DIY Multiple Pen Case
Can't find the pen case you need? No problem! Just make it yourself!
Okay, that's easier said than done. I, for one, had a few problems to begin with: 1) I barely know how to sew.
2) I don't have a portable sewing machine.
3) I didn't know how / where to start! But after hours and hours of browsing eBay and pen sites without finding a multiple pen case that fit my needs (and my budget), I said to heck with it and brought out my sewing kit. Here was my criteria. I wanted a case: - for multiple pens
- with individual slots that are long enough to accommodate entire pens
- that could be closed without the pens scratching each other
- that is not too big
- that is thick enough to protect my pens while being jostled in the my black hole, er, handbag
Here are the materials I used:
- three pieces of thick fabric
- button (optional)
- old ribbon (optional)
- determination (not optional)
I don't keep bolts of fabric in my house so I raided my closet for clothes that were too small. (Luckily, I have lots of those.) I ended up choosing a pair of shorts. Why? Because I somehow wanted to incorporate the pocket in my pen case. (I love pockets. Pockets are the best thing since sliced bread.)
So without further ado, here are the steps I did to create my own multiple pen case. I'm sorry that I don't have pictures of the process since I made this months ago. I hope that my chicken scratch sketches would suffice. I'm also not experienced in sewing, so my instructions may not be detailed enough. I didn't even bother with measurements. So you either have to be comfortable eyeballing it, or you would have to determine your own measurements. Here goes!
1) Decide how many pens you want to fit. (As for me, I was going for around 5 or 6. I ended up with 7.)
2) Cut three pieces of fabric. They should be much bigger and longer than your pens.
3) One piece of fabric should be much longer (on one side) and a bit shorter (on the other side) than the others. This is the one you will use for your pen slots. Make sure it is still taller than your pens.
4) If your fabric is fringed, you can sew the seams. When I cut my fabric, I made sure to keep the sides with some of the seams sewn.
5) Sew the three pieces of cloth together on one side. If you lay a pen down on the cloth, this is the side that will run the length of your pen. Use strong stitching so your pen case doesn't fall apart.
6) Flip the cloth inside out so the seam can't be seen.
7) Now we make the individual pen slots. Place a pen between the middle layer and the long layer of fabric. (I used a Lamy Safari.) Mark how much fabric is needed to enclose the entire pen. (I used pins.) Take the pen out and sew this long layer to the middle layer. (Remember not to sew the third/outer layer at the back so it would be free of stitches.) Leave a bit of space at the bottom for when you sew the bottom edge together.
8) Repeat this process until you have the desired number of pen slots.(I did it until I ran out of fabric, haha.)
9) Flip the fabric inside out again. Cut off excess cloth from the piece of fabric used to make the pen slots.
Optional (#10 and #11): If you want to secure your case with a button and a loop, now is the time to sew them. If not, you could just tie your case closed with a ribbon.
10) Cut the old ribbon to the desired length and sew into onto the pen case.
11) Flip your fabric inside out and sew the button on the outer layer of fabric at the opposite end of the loop. Make sure the button is positioned well so the pen case could be closed securely.
12) Flip the fabric inside out yet again (that's a lot of flipping!). Sew the seams on the 3 remaining sides. But remember to leave a hole big enough on one corner so you could flip it back again.
13) Carefully flip the cloth through the hole, then sew the hole closed.
And that's all there is to it! It may not be the swankiest pen case around, but it's exactly what I wanted.
All in all, it took me around 4 hours to finish this project. Why so long?! Well, it was sometimes difficult to push the needle through three thick layers of fabric. I may have also overdone the stitching to ensure I end up with a sturdy product. (I also didn't have much of a plan so I had to stop to figure out what I was doing, haha.) Those of you with portable sewing machines would likely be able to do this in a jiffy.
So here are pictures of the finished case. Mine ended up measuring around 19.5 cm X 18 cm (7.68 inches x 7.09 inches) and looking quite squarish. What I really like is that I could insert the pens completely so they're protected. Even though the top part of the slots are open, I'm not worried since the pens are safe and snug inside. Because I chose a relatively thick fabric, the case is also padded well.
In addition, I also have a cute little pocket at the back where I sometimes keep another pen.
The case closes securely and could easily be transported in a medium-sized bag.
And that's it! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I would also love to see the results of your own DIY pen case.