Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead book cover

By Mikee Mapalo

How lovely it is to see flowers bloom and trees grow again when springtime rolls around. Modeling for your child how to slow down and appreciate the seasons will help them develop mindfulness and build joy for both of you. (Read about how being in nature can actually make kids smarter and happier.) 

If you’re looking for a spring craft to do with your little one to celebrate the season, you can make your own flower pencil holder from recycled materials found at home. This is a fun activity to encourage kids to write, get organized with their writing or coloring materials, and learn why recycling is good for the environment.

In this easy tutorial, your child will learn how to make a cute flower-shaped DIY pencil holder perfect for welcoming spring. This craft teaches kids the power of reusing materials and that their creativity can make new, wonderful creations they can use in learning. Plus, keeping plenty of writing materials around encourages writing, supporting early literacy. 


  • Colored paper
  • Toilet paper tube
  • Cardboard/cereal box
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Glue

Cost: $1-3

Step 1: Begin this craft by using a pencil to trace around the bottom part of the toilet paper tube onto the cardboard.

Step 2: Then cut out the round shape you traced from the cardboard. Cardboard can be hard to cut, so make sure that kids are supervised when doing this step. You can also use cereal boxes to make the base of your pencil holder. Cereal boxes are thinner and easier to cut.

Step 3: Once you’re done cutting the base from the cardboard or cereal box, it’s time to glue it to the bottom of the toilet paper tube. Spread a small amount of glue around the bottom opening of the tube, then press it firmly onto the cardboard base. It may take some time to completely dry, so you can move on to the next step while you put your tube to the side.

Step 4: While waiting for the toilet paper tube to dry, make five identical petals using colored paper. Just fold the paper in half so your shape will be symmetrical, then draw and cut out a half-petal shape (or just cut freehand), which will make a full petal when you unfold the paper. Then make a small snip from the bottom center of the petal as shown in the picture.

Step 5: Once your toilet paper tube is all dry, you’ll glue the petals one by one at the upper rim of the tube. Bend down the flat base of the petals, letting the bottom flaps separate where you snipped the slit in the petal. This will give the petal a bent shape—just how flower petals bloom. Apply some glue to the bent portion of each petal, then press each into place around the top of the tube, as shown below.  

Step 6: Cut a strip of a different-colored paper and glue it inside the paper tube. This will make your flower pencil holder look more colorful.

Step 7: Now cut a green colored paper to size and wrap it around the outer part of the paper tube to resemble the flower stem.

Step 8: You can also add some details by cutting small leaf shapes and gluing them on each side of the pencil holder. 

And you’re done!

We hope this easy flower pencil holder craft tutorial will help inspire your child to write and draw! May it also encourage your child to read more books about planting, gardening, and nature. In fact, we’ve got recommendations for some lovely picture books about gardening at the end of this post to get you started.

Want to make other DIY pencil holders or cases on a budget? Try this DIY tutorial on how to make a recycled pencil holder using a plastic container or this easy DIY duct-tape pencil case.

And remember, MayaSmart.com is your one-stop-shop for raising a reader, from evidence-based advice (like answers to parents’ top questions about teaching kids their ABCs) to fun activities that support key literacy learning and recommendations of great reads. Browse around the site for more tips and tutorials, or message Maya with your questions or activity requests!

We believe that every activity with kids is even better when it’s paired with a great book. For this spring-themed DIY flower pencil holder craft, we recommend pairing some springtime books that will help children appreciate flowers, planting, and nature. 

Book Pairing

The book, In the Garden with Dr. Carver by Susan Grigsby recounts the story of a young girl named Sally living in rural Alabama in the early 1900s. Sally never forgets the lessons she learned from a wise man called Dr. George Washington Carver, who helped the children with their farm and school garden. 

Another excellent picture book is The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver by Gene Barretta, which tells about the boyhood garden of George Washington Carver, the beginning of his ongoing story of triumph over hardship.

You might also check out Michelle’s Garden: How the First Lady Planted Seeds of Change by Sharee Miller. This charming volume looks at former First Lady Michelle Obama’s experience growing a kitchen garden at the White House with the help of local students, the White House staff, and even President Barack Obama himself.

For more reads about the natural world, take a look at our book lists, including picture books about the world of water and picture books about hero animals.

We’d love to see how your craft turned out! Feel free to connect with us on social media to share some pictures.