Pencil Case Essentials: The Definitive Guide ✏️


Are you someone who has recently started growing your stationery collection and realized you need a way to get more organized? Do you need somewhere to store and carry your precious pencils, pens and markers? Do you need a pencil case but don’t know which kind is the best for you?

Well, whether you’re a creative looking for somewhere inspirational to keep your supplies, a student looking for some guidance on the most unique pencil cases out there or just a stationery junky like me, I’ve got all the info you need to know. And I’m dedicated to sharing all my stationery wisdom with you




Pencil Cases - What are they and Why Do I Need One?

I’ll start by answering the very basic question: what are pencil cases? Some of us may already have ideas of what a standard pencil case is or what it should look like but I’d like to broaden the idea of a pencil case to anything that you use to store and carry your writing tools in.

I’ve gotten creative (or maybe just a little lazy) and used things like a box, a cup, or even just throwing all my stuff into my backpack. But of course, these weren’t the most ideal or functional ways to carry all my items. Trying to find a pen I need to use in my backpack would take forever and carrying a box around isn’t easy and takes up a lot of space. So the point is that anything can be your pencil case but there are smarter options out there for you that are both functional and creative.

Everyone has different needs and reasons for wanting a pencil case so you must first think about: What do I want to carry around? Do I want to carry a lot of items or only a few? Where do I need to carry these items to? Do I care about the aesthetic of it or only the functionality or do I want both?



Pencil Case Essentials

Because a pencil case is an essential, there will be many different types of people searching for this staple item. You might be a student, an artist, an avid bullet journaler, a stationery collector, or even a parent searching for the right pencil case for your child. You might be asking questions like: Should I get a pencil case that is big or small? Do I prefer it to be a certain material? What’s in trend nowadays? Before trying to figure out which pencil case is right for you, think about what you would need to put in that pencil case. It’s helpful to start by thinking of the basic essentials. I used to always carry around two mechanical pencils, lead, an eraser, one black pen and one colored pen, and a highlighter at the minimum when I was at school. But over time and depending on the situation, I carried more if I could! Your essential list may be different depending on what you do day-to-day and where you go but writing out your list can be helpful so you can keep your needs in mind while searching for a pencil case.

Now I carry around different sets of pens, tombow brush pens, mildliners, washi tapes, etc. all in my pencil case so it’s expected that what I look for in a pencil case now is different from what I needed before. Just remember that your preferences can change and that they may also be different from your friend’s. So what works best for someone may not work best for you and vice versa. But luckily, there are a variety of options out there for everyone 😊🙌🏼✨


What to Put in Your Pencil Case

This question is an important guiding point for choosing what kind of pencil case you will get. The items each person will put in their pencil case will most likely vary depending on his or her daily tasks and occupation. For example, a primary school student might need to include things like a glue stick and scissors while a college student might just utilize one pen during the course of a class. Think about what you use on an everyday basis and jot them down on a list.


What’s in My Pencil Case

It varies what you should put in your own pencil case, but here’s a brief look at what I include in mine.

Zipped up Tsuki Pop-up pencil case, extended to show both pink corduroy half and lilac vegan leather half
 Lilac coloured Tsuki pop-up pencil case unzipped with an assortment of pens poking out.

I want to point out some of my favorite supplies:

4 beige coloured micron pens lined up next to each other on white background

Microns are popular in the bullet journal community and in the art/design world. They’re great for doodling and for creating neat and interesting line work or intricate details.

10 Tombow brush pens in assorted pastel colours lined up next to each other on a white background
14 mildliner pens in assorted colours lined up next to each other on a white background

Everyone knows about Tombow brush pens and Mildliners. They’re great for adding color to any spread and for lettering! And when I was in school, I would use them to highlight my notes or create fun headers to make my papers more exciting.


How to Organize Your Pencil Case

After you’ve chosen your pencil case, you’re going to need to keep it organized. Keeping your pencil case organized and decluttered will be one of the ways to maintain its longevity and make it most effective in its use. Here are three tips for you:

  1. Try your best to limit the amount of things you’re putting into your pencil case. If you have a bad habit of hoarding or carrying too many things around, be realistic with yourself and take around with you what you know you’ll need. Refer back to that list you made in the beginning of your daily essentials!
  2. Make a habit of examining your pencil case every so often and see if you need to reorganize, declutter, or add any tools.
  3. If your pencil case is made of plastic material and has more of a box-y shape to it, an easy hack is to create dividers within your pencil case to separate the space.

If you know you’ll have a difficult time staying organized no matter what you do, there are pencil cases out there already built to keep things compartmentalized for you.


How to Decorate / Create a Personalized Pencil Case

Depending on the material of your pencil case, you can do so many things to personalize it and make it unique to you. This is an opportunity for you to get artsy and creative! Here are some things you can try doing:

If your pencil case is made out of a canvas/fabric material, here’s a few things you can try:

  • Embroidery has been all the craze these days! Give it a go on your own pencil case!
  • Draw cute doodles or
  • Add cute pins to it to give it some special touches

If it’s a plastic material, you can try:

  • Painting on it
  • Adding a variety of different stickers to take something like a minimalistic case to the next level 🔥💯


Types of Pencil Cases

Now let’s get on with finding the right pencil case for you. Depending on your preferences, there are a lot of different kinds of pencil cases and styles out there to choose from.


Trend: Aesthetic Pencil Cases

We can’t deny that the look of a product is almost always as important as the functionality of it. That’s why I’m going to be introducing to you some pencil cases that check✔️ that requirement of aesthetic. If you’re someone who wants to express your love for color, patterns and print, or unique style, an aesthetic pencil case is a good choice to opt for that will reflect fun and artsy vibes ✨

Color gives any product some type of personality and really makes or breaks the look. Therefore, aesthetic pencil cases tend to have very interesting and lovable color choices. Pencil cases have also gotten increasingly more experimental with the different types of prints and patterns which work to enhance its look and can give an otherwise basic pencil case a fun and unexpected twist.

3 pouched stationery organiser pencil cases in white with simple pastel geometric patterns.

Pouched Stationery Organiser Pencil Case - These pouched pencil cases are a perfect example of how the use of simple patterning and a little bit of colour can really make a design that pops! This style is refined, but really eye-catching and is exactly what the aesthetic pencil case and stationery trend is all about: bringing creative design to items that can often be forgotten.

3 standing pencil cases in white with pastel winter and forest patterns. 1 pencil cases unzipped and folded down.

Standing Forest Pencil Case - These pencil cases are a perfect combination of color and pattern! They give an overall playful and fun feel with neither the color or pattern being too overbearing yet working together to create interest in anyone who sets their eyes on them!

3 simple white pencil cases decorated with green happy cactus doodle designs

Happy Cactus Pencil Cases - Cactuses have been a popular print trend over the past few years so it’s a no brainer to add them to pencil cases. Whether a pattern or a stand alone illustration, cactuses create a fun aesthetic look.


Introducing Minimalistic Pencil Cases

Color and prints are, without a doubt, so cute. But for some people, having a simple pencil case is more of their style. Maybe you’re going for a more chic and subtle vibe or you’re wary of how much space pencil cases will take up in your backpack or bag. Minimalistic pencil cases are great because its usable and appropriate across any age yet is still very trendy and is an aesthetic that will last beyond all the hype these days. If you’re looking for something more siple and minimalistic, check out these great options:

Close-up shot of 5 simple coloured plastic Muji pencil cases / pencil boxes.

MUJI Style Transparent Pencil Cases - These were one of my personal favorites to use during high school and college because it kept things simple and was slim and long. It also has separate compartments within the pencil case to keep things organized inside.

Woman's hands holding a simple, lightly mother of pearl coloured transparent pencil case

Kawaii Transparent Pencil Case - This pencil case is minimalistic in its simple shape and look but escapes the potential of being too boring through its special twist of transparency and shiny color.



Where to Get Pencil Cases

You can find similar options and a wide range of them at local asian stationery stores. The fun of stationery is the whole processing of going through all your options and sifting through the beautiful aisles of all the different items available. Shopping for the pencil cases in person will give you a clear idea of the actual dimensions and size of the pencil case, the feel of the material, and a closer look at the aesthetic.

However, because of all the difficult circumstances going on in the world today, many of us are not able to freely go in person to stores. But there’s great alternatives such as shopping online which some people may even prefer!

A great place to find a curated selection of cute, aesthetic, or minimalistic pencil cases is our very own website notebooktherapy.com! We may be biased about our collection but you’ll definitely be able to find something that you love and fits according to your different preferences. You can also look through Instagram or Pinterest to find other pencil cases that are out there or there are many videos on Youtube where people share their favorite pencil case and what’s inside of them!



Best Pencil Cases

As an avid bullet journaler, I was on the hunt for a pencil case that was cute, spacious, and would fit my beloved tombow brush pens. My favorite pencil case of all time is the Tsuki Pop-up Pencil Case because it’s made out of a corduroy material and available in so many different colors that I love. The best part is that it is so spacious and able to fit all my different pen and marker sets (and my Tombow Brush Pens!) It’s definitely a keeper 😉

3 pastel pink, blue and yellow Tsuki pop-up pencil cases with stationery poking out of the top.

Tsuki Pop-up Pencil Case ☾

That being said, before I finally discovered my perfect pencil case, a lot of different pencil cases caught my eye throughout the searching process and I want to share them with you



Best Pencil Cases 2020

We’ve searched high and low to find some of the best pencil cases out there for every eventuality. We’ve gathered a collection of functional and creative designs we could find for 2020. We’ve broken our list down into some of the most popular categories on the internet to make life even easier for those of you who are searching for your new favorite stationery storage solution. Keep in mind that you don’t have to stick with the options listed in these respective categories.


Best Pencil Cases for Primary/Elementary School Students

If you’re a parent currently searching for a suitable pencil case for your child, the options listed below (or something similar) will be great. They offer a lot of room for your child to fit their various school supplies such as pencils, colored pencils, rulers, glue, etc. They have have organizational compartments within the pencil case to help your child keep their things orderly! These are much more of a cuter and playful version of those hard plastic pencils boxes that many of us had to use during our days in elementary school!

4 chequered square pencil cases in pink, green and blue pastel colours. 1 pencil case opened to show inner compartment.

Check Pastels Stationery Case - The pastel tones of the pencil case mixed with the checkered pattern give this pencil case a cute aesthetic that is suitable for any age and what’s even better is that this pencil case is super spacious!

Purple pouched pencil organiser opened to show inner compartment and individual stationery holders

Pouched Pencil Organiser - This pencil case is much more compartmentalized so if you or your child wants to get in the practice of being more organized and orderly, this a great option.


Best Pencil Cases for High School Students

If you’re currently in high school and looking for the right pencil case for you, I would recommend finding a pencil case that leans more on the larger side so that you will be able to fit all your supplies that you need for the whole school day.

3 cute Korean milk carton style pencil cases lined up in pastel blue, yellow and pink

Cute Korea Milk Carton Pencil Case - Okay seriously who can resist this?😍 It’s definitely spacious so if your concerns are primarily cuteness and size, this is perfect 👌🏼

Close up of 5 simple pastel coloured felt pencil cases with cute animal and floral designs.

Felt Animals Pencil Case - I love this one for the felt texture, colors, and various patterns available. The shape is standard but the other details keep it fun!

1 opened and 2 stacked extendable bi-colour pastel pencil cases

Block Colour Stationery Pouch - If you prefer something more minimal in style but functional, this is a great option for you. It is an expanding pencil pouch so you’re able to stuff tons of different pen sets, highlighters, pencils, erasers, etc. There’s even a zipper closure where you can keep things like your student ID in there and even a flap for you to keep your extra special tools separate!


Best Pencil Cases for College Students

Depending on your area of study, the supplies you’re carrying on a daily basis will vary greatly. In my experience, I kept a lot of my supplies in my dorm/apartment and on most days, I only carried around my laptop and one pen to class. But I also had friends who were math majors or art majors who had to carry more traditional items like notebooks, pencils, pens, and erasers. If you only need to carry around a very minimal amount of writing tools like I did, I recommend getting something minimalistic and small so it doesn’t take up too much space in your bag.

3 mesh monochrome pencil cases in white, grey and black on a desk

Mesh Monochrome Pencil Case - This is a very simple pencil case and the mesh material means that the pencil case is light so it won’t cause any unnecessary weight to your bag. This is a great option for whether you have a of items to carry or only a few tools!

2 minimalist light grey and dark grey felt pencil cases with brown leather zippers placed on newspaper background.

Minimal Grey Felt Pencil Cases - A nice thick material to keep your precious writing tools safe and protected. In college, you’re more likely to be carrying technological items as well such as USBs or maybe an apple pen so this is a great protective case for more expensive tools.


Disclaimer: We understand that the - 'Pencil Cases for Boys and Girls' section title may raise some eyebrows. We support and believe in breaking down gender stereotypes and so we've tried our best to include a range of pencil case styles that will be appealing to all children, but we also understand that lots of parents and young people still search for products based on gender, so to make life easier for these users, we've kept the section title in its most easily current, most searchable form 🙂

Best Pencil Cases for Boys

6 super simple plastic mochi pencil cases in pastel turquoise, pink and fogged glass colours on pink floral daisy background

Mochi Transparent Pencil Case - This minimalistic pencil case would be great for any boy or girl to use and its a perfect plain canvas for you to further customize and decorate to fit your aesthetic!

3 foldable pencil cases with fox, bunny and tree character logos. Pencil cases in navy blue, green, black and salmon pink.

Little Character Stationery Organiser - These are simple pencil cases with both fun and neutral color options and cute, quirky characters that give the pencil case a special touch to them. Because of its slim shape, it’s sure to take a minimal amount of space in your backpack or bag! It’s handy because it also has space for you to keep cards or cash or maybe even a pair of earphones. Perfect for those who only carry around a few basic items with them!


Best Pencil Cases for Girls

3 polka dot pencil cases shaped like miniature backpacks in pastel blue, yellow and pink

Chloe Polka Pencil Case - Aren’t these the cutest?! 😆 The bright colors and polka dot pattern is guaranteed to make anyone happy just by looking at it! Using this as a pencil case will for sure make you or your child’s day at school so much more exciting ✨ Perfect for someone who doesn’t need to carry too much writing tools around!

4 vibrant watercolour cloud rainbow coloured pencil cases on bright pink background

Pink Rainbow Pencil Case - This is another simple pencil case but the watercolor print will make this stand out for sure. 💕 If you’re a girl who is into soft pastels, check out this pencil case! It’s also available in a small and a large size so there’s an option for you to choose from depending on how much stuff you carry!



How to Make a Pencil Case

If you’re still having a hard time finding the pencil case that checks all the right boxes for you, why not start a fun DIY project during quarantine and have a go at making a pencil case yourself!

Here are a few steps you can follow to make a simple pencil pouch!

Basic materials you’ll need:

  • Your choice of Fabric
  • Zipper
  • Sewing Needle + Yarn

Steps:

  1. Cut out a square piece of fabric (10 inches by 10 inches but it can be bigger or smaller depending on how big you want your pencil case). Place the fabric facing up right while placing one side of the zipper edge facing down at the top of the fabric.
  2. Sew it in place (or you can use a hot glue gun if you don’t want to sew).
  3. Then fold the fabric to meet the other edge of the zipper and sew. It should have the shape of a tube at the end of this step.
  4. Bring the zipper to the middle and flatten the tube. Sew the size closed.
  5. Pinch the corners and sew across them.
  6. Flip inside out and you’re done!

There are also a lot of different tutorials and blog posts online if you’re up for the challenge!

You have successfully subscribed!