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Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead book cover

By Laila Weir

Raising little readers and writers means providing plenty of reading and writing material, which in turn can mean a whole lot of pencils, pens, and markers trailing around your home (or your kid’s backpack). 

Get organized with these cute DIY pencil cases that your child can make in just a few easy steps from common household items. These crafts offer an eco-friendly and fun way for kids to bring their own flair to personalized holders for use at home or on the go. Rather than buying new, you’ll reduce your impact on the environment and create your own unique pencil case.

In our super-simple tutorials, you’ll learn to upcycle a plastic container and a plastic bag into adorable containers for your child’s writing implements. Both pencil cases close, so you can toss them into bags for school or outings, but they make cute organizers for craft tables or homework corners around the house, too.

After you check out the tutorials below, scroll down to learn how to make a DIY pencil pinwheel. Kids will love using these special pencils, which are sure to jazz up writing time!

DIY Recycled Pencil Holder

With just a little glam, you can upcycle a plastic container into the perfect storage container for pencils, markers, and even crayons! There are so many different plastic containers for food that are the perfect size to repurpose into a pencil holder. We used a roasted peanut jar, but many different items that would have been headed for the recycling bin will work. This is a fun, easy, and environmentally responsible project to do with your kids. (Tip: If you want your container to close, remember you’ll need one that’s long enough to hold your pencils. Or use a shorter container to make an open-topped holder for a desk or craft table.)

DIY Easy Duct-Tape Pencil Case

In this brilliantly simple craft, you simply cover a large ziplock bag with duct tape to create a customized pencil case. (You will want to read our tutorial, though, for tips and tricks to make sure your project goes smoothly!) Use duct tape in a fun pattern to create a super-cute case, layer different colors to create your own pattern, or just use a single color to make a quick and easy pencil bag. You can even punch three holes along the bottom of your case and it will fit perfectly in a binder. The duct tape reinforces your bag, so this can be a good way to give new life to a still-usable plastic bag that’s been used to hold other items.

Bonus: DIY Pencil Pinwheels

It’s a pencil! It’s a toy! These handmade pencil pinwheels will make writing so much fun. They make a cute back-to-school gift for children or teachers, and they’re sure to add a playful touch to literacy activities with kids of all ages at home, too. Just note that this craft involves using a straight pin, so consider supervising safety when kids put their pencil pinwheel to use. 

If you and your little one love these crafts, check out our decoupage notebook tutorial to add a personalized notebook to your collection of customized literacy supplies, too.

How else are you sprucing up your child’s writing corner? We’d love to hear your ideas!

Laila Weir is a writer and editor who is always looking for a pencil (as, often, are her three children).