If you have an obsession with pens, you’ll know how difficult it can be to store them. Pencil cases can be so expensive, especially if you want them to look good, and they only store a limited number of writing utensils. I have two triple-pocket cases that I bought from W. H. Smith years ago, but even they’re stuffed to overflowing.
I discovered folios last year, such as the Webster’s Pages cases that let you store a few sheets of stickers and pens and other bits for your on-the-go planning. Since I’m stuck in bed and can’t get to what few shelves I own, these travel wallets seemed like a great idea. I went on eBay and got one for about 99p. It’s not what I’d hoped, though. It’s bulging at the zip even though all I have in it are my post-it notes and stickers, and I still had to find a place for my pens.
Kipling to the rescue! I’d seen a few of their 100 pencil cases on Pinterest and they looked exactly what I needed and pretty enough to satisfy my shallow need for even my storage solutions to look good. (The monkey keychains certainly helped sell it, I won’t lie.) I ordered the denim case off the UK website and practically vibrated out of my skin in excitement — so imagine my horror when it turned up and wasn’t the light-washed denim their website suggested but an ugly navy blue.
(Cue lots of dramatic fake sniffling to make people feel my woe.)
I was jealous of our American cousins, too. Their Kipling pencil cases get love hearts inside them, while ours just get plain boring grey lining! What’s the deal, Kipling? Don’t you love us?
Anyway, I made the mistake of going on the USA site to check out the competition and fell in love with the purple and silver. I couldn’t make my mind up which to get. I mean, just look at them.
One of my new year resolutions was to stop spending money on “useless” stuff (especially now I’m “saving up” for a new computer and bedroom redesign) so I really shouldn’t have ordered both (especially when you take into account the $23 shipping fees) but I got a discount and I couldn’t resist.
It took forever for them to get here (like, two weeks, tops) but they were everything I dreamed and more. There’s just something about the little love hearts on the inside that does things to me.
Alas, the elastic is so tight that most of my pens don’t fit easily. I mean, they do, but you really have to shove them in there (especially the Frixion pens). I guess it’s because I have to use chunkier pens because of my hands, but there’s no way I could squeeze in any of my pens with rubber grips. Basically, if the pen fits easily in this thing, it’s too thin for me to write with comfortably.
The best part about these cases isn’t just that they have dedicated pen loops that make finding your favourites easier, but that there’s a fairly deep “basket” for storing other stuff, too.
My purple Kipling has several layers of pens in the plastic cases they came in, or in 50p clear cases from Wilkinson’s. It’s not as easy as reaching in and picking out a pen straight away because you’ve got to pull out the correct pencil case, open it, grab your pen, and move on — but it’s still much easier than rummaging randomly and pricking yourself on your scissors or sharpener.
There’s also room for my mini Maped single-hole punch, two glue sticks (one permanent and the other temporary for DIY sticky notes), and my disability-friendly scissors (because my nippy snips are great for detail work, but not if I’m doing a lot of cutting).
I even have room for my colouring supplies! Though my watercolour pencils are in a tin that’s too big for this case, so I have to keep it separate.
I found another use for the second case, since I really couldn’t justify buying it otherwise. I mean, I could have used it to store the rest of the pens I barely use, but it’s perfect for storing my crochet hooks and I’ve been looking for a new hook roll for ages.
Most purpose-built hook rolls don’t really account for the extra width of ergonomic hooks and don’t give you space for extras like your scissors. This one does both, though you do have to sacrifice pen loops because you can’t fit the ergonomic hooks side by side. (You could probably fit the really tiny hooks in between, but those things are way too thin for me to handle. At all. Like, it would just feel like I was holding air and my hands would be like “whuuuut”.)
The base of this one also has extra goodies. This cute pencil case contains random small bits like my thumb protector thing (thimble. It’s a thimble) and sewing needles.
I had to just dump in my heavyweight fabric scissors because they’re so big that they only fit catey-cornered, but it’s great to have all my crochet and sewing tools together. (Or, it will be, once I’ve got my stitch markers and pin cushion in here. They’re currently still attached to the tissue box caddy I crocheted a few years ago and that knocked over to spill my hooks and scissors everywhere at the drop of a hat…)