Reusing cigar boxes as pen storage seems to be a time honored tradition. The boxes themselves are inexpensive and easy to come by, directly from a cigar store, even if you don’t smoke cigars.
My first pen box was a small cardboard box. I made a crude pen tray for the box by following some directions written by an FPN’er* on how to make one. Please note, the crudeness of the tray was due to my own skills or lack thereof at crafts, and not the directions. I glued some red felt on top of the paper tray, and that was satisfactory for about six pens. As my pen stable grew, a larger box was called for, as well as something a little more dignified.
Just because I liked ‘em, 2 wooden cigar boxes were chosen for the new storage instead of one large box. The pen trays were created using stiff felt for the bottom, and a thinner softer felt for the slots. To ensure more consistent slots, I should have used card stock to make the slots and then glued the felt to the paper. Instead, for no good reason other than to see if I could, I hand crimped slots out of the softer felt. First I sized the pieces of felt against the floor of the cigar box. Then using the stiff felt as the bottom and size guide, and with a lot of glue stick, I glued the softer felt on top. Paper clips were used to keep some semblance of form while the felt dried. Felt was also used on the inside on all four sides of the box.
Because the collection is not to exceed 20 pens, the pen storage reflects that number. The small black box contains 9 slots, and the larger box contains 11. A piece of ribbon was glued to the lid of the larger box to make it easy to open.
*Fountain Pen Network member