Organizing my lettering pens

2 February 2019

Organizing lettering pens

Last year I started a new hobby: Hand lettering. It was borne of my efforts to send postcards to voters for the midterm elections. Somewhere along the road of hand writing over 1,000 postcards I decided to try to learn some techniques to make the process more interesting (and to make the cards more eye-catching).

So, of course, as I learned more and more about lettering I wanted to buy supplies. Shopping is one of the most fun parts of learning a new hobby! (Shannon and I discuss hobbies in Episode 35 of our podcast Getting to Good Enough where I specifically suggest that shopping should not be the first thing you do when starting a hobby.) In any case, as I acquired new categories of pens, I sought ways to keep them accessible and organized.

A few years ago, I took up coloring in coloring books for adults, which was a hugely beneficial, relaxing hobby for me during a stressful time in my life. Now that life is less stressful (thanks, for the most part, to improved health on the part of my family members), I’m ready for a more challenging hobby. When I took up coloring, I bought pens and pencils for that purpose. Three years ago (almost to the day), I blogged about organizing my coloring supplies. I use some of the pens I bought for coloring in my lettering, but for the most part I’m keeping the coloring and lettering supplies separate.

One difference in the way I use my lettering pens, versus coloring pens and pencils, is that with lettering I intermingle the types of pens used in a single project. So I don’t really want to just bring a category of pens from the storage to where I’m working, like I could with coloring.

The solution? A turntable. Using the Linus 9-inch divided turntable from the Container Store, I am able to store virtually all of my pens in one place, in categories, and easily transport them from storage area to work area. It’s working out well!

Here’s a photo:

Organizing lettering pens

The turntable has 3” high sides and three sections. I used containers within the sections to separate categories of pens. Each section holds one each of the two types the containers I was already using: the Oui by Yoplait glass yogurt pots and the GODIS drinking glasses from IKEA.

I organized my pens (all of which are felt tip) into these categories:

I placed the pens, by category, into either a yogurt pot or a glass and arranged them in an order that makes sense to me. Now, when I need a pen I just turn the turntable until I find what I need. It’s making me very happy!

(Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)


Janine, I really like this idea for pens, and I hope to replicate it soon. I have fewer pens, but the pencil cups I have bought in the past just aren’t divided up the way I want. I like how I can customize this solution to fit the supplies I actually use.

An additional idea: Recently I found an alternative to the Linus 9” turntable from The Container Store. The same company (interDesign) makes slightly different pieces for Walmart and Bed,Bath,Beyond. They make a 9” turntable without the dividers, which I bought for my pantry. Without the dividers, I can fit it more items of different sizes.
Here’s a link to the one at Walmart:

Jeri Feaster 02/15/2019 07:37 PM

Thanks so much, Jeri! I hadn’t ever seen the non-divided 9” turntable with high sides, which I think would be very useful for this purpose. I appreciate your taking the time to comment!

Janine Adams 02/18/2019 09:49 AM

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About Janine

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

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