styluscaseThere’s no need to spend a fortune on accessories to match the fortune you spent on your tablet. That’s the lesson Lori Ballard Duncan conveys in this post on Facebook, in which she passes along her favorite trick for an economical carrying case for the Apple Pencil iPad Pro stylus:

Want a super cheap carrying case just the right size for your new Apple Pencil? A toothbrush holder (around $1 or less) is secure and portable. I added a cotton ball at each end to keep it from rattling around. Actual cases made for this purpose can be anywhere from $5 to $20!

That’s a lesson I can take to heart. I already use budget cases for my own hardware when I can, though most of it was just cheap stuff built to purpose. None of my smartphone cases have cost more than $10, and I keep my Fire in a zipper case I got at a Family Dollar for about three bucks.

But there are a remarkable number of inexpensive bespoke items you can find at deep discount stores or the cheap section of Wal-Mart that will work just fine as cases or other accessories even if they weren’t made with that purpose in mind. For example, how about those wooden hinged L-shaped stands you normally see being used to hold framed pictures or plaques? They make reasonably decent inexpensive tablet stands, too.

What’s your favorite makeshift bit of mobile kit?


  1. Great suggestions. I hate to pay inflated accessory prices.

    Back in the days of resistive touch screens, I got my stylii from Staples: Avery multi-click pens for $9. No case needed. EDA zip cases for tablets are around $10 on Amazon. Biggest defect: they all look alike. Solution: craft store stickers. I prefer craft store wire easels to the wooden ones, YMMV.

    For my cell phone I prefer pouch cases. My current one was $12, comes in a dozen fake leather colors and has a ribbon to pop up the phone like toast from a toaster. I also have a couple of slotted and bent aluminum stands for the phone. With the right USB cable*, they’re charging stands.

    Jack Tingle

    *My GS5 needs a specific right angle connector, due to the little water-proofing door.

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