Mum-of-two Fenella McGowan might have a background in interior design, but her eyes light up whenever she spies a glue gun. When asked to make something cool from the Born craft range, she came up with this: a fun pencil holder for all your writing, drawing and colouring implements.  

“You'll never lose your pens again with this dude holding on to them,” says Fenella. “I'd love to see adults embrace this project and jazz up their home or office space.”

How to Make a Colourful Pencil Holder 

Grab your craft materials and start this pencil holder by painting a wooden crate and sheet of A3 paper.


Step 1: Cover an entire A3 sheet of paper with your chosen Born paints – here it’s the fluoro range, but use whatever colours you like. No need to be neat – the messier the strokes are, the more texture you’ll achieve.  

Step 2: Put your finished painted paper aside to dry.

Step 3: Paint the Born Mini Wooden Crate in your desired colours. You can use the same colours as your paper or use all the colours! Put aside to dry.

Cut the top off the paint box, then cut out a panel to cover it from the painted paper.

Step 4: Take the box the Born paints came in and carefully use scissors to cut off the lid.

Step 5: When your painted paper is dry, measure out the height of the Born paint box to see how much paper you need to cover it, then cut the paper down to size.

SEE ALSO: Family Craft Projects: Create Craft Box

Use a glue gun to stick the strip of painted paper to the cardboard box.

Step 6: Use the glue gun to stick the cut paper to the Born paint box. Start at the front of the box, so the front will become the back. There’s a piece of card inside the back of the box which, if pulled, can rip. Doing it this way avoids that scenario. You can glue however you like – patterns, lines, squiggles – just make sure you run a line close to the top edge.  

Step 7: If the crate is dry, you're ready to layer up your pencil holder.

Stick down the kraft boxes using a glue gun to create compartments for your craft box. 

Step 8: Take the lids off the Born kraft boxes and stick two of the boxes to the bottom of the crate with the glue gun. 

Step 9: Very carefully and slowly, edging it in one side at a time, insert the tall painted box. 

Step 10: When it’s secure, start adding in all your pens, pencils, markers, paint pens and other stationery. Put small items into the glued-down craft boxes.  

Step 11: Layer the other two kraft boxes – again, no lids needed. There are no rules about what to put in these. Small highlighters, crayons and short pencils are all good. Markers, standard-sized colour pencils and paint pens – anything with a pop of colour – can go in the space between the kraft boxes and the tall painted box. Keep any other pens and pencils in the tall box.

Use a lid from a kraft box as a shelf for a trinket, then add pom poms to decorate your craft storage holder. 

Step 12: Take one of the kraft box lids and pop it on the top of one of the boxes – use it as a ‘stage’ for trinkets or tiny craft projects. You can paint it if you want more colour.

SEE ALSO: Family Craft Projects: Personalised Gift Tags

Glue mini pom poms, pipe cleaners and googly eyes to your craft project for colour and fun. 

Step 13: With the glue gun, stick the mini pom poms – either in a pattern or randomly – around the edges of the crate. 

Step 14: Cover the top edge of the painted box you made with pipe cleaners. Try to match your pipe cleaner joins (if you have any) to the edges, then hide any of these joins with additional pom poms

Step 15: Take two more pipe cleaners and carefully stick those in the gaps on the front of your crate (make sure you don't get any glue on the kraft boxes or you won't be able to move them) by applying a tiny bit of glue on each of the edges of the crate openings. Once they're on, stick on large googly eyes

Step 16: Now it’s time to add the flair. You could use a single feather, some ribbons, more pipe cleaners or a combination of whatever you have that takes your fancy. Once you've made your bit of flair, stick it to the top right-hand side of the tall box. That’s it! You’ve now got a really cute stationery holder.

What to Try

SEE ALSO: Cool Creative DIY Crafts for Everyone

This article was originally published in 2022 and has been updated.