Pens and pencils either multiply until they are all over the house or they disappear and you can never find one when you need it. Pen holders are simple to craft at home from recycled materials. Pen holders are ideal gifts for kids to give to teachers at the end of term. Make the teacher's gift extra special by customising it to the teacher's interests or class subjects.
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Collage Can Pen Holders
Any empty food cans are suitable for making into pen holders. Soup cans are an ideal size. Cut out pictures and words from magazines, choosing a theme that you'd like for your pen holder. Theme ideas might be flowers, showbiz, cartoon characters or whatever else you like. Use white craft glue to stick the words and pictures all over the can, overlapping them and sticking some at odd angles to create a jumbled, random effect. When the can is completely covered, seal it by painting a mixture of glue and water over the pictures.
Craft Stick Pen Holders
Cover cardboard toilet paper rolls with brightly painted craft sticks. Paint the craft sticks before using craft glue to stick them side-by-side around the edge of the cardboard roll, butting them up to each other so there are no gaps. Hold the sticks in place with a rubber band until the glue has dried. Then remove the rubber bands and decorate the pencil holder further with glued-on buttons, gemstones or stickers. You can either leave the pen holder open at the bottom or, if you'd like to carry it without losing the pens, you could use the cardboard toilet roll as a template to cut a circle of cardboard just big enough to cover the base. Use hot glue from a gun to run a line of glue around the base then press the toilet roll into it before gluing on the craft sticks.
Flowerpot Pen Holders
Turn a small terracotta flowerpot into a pen holder by filling it with plaster of Paris. While the plaster of Paris is wet, poke a pen into the surface to make a hole deep enough to hold a pen once the plaster is dry. If you're using a very small flowerpot you may only have room for one pen hole but if you're using a larger one you can make a pen holder that will hold four or five pens. Make sure to work quickly when making the holes as plaster of Paris dries rapidly. When the plaster is set, you can either leave it plain or decorate it however you like; paint it with acrylic paints, stick on stickers or transfers, add glitter or gemstones or just give it a coat of varnish for a glossy shine. Make a set of flowerpot pen holders ranging from large to small. You could decorate each one with a single letter painted on the front so they spell a name or just the word 'pens'.
Multi-Compartment Pen Holders
Keep the pens separate from the pencils and make an extra compartment for storing erasers or paper clips and pencil sharpeners by using three cardboard rolls trimmed to different heights. Glue the cardboard rolls onto the top of an empty, round cardboard box (the type that holds processed cheese triangles works well). Glue them so they butt up against each other, then paint them and the box-base. You can paint them all the same colour for a unified look or give each penholder 'tower' a different colour. Stick on cut-out words, letters or pictures for an added embellishment. You could also use the round plastic lids from large yoghurt containers or a square box lid if you want extra penholder compartments or prefer a square shape that would sit neatly in the corner of a desk.
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