I soon found that I loved the Copics so much that I was rapidly acquiring a large amount of them and getting rid of the others. I loved the color variety and the fact that I could refill the markers whenever needed. I added another 72 marker case and then a 120 marker case and I was forever trying to figure out which case was holding which color. I needed my markers portable so I couldn't just put them in containers on my desk. I searched the internet and found some options. I combined a couple of ideas and added a twist of my own to accommodate my OCD tendencies.
I started with the 17 liter Really Useful box that many use from Office Depot. Most people that use these add the egg crate louvers for ceiling lights to keep the pens upright. No one in my area carried those and I would have had to order a ten pack for around $80.00. This was way more than I wanted to spend when I only needed two. I kept looking around and came across someone that had used clear plastic boxes for card packs. Their boxes were A2 size and 1" deep. They filled the 17 liter box with A2 card boxes and just filled them up with the pens. This seemed almost perfect, but I NEED my pens to stay in numerical order.
Fortunately I found the clear boxes on Amazon that were only 5/8" deep instead of the 1". Exactly the width of a Copic Sketch marker. The boxes measure 4 1/2"x 5/8"x 5 7/8" so I ordered the 50 pack. I started assembling them when they came and I filled one with pens. I realized that as I pulled pens out to use, the remaining pens would tilt and move around. I knew this would drive me crazy when I tried to put them away in numerical order.
I played around and discovered I could make little pen sleeves to fill the card box and then they would hold the markers perfectly in place. Eleven fit exactly in each card box.
Below is a step by step tutorial with a small video of one of the steps.
Start by folding the clear card box and assembling it as meant to be used.
Once you get it folded, open the ends up and cut one long edge in half. I then used a paper trimmer to cut those edges off to make the opening of the top of the box.
I placed 1/4" double-sided tape on the two end flaps of the box and reassembled it. The tape keeps the flaps from pulling open, making the box much stronger since we had to cut the top open.
This tiny flap is trimmed off the top edge where the box is open. I found that it got in the way when I was inserting the pen sleeves. I finally just started trimming it off both sides. If you aren't going to add the sleeves, then I would just put a tiny bit of tape on this as well to keep it in place.
The next step is optional.
This step was to make the pen sleeves. This is time consuming. Only do it if you really can't stand your pens tipping or being jumbled around. It's pretty easy and a couple of evenings of Netflix and an afternoon of YouTube and they were all done. There are 42 clear boxes inside my 17 liter box. Each clear box can hold 11 Copic Sketch markers. There are 358 Sketch colors. I knew that I would never buy the 8 fluorescent colors and the 110 black. So I only needed 349 slots for my Copics. I filled 32 of the boxes with the paper pen sleeves, giving me 352 spaces for markers. The remaining ten clear boxes are left without sleeves and they hold six Various ink refills perfectly.
I cut 352 pieces of Georgia Pacific 110# white card stock (the cheap card stock from Walmart). I cut them to 4" x 2 1/2". Each piece is scored with four fold lines (see photo above). Score at 1/4", 3/4", 1 3/8" and 1 7/8". Fold along these lines. This will make a 1/4" flap and two sides that are 1/2" wide and two sides that are 5/8" wide. Run a piece of 1/8" double-sided tape along the outside edge of the 1/4" flap, bend it to the inside and fold the box over at the half-way mark and stick together. (you can see this step in the video)
I altered one of the extra boxes by cutting down one of the sides a couple of inches. I used this to assemble all eleven of the sleeves so they could be taped together for strength.
Fill the altered clear card box with eleven sleeves and then fill those with markers. The markers give the sleeves some strength and helps them hold their shape while finishing the box assembly. Make sure you push the sleeves all the way to the bottom of the clear box and that they are even at the top. I cut a length of 1" double-sided tape and placed it on the sleeves in the altered clear box.
Remove the eleven sleeves from the altered box and slide them into their permanent card box. Make sure they go all the way to the bottom of the box, you may have to adjust this again after pulling off the tape backing. Lift up the edge of the box and remove the backing of the double sided tape. Carefully make sure the sleeves are all the way down and push the clear side of the box down onto the tape.
I felt that adding tape to the other side would give the sleeves more stability. I cut two much smaller pieces of the 1" double sided tape and carefully slid them between the clear side of the box and the sleeves. Pull the backing off and stick down like the other side. There you have it, one box done. Only 31 more to go. Below is a video of these steps.
I lined up sixteen filled boxes and five empty boxes on each side of the 17 liter Really Useful Box.
The rest of the box assembly is pretty easy. This box brand is awesome because the sides are not slanted like so many other plastic boxes. This makes it perfect for this type of storage but it does have slightly rounded corners. This meant that the boxes on each end wouldn't fit flat in the box without hitting the edges. There is also just a bit of extra length in the box that lets the inserts move somewhat.
I solved the rounded corner and extra length problem by cutting 2 pieces of foam core board that were 4 1/2" x 11". I placed double-sided tape on one side of each of these pieces.
I just slid those pieces into the box on each short end with the tape side toward the side of the box. It keeps the inserts in perfect position.
Voila, perfect for my Copic storage at an extremely reasonable price. It has a locking lid so I can carry it around the house and to the long summer car shows I go to with my husband showing his car.
17 L Really Useful box-mine came from Office Depot. You can also purchase it from Amazon for slightly more.
Clear Plastic Greeting Card boxes-I bought the 5/8" thick ones but you can also used the 1" thick ones if you don't want to put the slots in.
1/8", 1/4" and 1" tape- I had this on had but you can get it from Amazon or most online craft supplies stores.
Georgia Pacific 110 lb card stock from Walmart. This is inexpensive card stock
Foam Core board
If you are interested in my original storage containers, they can be purchased from Amazon. I loved these and would continue to use them if my marker collection hadn't gotten so huge.
Meeden 72 piece marker carrying case-this only has a handle to carry it by on the lid.
Meedeen 120 piece marker carrying case-this has a handle on the lid and a removable shoulder strap to carry it with.