DIY Pen Pots: Reuse & Recycle


You don’t need to buy everything. It’s easier to do so, but what if you recreate something new from, literally, trash?

It may not be easier, it may not be cheaper – but it’s definitely more fulfilling. One of the things you can upcycle quite easily is a pen pot.

You can make them from old tins, the same ones you had your beans in!
If you have kids it’s an ideal craft project to accomplish together, and a lesson about recycling and upcycling at the same time while you play with them on the enclosed patio.

You are free to experiment with styles more than you wish. You can even create custom designs as there are a lot of fabric printing businesses that will print your own patterns if you want to go DIY all the way.

The few things you need to make a DIY pen pot

  • Empty Tin can
  • Fabric Fat Quarter (enough to cover your desired number of tin cans)
  • PVA or Mod podge glue
  • Foam brush
  • Scissors
  • Pen (for markings)
  • Tape measure and ruler


  • Pallet wood
  • Gorilla glue
  • Picture hooks
  • Heavy-duty velcro

Step by step to your unique pen pot

Below are a few simple steps that anyone can easily follow to create pen pots.

Step 1

First, carefully remove the tin cans’ packaging if you have not already. Then, to eliminate the sticky mess, you can soak your cans in the water for half an hour. Once all the adhesives are gone, you can dry up the can and prepare it for the next step.

Step 2

After that, you will need to measure and cut the fabric. Use a pen and ruler for drawing the line at the back of the material to achieve your desired cut and size. (To determine how wide you need to cut the fabric strips, you have to measure the height of the can against the fabric.)

Step 3

Once you are okay with the size of your material, use your foam brush to apply glue to one side of the empty can. Then begin wrapping the cloth around the can, pushing firmly to adhere well. Next, enclose the remaining material around the can with glue on the other side. And do not worry if your fabric overlaps.

Step 4

Allow for 30 minutes of drying time before applying extra glue over the front of the material to solidify and protect it. You will notice that the cloth at the top of the cans appear messy. You may either bend the ends over while the fabric is drying or use a craft knife to trim around the ends to clean up.

The next part is optional

Here is what you need to do if you wish your new pencil pots to hang.

Step 1

Add velcro squares to some scrap wood or any other wood material that you can hang on the wall. Ensure that the velcro is securely attached with the super glue to the wood.

Step 2

Remember to include velcro at the backsides of your tins as well. Then, you can start connecting the two velcros, and now you have hanging pen pots!

Let your children do the pleasure of putting all the pens on the pots.

You can create many styles from empty tin cans. All you have to do is use your imagination and experiment with as many different designs as you desire. You can even create your layouts and choose fabric printing; companies specialise in printing on every type of material, in any style and pattern you can imagine.

And while doing all these and having fun with your little ones, you can also impart the benefits of “Reuse and Recycle” to the environment.

  • It reduces the volume of waste transferred to incinerators and landfills.
  • Natural resources including water, timber and minerals are conserved.
  • Increases financial stability by utilising a home material source.
  • Reduces the need to obtain additional raw materials, which reduces pollution.
  • It conserves energy.
  • Supports manufacturers while also conserving resources.
  • Aids in the creation of jobs in manufacturing and recycling industries

There is nothing more fun than making something special on your own when you are a kid. DIY projects allow children to express themselves via creativity, whether a gift for their parents or siblings or simply an enjoyable art project. These could be relatively cost-effective, but you can always reuse and recycle materials for many different DIY crafts if you want to provide entertaining activities for your children.

Encourage your children to do DIY projects out of recyclable materials like making fence planters or pen pots like we just did. It will help them develop critical thinking as they grow old while diverting their attention from gadgets and helping them cope up with the stress caused by the pandemic.

Madison Hall
With a background in Engineering from Stanford University, Madison Hall brings a unique perspective to the DIY world. With 15 years of experience in both engineering and DIY projects, she started contributing to our website in 2022. Her approach combines technical knowledge with experience, making her articles informative and accessible. Before joining us, Madison worked in a leading engineering firm focusing on sustainable building practices. She enjoys woodworking and exploring the latest tech gadgets in her leisure time.

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