If like me, you can’t bear to be separated from your arty crafty fun, even when you go on holiday (and a holiday means more free time and therefore, more time to get creative, right?), then maybe, like me, you need some clever ways to transport your supplies with as little fuss as possible… so I thought I’d share some options I have found while researching and give you some idea of what is available…

Let’s talk about pencils as that’s what I wanted to take on my trip…
(They could be regular colour pencils, pastel pencils or regular graphite pencils, the idea is the same)

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The Touch pencil storage case

Just before my Bali trip early this February, I panicked about how I was going to safely transport them and use them while being overseas. I had no time to find a sophisticated solution (and I’m usually pretty organised!) and after scanning the shops for an idea, I found this pencil wallet/case at Officeworks for AU$15.

 

pencil_case2 pencil_case

This worked great and since it has two compartments, it allowed me to take about 20 pencils (ie my whole collection at the time) as well as an eraser, a couple of graphite pencils and some ink pens. They were well protected and easy to slide in and out, even while I was drawing on the plane 😉

The only downside is that it is a little bulky and can only store a limited number of pens/pencils. If you would like to buy the same one, click here.

I ended up drawing a lot and recently added more pencils to my collection but…I didn’t want to choose which ones to carry with me (it’s like asking to choose your favourite children and leaving the others home while you are having fun!) so I needed another solution. Here what I have found so far…

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The Tran pencil storage case

Really good price, come in different sizes (24, 48, 72, 96 and 120 pencils) and many options depending on the size of your collection. This seems bulky and would be great for the studio but would probably take too much space in my bag. I also wonder if the pencils would be a little bit hard to slide in and out constantly because of the zipper flap that goes all the way around? Having 2 elastic loops means it gets more fiddly to slide each pencil in and out every 30 seconds…

tran_pencil_caseTran pencil case pictured here for 120 pencils (wish I had them all!!)

Click here for the only store (I found) that sells them in Australia (online) or here if you are in the USA.

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The pencil easel

Cool design that seems quite streamlined and thin, reasonably priced at about AU$35 including postage from the USA (I haven’t found it in Australia). It has the advantage of standing like an easel (but unless I’m using a desk, I don’t think this feature would be useful while being on the go). It looks like the pencils would be easy to pull in and out but the case seems quite big when fully open (it folds to 43 x 18 cm or 17 x 7 in) so probably would not fit so well in a small bag and would take a lot of space if you are out sitting somewhere like a park bench 😉 The empty black space when it is lying flat seems like a waste of space that could have maybe used in a better way?

 

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 I found this seller on Ebay that sells the version for 48 pencils and this USA shop that sells the versions for 24, 72 and 120 pencils.

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The folding pencil easel case

I stumbled across this one by chance while researching… it seems to be a mix between the 2 options above (case and easel) and a pretty good price (about AU$38 including postage) considering how many pencils (72) you can store in it. This one seems like a good compromise if you want to transport a rather large number of pencils! You can buy it on Ebay here.

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The pencil roll

How about making your own??
Handmade means you can get it exactly to your specifications and make it more personal… I saw some beautiful handmade rolls out there and some good tutorials (click on each photo below for the tutorials). They really are lovely and perfect if you usually have a set number of pencils but not if you are planning on potentially extending your collection 😉 Also remember that your pencils shrink with use so don’t make the pocket too ”high” or it will be hard to retrieve those short pencils!


but… I decided I was too lazy for that 😛

So here are some that were made earlier:

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You can buy the pencil roll above here on Ebay.

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You can buy this Derwent Pencil Wrap in Australia here.

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The carry all bag

How cool is that?? This one is made by Derwent and is such an awesome idea as you can carry all your bits and pieces in comfort and style 😉
You can store up to 132 pencils (on 3 ”leaves”), add an A5 sketch pad and erasers or other bits in the mesh pocket.
At AU$45 I think it’s a very cool idea and would make a beautiful gift to any artist (Santa, did you hear that??)!

derwent_carry_all_bag

You can buy it in the UK here, in the US here.

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So what did I go for in the end?

Well… as my main concern was to easily transport them, the pencil roll options seemed like the best solution (at least for now!) and I found one for only a few bucks 🙂 YAY!
Here is why I chose this one (Note: all photos are my own and I am not making any money out of this review, I am simply recommending this product as I use it myself, like it and want others to have a good and cheap option!):

– It is made of canvas and seems strong and well made (and therefore lightweight as there is no space wasted)

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– Although it is quite long when unrolled, I like the fact that I can see ALL of my colours in one go and that I do not have to fiddle with anything like a flap or a zipper to access them (and each pen only has 1 long loop instead of 2 shorts one on some of the above options)

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– There is a flap to protect the tips and nothing on the other side, meaning I can slide them in and out quickly and easily.

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– There is a large elasticated loop in case you want to hang the roll somewhere… on a wall or maybe a door handle? I haven’t tried it yet…

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– The strap to close the roll is slightly elasticated and when rolled up, everything is tight meaning the pencils protect each other.

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The only downside I see is about the amount of pencils you put in there… If it is full (and as I write this review, mine already is as I keep buying more of them!), it closes nicely. However, with maybe half the pens, you may need to use a rubber band or ribbon/string instead of the strap as there are only 2 snap buttons.
Because there are so many elastic loops and it is made of fabric, this means the roll is a little ”wrinkled up” when laying flat.

All in all, I think it’s a great solution and the best part is that it cost me a whole AU$3.37!!! Nope, that’s not a typo 😉 If you’d like to get the same one, here is where I got mine from.

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Well, it’s taken me quite a few hours to write this post and research so I do hope this review and my thoughts help in some way if you are looking for a way to take your babies around with you 😉

If you have come across any other products that I haven’t mentioned here, please do let me know!

Mimi.

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