Thursday, May 19, 2016

Review: Constellations88 12 Pen Folder - Brown

This pen case was sent over from Constellations88 for review. I really like some things about it, but there are a few things that can be improved to make it completely ideal for me, but I do find it very useful and convenient.
Review Constellations88 12 Pen Folder - Brown (1)

Color: Brown
Size: 8.5" x 6.5"
Price: $27.00USD - regular price $30.00USD
Shipping: $10.00USD (up to two items)
Where To Buy: Constellations88
Constellations88 has kindly offered 10% off to all GourmetPens readers if you use the Where To Buy link! I do not receive any commission.
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No packaging.


This 12 Pen Folder is one of my favorites of the four cases/sleeves Constellations88 sent over for review. It's not a huge case, but it is quite thick even when it's empty. It has slightly rounded corners, and the Constellations88 star logo is on the front. The brown material is warm with just a bit of gloss to it. It is fairly smooth and doesn't have much visible texture. The stitching and zipper is a matching brown, which looks pretty nice. The inside of the case is black and velvety, with black stitching. The pillows are cut to cover the elastics, with four in total.
Review Constellations88 12 Pen Folder - Brown (2)
I like the overall look of this case but once again, as with the other cases I have been using, it needs some attention to detail. The edges could use some touching up so they don't bunch up and the material that is folded over and stitched down is not entirely straight - yes, yes, I'm being nit picky, but it adds up when it's quite a few little things. The pillows inside are a little uneven and it's not my favorite design because a little bit of the pens show in the middle. The stitching shows white underneath in some parts.
Review Constellations88 12 Pen Folder - Brown (3)

This case feels pretty decent in hand - it's firm because the covers are stiff, and the material has a soft touch to it. As far as how it feels, I do think it's pretty nice. It holds its shape well, so it does a good job of protecting pens from each other or from other things in your bag. It can hold up pretty well to some banging around, because obviously that's what happens in bags.
Review Constellations88 12 Pen Folder - Brown (8)
I really like the idea of the foamy, padded pillows inside the case. They certainly protect the tops and bottoms of the pens, and when the case is closed, the pillows come into contact with each other, and protect the pens from touching. The double elastic set up prevents pens from moving around under the pillows. This has pros and cons, though. The good thing is just that: everything is protected. The downside is that they're really, really snug and I found it pretty tough to get wider pens into the elastics. In doing so, quite a bit of pressure is applied against the velvet base and I ended up wearing down some of the material on the back. I am hesitant to put delicate pens in such snug elastics, and of course, this is not unique just to this case - I am hesitant to put delicate pens in any case with really snug elastics.
Review Constellations88 12 Pen Folder - Brown (7)
Review Constellations88 12 Pen Folder - Brown (4)
The other downside is, especially if you put large pens in here, once you close it, the pillows take up a lot of space, and the case is so full that it becomes really stuffed. It can close but it pulls on the zipper a bit. That's not so much the issue because it isn't too stretched for the zipper to handle it, but it looks silly. Although the spine is wide, it should be wider if you want to put thicker pens in, and there should just be more space to allow for expansion. It gets a bulgy.
Review Constellations88 12 Pen Folder - Brown (9)
Review Constellations88 12 Pen Folder - Brown (10)
Review Constellations88 12 Pen Folder - Brown (11)
Large, long pens fit in this case well, once you get past the struggling with elastics. After a few months, the elastics did loosen up a little but have not become overstretched, fortunately. Although wide pens fit, I think the elastics and this case is better suited for thinner to normal-sized pens.
Review Constellations88 12 Pen Folder - Brown (5)
I wish the elastics were adjustable, or there were slots so I could carry 12 pens. I'm still searching for the perfect case, but this one has definitely gotten close. When I use 12 pens that are a suitable size, then this case is great!
Review Constellations88 12 Pen Folder - Brown (6)
Like the other cases I have used from Constellations88, the material doesn't hold up well to scuffing. Where animal leather develops character, picking up scuffs and marks, this one doesn't show anything, unless you nick it, in which case it just looks cut. This one seems to be in better condition after weeks of use than the others, but perhaps it's the nature of use it sees.

  • Foam leather - ideal for vegans or those who don't want an animal leather case.
  • Soft finish feels nice.
  • Portable size.
  • Twelve is a reasonable amount of pens to carry, isn't it?
  • Minimal branding. 
  • Padded inside to protect pens.
  • Firm covers provide extra protection.
  • Cannot hold many large pens - becomes too thick and strains when closed.
  • Finishing needs some refining. 
  • Double elastics are really hard to work with if you have larger pens - they're really snug.
  • The struggle to get pens into and out of the elastics wears down the velvet underneath.

This is a good case for those who have small to medium pens and who want to carry twelve at a time! Also a great choice if you observe a vegan lifestyle.


This is a decent looking pen case at a reasonable price. I like the portable size of it, especially compared to the giant size of 48 pen folders. Although it's not inexpensive, it's also not so bad either. It looks like leather, it sure does protect your pens, and although the finish is not immaculate, it's not a bad deal. And vegan!

I received this item free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. I do not receive a commission if you purchase through the link here.


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