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Fountain Pen 301: DIY Pen Cases

Posted in Fountain Pens

Happy Fountain Pen Friday, and welcome to the final issue of Fountain Pen 301. There will be a final, summary issue of my series next week. But this week, I’m covering pen cases.

Speaking from experience, it can be tempting to look at Rickshaw Bagworks or Nock Co. and think, “I can do that.” If the thought stems from the idea that you can save money by making it yourself, let me tell you, unless you’re a master sewer, you’re wrong.Between the materials and the time you’ll expend, you’ll end up spending much more in the long run!

However, if you’re interested in the challenge or the process, I’ve got some hints for you.

Plan Well

Draw up some scale blueprints. You want to know if your idea makes sense on paper. If not, you haven’t put too much time and effort into it.

Consider also making a small scale mock-up (or full-scale, if you prefer) using a cheap material. It’s a test of the practicality of your design.


I would highly suggest getting a test piece of each of the materials you will be using. You should see how they will interact with each other and your sewing machine (or whatever method you’ll use to fasten/attach the pieces).

Do some research if you’re using materials you haven’t used before. Make sure you have what you need to work with it. I tried working with polar fleece once and sat down to work with it, only to discover I needed a different foot for my sewing machine.

If you’re a novice to the method(s) you’re attempting, it may be in your best interest to start with inexpensive materials. It would suck, for example, to work on a leather case and ruin top-notch leather.

Reach Out

Reach out to the online community for help and/or advice if you have questions or problems. A trip to your local craft store is likely to yield some good information as well, as will Google and YouTube.

Ultimately, my advice to you on all aspects of pen DIY, is to not let fear or a lack of knowledge dissuade you. If you want to pursue a craft, do so as long as it continues to bring you joy.

This is it for Fountain Pen 301. I hope you’ve enjoyed it.

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