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Review: Pen Wraps From Exbpens


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70 replies to this topic

#1 trhall

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 00:53

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Having recently built up a modest fountain pen collection, I wanted to have a way to carry around multiple at a time without scratching them up. The individual slots in my work bag left the caps a bit exposed, so I wanted something a bit better. While I really like leather, I found that most leather wraps were too bulky for me, or just too expensive for no particular reason. I wanted a fabric wrap, because I could get a bit more variety in fabric, and it was less bulky. I stumbled across a few posts about Nan and Ling's wraps, which are amazingly beautiful, but Nan seems to be a bit busy now and hasn't been responding to messages as of late. Luckily, I happened upon some posts from @exboling, who also makes wraps. She started out making some for herself, but also will make wraps for others. Yeah!

So, I went to Elizabeth's website to see what I could find. A few things immediately struck me about her site:

  • She not only makes wraps, she provides instructions on how to make your own wrap, as well as sells a full PDF book on the topic.
  • Provides a description of what a pen wrap is, and how to use it.
  • Provides a list of her current inventory, as well as a description on how to contact her for a custom order.
  • Interesting/Important to me, she is based in southern Indiana, and I am also based out of Indiana. I like to support local businesses.

I have a lot of respect for someone who will not only sell a product, but tell you how to make one on your own. However, since sewing is NOT my forte, I decided to see what Elizabeth had to offer. ;)

After a quick look at her site, I decided I wanted to have her make me something a bit custom. I loved her work, but wanted a bit more conservative patterns. I liked the fact that Elizabeth uses new, vintage, and reclaimed fabrics. I emailed her, and gave her a general overview of what I was looking for. Once I gave her some indication on my fabric color choices (or, limitations, if you like - I only wanted dark exterior colors), she emailed me several images showing me what types of fabrics she had available. All I can tell you is that her website only has a small fraction of what fabric choices she has available. I quickly found 4 - 5 patterns that I liked for the interior of my wraps. I narrowed my choices down, and asked her to help me a bit with a good matching exterior color, and asked her to let me know how things went. Since I was a bit new at ordering something like this, and I had so many customization choices, I did waffle a bit and sent Elizabeth several emails trying to figure out what I wanted. She was patient with me throughout the process.

Elizabeth did mention to me in advance that this is not her day job, so to be a bit patient, but I was in no rush. In actuality, she quickly put together the first wrap (within the next day or so), the purple one. It looked amazing, except for one minor issue... In our flurry of email exchanges I didn't communicate properly and she put leather ties on the wrap. Before I responded to her (it was over a weekend, and I was slow in responding), she also created the blue one. While I do like leather, I wanted more of a fabric cord to go with the fabric. Elizabeth, once again, was very patient with me and remade a new wrap to my exact specifications.

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Elizabeth did an excellent job with both, and I like the fact that she did a slightly different interior on both wraps. I didn't ask for this - I asked for her best judgement. I'm glad she did this. It's a nice difference, since the interior patterns are a bit similar (wavy pattern).

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Here is a photo of the blue one wrapped up:

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Once everything was complete, Elizabeth emailed me and let me know she shipped the wraps. She packaged them nicely in a bubble envelope and even sent me a lovely hand-written card:

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Elizabeth is definitely all about customer satisfaction. She sent me all four wraps (per our discussion) to see if I liked the ones with the leather ties, and to see if I was satisfied with the build quality. Her craftsmanship is excellent. If I was happy, I could keep them all and send her a check. If not, I could return what I did not like and pay for the rest. The wraps have just the right layers of fabric. The wraps fold up very compactly, but I feel that my pens are well protected. Her lines and stitching look great and very professional. I am supremely pleased with how well these turned out. I ended up keeping all of them.

I have several more photos of each wrap, with and without pens at EXBPens Pen Wraps Photoset on Flickr

Would I purchase from Elizabeth again? You bet! I definitely will be. She was incredibly patient with me and has a great eye and was able to do exactly what I wanted with very poor instructions from me. I am pleased and impressed with her ability.

Pricing:
  • Two-Pen Wraps - $12.00
  • Three-Pen Wraps - $15.00
  • Four-Pen Wraps - $17.00
  • (Add an additional dollar if you want silk fabric)

These wraps were a steal to me. The quality is excellent, and I know that I have something crafted by someone who cares as much about her pens as I do about mine. I would gladly have paid double the price.

More information is available at: EXBPens (by our very own @exboling)

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#2 ElectronicFur

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 10:29

Nice review. Almost makes me want to buy one, even though I have no need for a pen wrap at present!

#3 meowmda

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 16:03

I bought one from her a long time ago - I really want to say it was on eBay! I love it, and use it everyday. It has the three pockets, but I usually fit 6 or 7 pens in it, because I have too many inked at once! I really should buy more.
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#4 Delphideo

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 18:04

Gods, I want one, but I would like better international shipping options.
In some things in life it's better to take a Zen approach. If you think too much you won't achieve your goal, wheras if you don't think and let yourself go, it shall be achieved with ease. I find this helpful in writing, kendo and music.

#5 trhall

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 02:47

Gods, I want one, but I would like better international shipping options.


I'm sure if you contact Elizabeth she could work something out! She has been great to work with.

#6 Orange25

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 21:35

These wraps look really cool. I find that a lot of pen cases aren't quite to my liking. Some of the leather ones seem either unattractive or too bulky. Others seem a bit too ostentatious.

I think the pen wraps strike the right balance between simple, functional and understated.

Edited by Orange25, 23 August 2011 - 21:35.


#7 Chris Chalmers

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 01:48

I bought one of the very first 8 pen wraps that Elizabeth sold on Pentrace many years ago - it holds my Japanese pens to this day!
Can't get a better person than Elizabeth - that's for sure! :notworthy1:
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Make it count!!!

#8 JLS1

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 15:12

Thanks for the review - after reading it, I decided to order a 3-pen wrap from Elizabeth. Looking forward to receiving it!

#9 trhall

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 00:50

Thanks for the review - after reading it, I decided to order a 3-pen wrap from Elizabeth. Looking forward to receiving it!


Look forward to hearing your thoughts on your wrap! I really enjoy mine and they are holding up very well in daily usage.

#10 J_Rock

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 00:01

I ordered one as well from Elizabeth and it was a true pleasure dealing with her. She shipped it last week but I have been on vacation. I will be home tomorrow and will do a hands on review within the week. Thanks for the tip on the wrap!

#11 RBC

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 07:16

Thanks...nice to know about these!

#12 trhall

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 13:26

Looking forward to other impressions from recent purchasers, including @J_Rock!

Also, Elizabeth just posted several more wraps on her store which are already made and available that better represent the variety of fabrics she has available, as well as her design sense. It's worth heading over to check it out. There are several there that I could see myself ordering!

#13 RGH

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 00:15

I too have just bought some of these stunning pen wraps.

I am a liker of geometry and lines by inclination and while I could see they were fantastic, none of the fabrics really excited me. So I emailed EXB and she responded almost immediately and said that she would take a few pictures of fabrics that she thought might be up my alley. Lo and behold the very next day (admittedly over the weekend - let's not forget this is not her day job!), she sent me a number of pictures of different fabrics.

We exchanged a few e-mails a narrowed it down, and then I left it in her hands to decide what would look good.

Well by the next weekend, not only had she made me a pen wrap, she had made THREE and asked me which one I liked best!

So, without further ado, here is the one I chose. (Pens not included!)

Pen Wrap 3.jpg
Pen Wrap 2.jpg
Pen Wrap 1.jpg

#14 Chiro75

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 01:32

Just ordered two... Thanks!
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#15 RPB

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 20:15

LOL, now I've gone and done it too and ordered one! :D I got the Blue on Blue I think it was called. Hard for me to pass it up as Blue is my favourite colour. Thanks for posting the review and pictures, I think we have given her a few more orders since that review! Nice 1.

#16 trhall

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 00:44

Keep replying and adding images! I'm loving the thread and seeing everyone's variety in choices. As I admitted in my original review, I am a bit conservative in my color choices. Love seeing other's choices!

#17 RPB

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 11:38

I just received my Blue pen wrap this morning and promptly took the following photos. The pens are a Montblanc Black Mystery fine liner, The TWSBI 530 FP and a simple but really nice biro pen my wife bought me for our 1st wedding anniversary a few years back. (This biro kinda rekindled my love of pens, etc)
I cannot upload photos for some reason, I do not know why, so have had to use the Flickr link to them
Blue wrap 1

Blue wrap 2

Blue wrap 3

Blue wrap 4


#18 trhall

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:37

I just received my Blue pen wrap this morning and promptly took the following photos. The pens are a Montblanc Black Mystery fine liner, The TWSBI 530 FP and a simple but really nice biro pen my wife bought me for our 1st wedding anniversary a few years back. (This biro kinda rekindled my love of pens, etc)


I love the contrast in material color and pattern on the interior and exterior of your pen wrap, RPB. Very nice!

Anyone else get an EXBPen wrap recently? Love seeing the variety in each person's choices.

#19 IWantThat

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 17:47

Just ordered my own pen wrap from EXBPen yesterday. Can't wait to see it in person :)
Tamara

#20 IWantThat

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 17:32

Received my EXBPen wrap last week and promptly filled it with pens :) I chose one of the silk-lined wraps, and it is even more beautiful than I'd hoped. In addition, the fabric is so soft that I don't worry about any scratches on my pens. One thing that makes these wraps different from some of the commercial wraps I've tried is the fact that they can hold a pen of any size or length. The pockets are generous, and the length is adjustable because it's not sewed into a specific size of flap. My short pens fit perfectly. My longer pens fit well too.

Some pics:

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A closeup of the silk lining:

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And with pens:

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And, finally, all wrapped up:

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Edited by IWantThat, 11 March 2012 - 18:14.

Tamara






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