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Best pencil cases for stationery enthusiasts in 2023

Jul 01, 2023

Got a pencil full of lead?

hether you’re an artist, illustrator, journaling enthusiast or simply refuse to write down your notes on anything other than paper – you’ve likely amassed a decent number of writing instruments.

What's more, they’re likely strewn across your home like a game of pick-up sticks. A leaky gel pen here, a pencil shaved down to the rubber there… we can bet good money that you’ve already misplaced your so-called favourite fine-liner.

We still remember those last weeks of August, when parents would rush us into our local Woolworths, WH Smiths and Rymans to pick up the last of our school-mandated stationery supplies while they were still on offer. When we finally rounded the corner to that all-important pencil case aisle, we could’ve sworn that we stood for hours deliberating on which design to purchase.

Would we go for unicorns and rainbows? Or were we feeling a little too grown up for cartoons – choosing a boring transparent case instead? In retrospect, it is quite a wonder we spent so much mental energy choosing a fabric case which was bound to be ruined in a week or two thanks to a broken Lamy cartridge.

Though not quite the same as shopping for cauldrons and spell books on Diagon Alley, there was a certain magic to buying brand-new stationery in preparation for a new school year. But who's to say that magic has to disappear? We, for one, still find utter joy in the purchasing of a lovely set of watercolour pencils, a posh fountain pen or even simply a new collection of wonderfully sharp HBs.

Likewise, we find that same childlike happiness and wonder can be called upon when choosing a stellar pencil case for your beloved stationery – even in adulthood. Keep scrolling for a round-up of the best pencil cases to spend your hard-earned cash on and never lose your favourite pen again.

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This Mary Poppins-esque pencil case may look small, but its capacity is certainly mighty. Alongside your favourite pens and pencils, it can also fit a scientific calculator, an 18cm ruler and a whole bunch of Tombrow Brush Pens (which are approximately 19cm, for the artistically uninitiated).

We love how this pencil case zips open with a wide mouth, for easy access to your precious supplies. It also has two inside pockets to house extra stationery bits such as post-its and washi tape. The gorgeous sage-green hue is an additional huge plus in our eyes.

This pencil case is for the Carhartt WIP enthusiasts: the skater boys and girls who can't get enough of pure utilitarian designs. This Carry-Tite will look just fabulous strewn across an East London coffee shop table, next to your oat flat white and your brand-new Muji square-lined notebook.

It's made from high-quality polypropylene, meaning that inevitable coffee spill can be wiped away with the utmost ease. The snap closure will keep your pens and pencils perfectly in place, while the removable tray allows you to easily use and view all your supplies on-the-go. Choose from eight earth-tones colours.

Designed for schoolkids or not, we can't get enough of brightly-tones checkerboard designs. This tangerine dream measures a small but decent 11x22x7cm and is made entirely from plastic, which will prevent your stationery from succumbing to flask spillages in your bag.

Some stationery enthusiasts out there prefer the look of a slim pencil case. They’re only out to carry one or two posh pens to sign a name here and write a few bullet points there. That's all well and good, but chances are they’ll become impractical at some stage. You’ll amass new pens and gadgets, and you’ll end up buying separate pouches for memory sticks, keys, chargers and more.

This pencil case form Bellroy looks just like one of those sleek and extra slim pencil cases but can expand to fit a whole lot more. It even folds out into a handy tray for desktop access. It can house all your pens and pencils, alongside cables and other personal items and is even made from a durable, woven fabric with environmentally certified leather accents. Utility and expert design stitched into one 23.5x7x4cm case? Sign us up.

This bestseller from Etsy is as kawaii as it is practical. This three-tiered case will appeal to the journallers, artists and illustrators among us due to its organised and expandable structure. It's the kind of pencil case that is designed for people with multiple different sets of pens, in a variety of colours, plus it comes in a range of pastel hues to match your personal aesthetic preferences.

Stylish and vintage, this classic Caran d’Ache metal tin will house 12 standard width pencils. Though the tin has a black insert tray for a more compact design, it can be removed to create ample space for your favourite pencils.

If you’re going to purchase a designer pencil case, let this be it. This oversized HB pencil pouch is compact yet spacious and features an embossed "Have A Nice Day" slogan along its side. Made from Capra leather, this case measures 19.5x5x5cm and features the iconic gold Anya Hindmarch logo and bow, a gold-toned zip and a leather tassel zip pull. We can already picture this case taking prized position atop your desk.

It might not be the most practical pencil case out there, but it's certainly adorable. Measuring 20x5x2.7cm, this adorable pencil case won't fit your entire stationery collection but will serve as a cute companion on a solo coffee shop and journaling date. We’ve featured the pug design, however you can also scoop up a whole zoo's worth of pencil cases – including a seal, duck, shiba dog, calico cat, penguin and more.

Are you an avid book annotator who is tired of juggling pages between highlighters, pens and pencils? Boy, do we have the solution for you. This pencil case by Lihit Lab straps around your favourite book for easy annotation access. The elasticated strap can slide onto book covers between 17 and 23cm tall, depending on their thickness.

If you’re only interested in a pencil case through which you can actually see your precious stationery, this is our top pick in the transparency department. Rather than that easily punctured classic plastic, this case boasts an extra-strong and entirely see-through mesh design.

It is also another one of those seemingly unassuming, yet somehow extra-large pencil cases. Though it only measures 23x6.5cm, its manufactures state that it can fit between 40-50 pens and other small stationery items.