Almost There: DIY: Old Box into Writing Utensil Holder

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

DIY: Old Box into Writing Utensil Holder

Hello, my name is Tyler and I'm a pack rat.

I don't throw away many things. I can, at times, be the Queen of Clutter--a pack rat to a tee. It's a problem, I know. However, this post isn't about me overcoming my keep-everything-because-you-never-know-when-you-might-need-it tendencies. Instead it's about using my problem to help me with my problem.


I love pens and pencils. Out of everything in my life these are the two items I very rarely will ever throw away. Even if they are broken or out of ink. Maybe it's because I love to write? I don't know, but  I was tired of the three plus cups that housed these writing utensils on the top of my desk.

So I decided to up cycle some cardboard from a box I used (that I didn't throw away...surprise, surprise) for moving to make a writing utensil holder!

At first I was just going to make a cube (minus the top) and be done with it. My mind changed immediately when I saw Herman Marie's Strange Plant. It is weird and charming and not perfect and I absolutely love it. Since I was working with cardboard and knew it wouldn't be a refine finished piece, I decided I wanted to make two panels into my own version of Marie's Strange Plant!

What you need
Scissors/box cutter/ Xacto knife
Hot glue gun/glue stick
Your own template

What I did

1. I wanted to make the two decorative panels first so I took one of my cups and measured how tall and wide it was. I decided that each of the panels should be 4 inches wide and 3.5 inches tall. That would be my square that I wanted to look like a pot for my plant. Then I drew out the pot and went ahead and drew what the "plant" part would look like. I love cacti but I wanted it to look sturdier (and BE sturdier since it was cardboard) so I made it blocky instead of rounded. When I was done I had my template.

2. I took my template and placed it on top of the cardboard. Using a pencil I traced out two panels.

3. I used scissors to cut each panel and then placed them next to each other to see how they measured up.

4. The bottom square came next. It was the same size as the planter's pot.

5. I went ahead and painted my design on to the face of each decorative panel and let it off to the side to dry. I did a few coats on the pot part. Now, it isn't going to look as smooth as painting on canvas, but I got it to where I was happy.

6. Using the hot glue gun I went ahead and glued both decorative panels onto each side of the base. That way you can't see the cardboard ridges from the front or back.

7. I measured and cut two more cardboard pieces that I could slide in to act as the sides. Before putting those in I put hot glue on the sides and bottom so they would stay.

8. Since I made this holder a bit bigger, I took small cardboard pieces and glue them to the inside on the bottom to make separators.

Then, if you like what you see, then you're done! I know it isn't the most beautiful desk decor but you can personalize it, make it any size, and it's basically free to do if you already have the supplies. I totally dig mine because it holds all of my writing utensils plus my clay roller (that big purple thing)! Plus, I can't help but smile when I look at it! No matter which way I have it facing!

I hope you enjoyed this pack rat's way to handle your desk clutter by using some old box!

-Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)

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