This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and All You, but all my opinions are my own. #lifeforless #pmedia http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO
I started reading All You magazine back in my couponing days: it’s known as “the magazine that pays for itself” because of its many high-value coupons. Back then, it was only available at Walmart, but that’s recently changed. Now it’s available all over: I grabbed my new issue at Target.
The July issue is packed with all things summer–summer style, summer recipes, even summer reading. Appropriately, I read mine in the backyard while sitting sandbox duty. I added this book to my to-be-read list and made a note to try the peanut butter s’mores recipe. (It’s not all summer: I was happy to see a nod to Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover in an article about kicking debt, and downloaded a few new picks from their Ultimate Guide to Money-Saving Apps.)
The July issue debuted a new column called Take this, make that. Every month, two crafty bloggers each take an object (this month’s pick: tin can) and repurpose it into a pretty home accent. One blogger created a cute little storage container; the other made a floral lantern.
As I mentioned in the comments here, we’ve been struggling with a completely embarrassing problem at my house: our pencils are crappy, and we can never find them when we need them. This little thing has been a huge obstacle to getting through our schoolwork. Last week Jillian gave me the scoop on some good pencils; I needed to make sure we can find them when we need them.
I decided to adapt the All You tutorial and upcycle a tin can into a pencil holder. Or rather, into four pencil holders, because one was not enough to solve our pencil problem.
I started with 4 clean tin cans: 3 regular size and 1 small (from a can of tomato paste)
The July issue also featured a DIY involving turning old books and fabric into inexpensive framed art. I borrowed that idea for my pencil holder project.
my materials: scrap fabric, twine, and an old book that’s falling apart. I bet you thought I was going to choose Pride and Prejudice. (I almost did!)
I followed the directions in All You to create the twine-wrapped tin can. (I just wrapped it, adhering it with hot glue. It took forever but it was easy.) Then I used homemade mod podge (it’s easy: half Elmer’s glue, half water) to adhere the fabric and torn book pages to the other cans. You can use a brush if you want to keep things neat, but I just used my fingers to smooth the materials over the can.
decoupage in progress: I smeared my homemade mod podge all over my cut fabric before I wrapped it around the can
I wanted a rustic look, so I left the lip of the can exposed. Add ribbon or trim to the top of the can for a more polished look.
These pencil holders were dirt cheap to make. I used tin cans straight out of the recycling bin, scrap fabric, a decrepit book, one hot glue stick, and a little Elmer’s glue. I bought a 400 foot roll of jute for $3.29; I only used a few feet and my daughters happily seized the roll for their craft cabinet.
I picked up the pencils Jillian recommended at Target, and also grabbed a pack of the brand whose package proclaimed “world’s best pencil.” (Apparently, I’m vulnerable to advertising when I’m desperate.) They were $2.89 and $2.24 per dozen. I skipped right over the Target brand pencils, even though they were way cheaper at 57¢ per dozen. I wasn’t taking any chances!
I sharpened every one of those pencils and placed them neatly in the cans, along with some of our favorite pens.
well-stocked and ready to go
another angle on the Winnie the Pooh pencil holder. it’s my favorite.
I’ve said one of my strategies for encouraging my kids’ creativity is to surround them with good stuff and give them room to dive in. Not 5 minutes after I’d put these pencils in the holders, my kids grabbed their sketch books and started drawing. (They approve of the pencils, phew!) They don’t want me to claim the Pooh pencil holder on my own desk, but I think that’s a good sign: I’m calling this project a win.
Is this a DIY you would try?