The Simplest Journal Pen Holder

Always looking for things to improve, repair, improvise, or modify. Studied mechanical engineeri...

If you're like me, you like to have a journal (or some sort of pen-and-paper recording capability) with you at all times.  And unless you like writing in blood, you also like to have a writing implement with you.  During a recent trip, I devised a quick and easy way to make a pen holder for my journal.  I know there are several other Instructables that accomplish this momentous task, but this is the simplest strategy I've seen and it doesn't require altering your notebook and tools (scissors, rulers, etc.) are totally optional.  Also, I like minimalist designs whenever possible, and here it's nice because the pen holder doesn't add much size to the journal.

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Step 1: Materials

- Journal (Personal favorite: Moleskine)
- Pen (Personal favorite: Pilot G-2 05)
- Gorilla tape (Personal favorite: gorilla) - important to use heavy duty tape like these; packing, masking, or scotch tape won't be as durable or reliable. And gorilla tape is black so it looks great with the Moleskine!

Step 2: Prepare the Tape

  1. Cut a piece of tape long enough to sufficiently adhere to the front of the journal, wrap around the pen, and then sufficiently adhere to the back - about 4.5 inches.  Lay this strip of tape sticky-side-up on the table.  Repeat.
  2. Cut a piece of tape just long enough to protect the pen from the sticky side of the other strip - about 1.25 inches.
  3. Lay this second strip of tape in the middle of the first (longer) strip, sticky side to sticky side.  BEFORE YOU START: it's good to stick the pieces together in such a way that gives them at least a little of the curvature they'll have when in place on the journal (see photo).  This way their eventual curvature will be more natural.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 for second long strip.

Step 3: Decide on Pen Placement

Decide where you'd like the pen along the spine of the journal.  I like to have it located such that the very top (clicky) part of the pen is at or just below the top of the journal; this way it won't get caught on anything and doesn't increase the overall dimensions of the journal drastically.  You could put it all the way at the bottom, but I find having it at the top allows for easiest access.

Step 4: Attach Tape Using Pen As Guide

  1. Slide one of your tape assemblies underneath the pen's clip with the adhesive parts facing away from the clip, toward the pen's body, and center the pen on the tape.
  2. Place the pen where you want it along the spine of the journal and lay the tape smoothly on the front and back of the journal.  NOTE: do not make the tape too tight around the pen - remember that the grip is the fattest part of the pen, so there has to be enough space between the tape and the journal for that to squeeze by.
  3. Wrap the second tape assembly around the grip of the pen making sure the tape is centered, and apply the tape to the front and back of the journal in sequence.  This tape can be more snug than the other because it's around the thickest part of the pen to begin with.  In fact, it's good to have it be fairly snug to minimize the chances of any jiggle taking place or losing the pen altogether.
  4. That's it!

Step 5: The Result

Simple, secure, and low-profile!



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    5 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    good, easy, simple. Stuff you already have in your house. If you wanted to make it a little fancy you could use some of those scissors that cut designs, but don't go overboard. I'm going to do this, thank you


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    It's a simple idea, but its a good one. I've hacked up a more complex and less elegant solution to this problem and I appreciate putting the idea and how to out there.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Many thanks for the support. Always interesting to see new and different ways of doing things!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I thought I was pretty clear in emphasizing the simplicity of the process. I'm sure most don't need instructions to do this, but the point of this website is to share how you made or modified things, regardless of complexity. Thanks for your illuminating comment.