DIY Pen Roll Holder

Looking through art supplies, one inadvertently comes across different types of pen holders.  They come as zippered up pouches, notebook types, wooden cylinders and more.  Which type holds your pens best?  

Pouches are not really ideal as they bunch up the pens and you need to pickup each pen before you know what color it is.  Canisters and desk cylinder holders are fine but they don't really show you all the pens at once.  You still need to rummage through it to get the particular pen you need.

A notebook with rows and rows of pens held by a garter on a flat page works better although these are hard to find and usually pricey.  Besides, they usually look pretty boring.

A solution is to make your own!  It's kind of an intimidating task but you can do it - even if you don't have much time.  You also don't need to buy a lot of expensive materials at a craft store.  Just choose materials you have lying around the house.  The design will be assymetrical so it won't look like every other pen roll holder!

It will look like this!  Isn't it so exotic and bohemian?  Get yours too!  Each one will be unique!


Over-sized Patterned Blouse
Cloth Scissors
Needle and Thread
Cloth or leather
Ruler (though I didn't really use one)

1.  Choose an old, over-sized blouse with reasonably thick cloth.  I used one with a colorful design and with lining inside.  The sleeves must be wide enough for the project. (see step 4 to know what I mean).

2.  Check if the sleeve is wide enough.  Your pen height must be smaller than the sleeve's width.  If it's the right size, pick the sleeve with the nicer design.  This will the material for our Pen Roll holder!

3. Cut out the sleeve.  You'll want the widest part of the sleeve to be neatly cut.

4.  So lay out the pen once again and imagine it suspended on the holder.  Choose the side of the sleeve that you want for the outside and inside of the holder.  Nice huh?

5.  Look at the length of the sleeve with the pen on top to see how long your holder should be.  Imagine your colored pencils and see if they'll all fit in there. 

6.  If you don't want it to look too funky, you can straighten the shoulder part of the sleeve and cut it straight.

7.  Turn the fabric wrong side out.

8. Pin the wider edge of the sleeve.

9.  Sew together!

10.  Admire your work!  Neat!

11.  Turn right side out.  Do the other side (the cuff part of the sleeve).   I liked how the cuff looked so I just did a blind stitch to keep it together.

12.  Snip off one of the blouse buttons. We turned over the button cause we liked the bamboo feel of the other side!  Sew it on the cover of the pen holder as a notch for securing the holder in place.

13.  Cut the strip on the blouse where the buttons go - we will use this as the strap on the pen holder.  Cut neatly!

14. Cut the length you need depending on the thickness of the roll.

15.  Sew the part where you cut with blind stitch.

16.  Secure the slot on the button to ensure it is going to be sewn on the right area.

17.  Sew the strap onto the back of the holder.  Use a blind stitch once again, so it looks neat.

18.  Cut a piece of cloth 50% smaller than the whole holder.  You may use a ruler to measure the piece.  We just estimated the size.  Place at the piece at the middle as shown.  Pin down.

19.  Sew the edge onto the cloth, taking care not to let the needle pass through the other side of the holder cover.  Then put a pen through and sew each section - see pattern for sewing in white (above).

20.  Finish sewing until the other edge.

You're all done!  Put in your pens!  Try it out!  Enjoy your new Pen Roll Holder!


Meet the youngest sibling of the original Papemelroti brood of artists, Christina Alejandro Burke.  At the age of 7, Christina was already working in the family business.  Customers would fondly recall seeing her wrap gift items on the floor because she couldn't reach the countertop. She oftentimes dabbles in drawing, calligraphy,  photography,  music, and typography.  Christina is based in Tokyo with the love of her life, her husband Patrick.

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