DIY Pencil Holders to Dress up your Desk

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Upcycle old jars into pretty DIY Pencil Holders for your Desk. Get the full tutorial here.

DIY Pencil Holders to Dress up your Desk

Since my daughter got a new desk and a ton of art supplies for Christmas, I’ve been meaning to find a way to organize it all.  In a cute style.  And inexpensively. 

You can get a better view of her desk in this sneak peek home tour post.  My kids plastic vitamin containers proved to be the perfect vessel to hold markers, pencils, and gel pens.  So for the last few months, I’ve been saving them up. 

We get a new container of vitamins every month so it’s easy to add on when we need to.  Of course, we had to jazz them up a bit.  Read on to see how we did it!

DIY Pencil Holders – Step by Step

Upcycle old vitamin jars to make pencil holders

The first thing I did was clean and de-sticker the vitamin containers.  Of course the stickers gave me trouble.  So I had to use goo gone.  I then gave it wash in hot soap water and dried them thoroughly.

I thought I would give this Valspar Devine Color spray paint a try.  They have a lot of different colors and finishes.  You can use it on wood, metal, glass plastic, and more.  And the best part is – one coat dries in 5 minutes so it doesn’t take long to finish the actual spray painting part.   After one hour, you can “handle” it.  But wait a week until the paint fully cures.

We did this project outside on a breezy, sunny day.  It’s best to do this outside because of the fumes in my opinion.  I gave the containers a few coats all over, including the bottom.  You should shake the paint can for a while and during your spray painting. 

The best way to do use this is to spray about 10 or 12 inches away in a sweeping motion.  I did a series of light coats for an even finish.  If you do heavier coats, then there is the potential to have drips and paint runs.

After I finished spray painting, I left it dry (upside down) for a few days.  My daughter chose the color Devine Cupcake – which is a matte finish.  It’s a really cute, pastel pink color.  Perfect for her room since we have pink and purple everywhere!

Spray Paint Jars outside

The paint looked white initially, then dried to the pink!

Spray Paint jars outside

Overall, I really liked the spray paint.  The only negative is that it can be hard to hold the spray nozzle down (that could be a safety thing).  Not the end of the world though.  🙂

UPDATE: I’ve since switched almost exclusively to using Rustoleum Spray Paint. It’s the best in my opinion.

After it was dry, we wanted to cover up the top plastic part where the lid would screw on.  I thought of hot gluing twine on it but we ultimately decided on washi tape.  I couldn’t find the original washi tape I had but I found some cute options on Amazon. 

The washi tape we used doesn’t stick incredibly well to the containers, so I’ll probably have to glue it on eventually.  But it does look cute on her desk!

Washi Tape

We filled her pencil holders with gel pens, markers and colored pencils.

DIY Pencil Holders to Dress up your Desk

It makes it easier to transport them too when she wants to color at the kitchen table.  She just grabs a jar!

Make your own pencil holders from old jars

I love how the pink color pops against her purple wall.  For the cost of some spray paint and washi tape – this ended up being a great solution to organizing the clutter of art supplies.  You could easily do with this with any glass or plastic jar.  Even Mason Jars.  Spray paint them to match your office decor or go bold with a vibrant hue.  You could even paint designs on them.

I hope you guys enjoyed this easy tutorial! 

xo Karen

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