice,
    Hi I was wondering if I could get his cute pencil topper to do up for my nieces. They would love them.Thanks for the great instructions.
    Peggy Snyder

  10. Peggy, the designs have been sent. I hope you enjoy stitching these fun little smile makers.

  11. Please may I have the lovely smiling faces designs & templates to make for my grandkids? Thanks from the bottom of my heart!

  12. I would love to use your designs with the young children I work with. The smiley face is always a hit.

  13. Zona, the designs have been sent. Happy sewing!

  14. I so love the smiley face pencil toppers! They are adorable! May I please have the design so I can attempt to make these for my grandchildren on my new embroidery machine? Thank you so much!

  15. Janice, the designs have been sent. Happy stitching on your new embroidery machine!

  16. I some how missed these adorable pencil toppers. May I please have the designs if you are still sending them out. Much appreciated. Thank you, Mary C.

  17. Mary, it’s not too late. The designs have been sent. Happy sewing!

  18. from SewForum: They are so cute. I bet the children were excited and eager to proceed with your lesson plan. Great idea to use this as a tool to help.

  19. These are just too cute! I am thinking of maybe doing them for my grandson’s class for Valentine’s Day…are you still sharing the file? Thanks in advance. Rosie

  20. Rosie, you are not too late. The designs have been sent. Great idea for classmates’ Valentines!

  21. What an adorable design! I’d love to make these for my daughter who has just taken over a classroom as a new teacher! Thanks so much for sharing!

  22. Kim, the designs have been sent. Good luck to your daughter and her new class.

  23. Pam zimmerman

    I would love these designs. They are so cute. Thanks in advance. Pam

  24. I would like the smiley face design again, please. It seems I got that when you first showed it, but darned if I can find it. But my computer did go bonkers on me and I lost some designs, so perhaps that is what happened. They would be so cute to make for the 1st graders end of year gift at the school where I am a reading helper. Thanks so much.

  25. Pam, the pencil topper designs have been sent. I hope you enjoy stitching them.

  26. Carol, resending the designs is no problem at all. Happy stitching!

  27. Pam, the designs have been sent. Have fun stitching these little delights.

  28. I would love the pencil toppers to make for my grandchildren.
    Thank you!

  29. Cheryl, the designs have been sent. I hope your grandchildren enjoy these.

  30. Thank you so much! I will be making these today!!!!

  31. Kathi Morris

    Janice, I just came across your designs today. I love this smiley face. I would love to make these for my 2 granddaughters. One of them enjoys doing ITH embroidery with me. Thanking you in advance.

  32. Kathy, I’m glad you came across my blog site. The smiley face pencil topper designs have been sent. Have fun making these with and for your granddaughters.

  33. I would love the pencil toppers to make for my girl.
    Thank you!

  34. Nilam, the pencil topper designs should be in your mailbox now. I hope your girl likes them.

  35. Hi
    I would like to have the design. Thanks

  36. Harumi, the pencil topper designs have been sent. I hope you enjoy stitching and handing these out as much as I do.

  37. Pam Jevotovsky

    I would love the design for the pencil topper if you wouldn’t mind sharing it.
    It is adorable.

    Thank you.

  38. Pam, the pencil topper designs have been sent. Happy stitching!

  39. Margaret Opalka

    I would love to have this…I teach sunday school as well as being a girl scout leader.
    thanks so much

  40. Margaret, the designs have been sent. I hope your Scouts and SS students enjoy these.

  41. Love your machine embroidery happy face pencil topper. Is it still possible to get the design in pes format? I work at a day care and also do small craft shows would love to make a small amount to sell if thats okay. If not I will just use them at work.
    Thanks in advance.

  42. Phyllis, the pencil topper designs have been sent. I hope you sell every one.

  43. Would love to have this pencil topper design for my grandkids.

  44. Kathy, the pencil topper design files have been sent. Happy stitching!

  45. Brigitte tredez

    Hello !
    Thank you for the tutorial.
    I know it is quitte à long time now , but would it be possible to send me the embroidery file ? My machine (bernina) Can use any one.
    Many thanks. Brigitte

  46. Brigitte, the pencil topper designs have been sent. These are fun to make. I hope you enjoy them.

  47. Kathrin Kühbauer

    Hello! I would love to have these cute pencil toppers for my son´s birthday party this summer. Are they available? Thanks, Kathrin

  48. Kathrin, the pencil topper design is certainly still available and have been sent. I hope they add a little something extra for your son’s birthday.

  49. Hola, me encantaria si por favor me puede enviar los diseños, mi niña cumple años y me parecen divinos sus diseños, muchisimas gracias por su tutorial

    Translation : Hi, I would love if you can please send me the designs, my birthday girl and I look divine designs, thank you very much for your tutorial

  50. Hi Lili, I’m sorry it has taken me so long to respond. My eleven y/o grandson is visiting and showed me how to translate your message. Hurray for grandchildren! I will send the designs shortly. Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you enjoy stitching these pencil toppers!

    Translation : Hola Lili, siento que me haya tomado tanto tiempo responder. Mi nieto de once años está visitando y me mostró cómo traducir su mensaje. ¡Viva para los nietos! Enviaré los diseños en breve. Gracias por leer mi blog. ¡Espero que disfruten cosiendo estos toppers del lápiz!

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