Sibling Gifts :: Pencil Cups

To continue on our theme, I present the third-born daughter’s contribution to this year’s sibling gifts :: Up-cycled Pencil Cups.

Another easy, low investment craft that was completely age appropriate and quite useful, as each kid got their own set of personalized pencils in their stockings this year. Thank you Oriental Trading Company for your customizable pencils for my kids that don’t have names often (read :: ever) found on store shelves!

Pretty in Pink

We collected a few cans from the recycling bin—two bean cans and one for tuna—made sure they were nice and clean and dry, then I painted each with two coats of primer before setting the four year old loose on them. She got to go through the paint bins and pick out whatever shade she thought they might like. I know she’s at least partly my child because she went for the extra-shiny metallic paints.

It Aint Easy Bein Green

After she painted each can, we picked out different scrapbook papers, one for each can, and then dug out our old alphabet stamps. She helped me find the letters and she stamped—with a teeny bit of guidance—the names of her sisters and brother onto individual white labels. I cut down the scrapbook paper into strips, then used double sided tape to adhere the paper to the can. The finishing touch, of course, were the name labels!

Alphabet Stamps

The awesome thing about this project is that it doesn’t need to be perfect to look great! Little brush strokes here and there and a bit of primer showing through gives it a touch more character, a feature if you will, not a flaw.

Tuna Tin For Ties

The littlest one doesn’t use pencils, but the tuna can was the perfect size to hold her hair bands and, conveniently, a few barrettes.

Pencil Cups

And the older kids cups were put to immediate use after they found their pencils.

It really is amazing how much they all love both making and receiving these gifts. I hope this is something we’ll continue for quite a few more years.




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A Birthday Gift

A few weeks ago my eldest and I found a lovely little lunch box that we thought we would fill with art materials and fun activities for my nephew who was turning three. We planned to make jello play dough and bean bags, at the very least. Of course, by the time we were done, we no longer had room in the lunch box, so we had to find a tote.

Using a freezer paper stencil cut from a printout I designed, we personalized a brown tote.


The bean bags were also personalized, with lowercase on one side…


and caps on the other.


We also made a few drawstring bags to hold some of the other goodies we pulled together for the tote.


It was a fun distraction from all the craziness of preparing the house for the market, and we had a blast making the play dough and talking about what to put in the bag. It’s also been a while since I’ve sat in front of my sewing machine… it was nice to know that I can still sew straight lines.

Overall, it was just so nice to take some time to make something again.