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Tutorial: Altered Pencil / Brush Can

Karin, from Creative Chaos, is our Guest Poster for today.  She turned a can into pretty, by altering it!  Great recycling project and something the kids would enjoy doing as well.  I could picture several of these all lined up in a row!  You can visit Karin’s blog here and also don’t forget to check out her Etsy shop for some really unique items like Halloween card and beautiful artwork,  Icing on the Cake Studio.

Because Pencils Should Look Pretty Too!

Here is a super easy and fun project sure to make all your pencils and paint brushes happy.  Not to mention help the environment by recycling!  You can’t ask for much more than that! 


First, gather up some clean empty cans.  These are a standard size fruit/vegetable can. You can put a layer of gesso on but it’s not required.

Next gather up all those little scrap pieces of vintage wallpaper and scrapbook paper. You know…. The scraps you can’t bear to throw away, yet keep piling up because you’re not sure what to do with them?  Yep….those.  Now they have an important purpose….To brighten up a pencil’s day, and more importantly Save the World!

At this point you can either just tear the paper. Or, as in this case, I just cut them into squares and rectangles and glued down onto the can.  Don’t worry about a pattern or being perfect.  The beauty of this project is simplicity and randomness.  Just have fun with it!

Keep gluing all your pieces until you have covered the can completely.

At this point, it’s time to paint……

I painted the inside of the can with gesso as well as the edges.   I then painted the edges of the wallpaper with a white paint to give it a “grout” effect……

Once you’re satisfied with the level of paint, let it dry while gathering some tulle and flowers.  Of course, you can use ribbon or whatever else you have on hand. At the last minute, I decided to put a silver pipe cleaner around the rim……

Glue the tulle in place along with some flowers on top and you have a pencil holder fit for display!


Karin, Creative Chaos


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  1. txscrapaddict
    September 25th, 2008Posted | Permalink


  2. September 25th, 2008Posted | Permalink

    Beautiful job!

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  1. […] In case you missed it Karin, from Creative Chaos, did a Guest Post recently for us on altering a tin can into a pencil holder.  One photo is shown at right and you can see the whole tutorial with more photos here. […]

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