Saturday, 26 May 2012

Filofax hack: Pen loop inside the rings!

Hi everyone!

I have finally finished my last essay of my MA, now I have to do my dissertation and apply for PhD, but for now I have no immediate deadlines, so I have some spare time to write blog posts again!!

On Philofaxy's Free For All Friday yesterday Shanananana asked if anyone had tried to make a pen loop that could fit inside the rings of a Filofax, so a pen could slot in there easily. I thought about this, and it shouldn't be too hard. This morning I had a go at it, and it's quite easy to make. At first I only used sellotape, because it's cheap and I already had some, but when you work out how to make it properly you can use something nicer like washi tape. That's what I used for the pen loop I'm going to show you now. Here's my step-by-step instructions:

1) Choose a pen (or pencil) that's not too thick. I found that a Lamy Safari was too thick and the pages in my filofax couldn't turn properly. However, my Coleto 4-colour multi pen worked, and so any pen around this size, like a Bic multi-pen would fit, and also any pen that's less thick. The easy way to work out if your pen will fit is to slot it inside the ring mechanism and try to turn the pages- if they don't turn easily, it's because the pen is too thick. Also, a pen with a rubber grip on the barrel might not work well because it doesn't slide easily into pen loops. I find that I don't need rubber grips on my pens- so if your favourite pen has a rubber grip, but you still want to slip it into a pen loop, you could use Tracy's trick of putting a piece of washi tape over the rubber.

2) Get a fly leaf, or divider, or today ruler. It needs to be positioned in the middle of the pages in your filofax. So if you have 200ish pages in your filofax, put it at about the position of pg 100. This doesn't have to be exact, but roughly in the middle- this means that the pages shouldn't get stuck on the rings because the pen is in the way.

3) Get some sellotape, washi tape, masking tape or thin duct tape. Sellotape is quite thin, but is clear so is good if don't want the pen loop to look obvious, this is a good material to use. You might have to use quite a few layers to strengthen it. Washi tape is a pretty and colourful alternative, although because it is basically masking tape, you should use a layer of sellotape over the top and bottom to strengthen it.

4) Cut a short piece of tape, about the circumference of your pen barrel plus a few millimetres. Then cut a bigger piece, about 5 cm. It doesn't have to be exact.

5) Lay the small piece of tape around the barrel of your pen, non-sticky side against your pen. Then, while it is still against the barrel, lay the bigger piece of tape over the smaller piece of tape, sticky side down so that they stick together. Then stick the sticky ends of the longer piece together, so that the loop of the tape fits neatly around the barrel of the pen, and the rest of the tape sticks out. Slide the pen in and out of the loop to make sure it fits.

6) Next, take out of the rings the today ruler/fly leaf or whatever you are using and lay the loop between the 1st and 2nd holes and hanging over the edge of the ruler/fly leaf. It is positioned here so that the pen is easy to access from the top of the ring mechanism, and so that the pen fits inside the rings.

7) If the pen loop is wider than the gap between the rings, trim it to fit neatly in between the rings. This is so the pages turn properly, or else the tape will get caught on the rings and the rest of the pages won't move smoothly.

8) Take more tape and secure it to the fly leaf/ruler. Use enough tape to secure it so that the weight of the pen won't accidentally pull it off.

9) Put the fly leaf/ruler in your filofax.

10) Push the loop inside the rings, and close up the rest of the pages on top of it. It should hang neatly within the rings.

11) Slip your pen into the pen loop. Make sure the clasp (if your pen has one) goes outside the loop. This is so that the pen doesn't slip through the pen loop accidentally. Practice taking the pen out of the loop and slipping it back in. Then make sure all the pages in your filo move smoothly with the pen in the rings.

And there you have it!!


  1. AWESOME!!!

    I'm so honoured to have inspired something Filofaxy-ish, I shall most definitely try this at home!

    Makes me wonder what gaffer/duct tape would be like, both for the loop and for making a covering on say a gaffer-tape-strip-wide Today marker, I like the duct tape wallets and stuff I see going round and there are non-rubbery versions of it...

  2. Hey there TPS, I've figured out that you can also use a Leuchtturm1917 pen loop as the elastic fits between two rings. I've written a blog post on it if you're interested. :)

    1. Hi! I saw that, looks cool! I did wonder how you managed to punch the holes in it, that plastic is so tough!!

  3. Now that is a cunning plan :o)

  4. great idea Kate thank you :)

  5. hey. thanx for the link to my post :) i was wondering why that one had so many views. lol. nifty idea for a pen loop. xx

  6. have you tried the magnetic bookmarks as a pen holder, works better in personal than a5 inbetween the binder rings..

    1. That is a genius idea! Thank you very much :)