Sunday, August 9, 2015

Woven Ribbon Recycled Tin Can Pen and Pencil Holders


Recycled tin cans are the perfect size to contain pens, pencils, markers and other office supplies.  There are so many ways to design a recycled tin can into a pen and pencil holder - just google tin can pen and pencil holder and you'll see literally hundreds.  I've done a lot of woven ribbon items lately and thought why not try it on a tin can.  Besides, I needed to make some pen holders anyway.  I have too many pens and other writing and drawing instruments and really need a place to store them instead of my usual ziplock bags.  

First, gather the following items:
  • Ribbon - your choice (I used 2 DollarTree  - 5/8" rolls)
  • Clean tin can
  • Hot glue gun/glue
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Candle or lighter to seal ribbon ends
  • Burlap, fabric or cardstock to cover bottom of can
1.  Measure the height of the can with a strip of ribbon and cut length.  Begin by placing strip edge around the rim of can, marking with a pencil on rim to determine the number of strips needed. Cut out using the first strip as a guide.  For this can I cut 17 strips.

2.  Take the second ribbon and measure the circumference of the can by wrapping it around and cut.  Place strip on can from top inside rim to bottom rim to determine the number of strips needed and cut out using the length of the first strip as a guide.  I needed 7 strips for this.  

3. Seal ribbon ends with flame of candle to prevent fraying.

4.  Attach each vertical ribbon strip along the can rim with hot glue. At first, I put the glue on the rim but hot glue can be messy so I added the glue to the ribbon edge and applied the ribbon to the rim for a neater look.

5.  Once all of the vertical ribbons are attached,  take a horizontal ribbon strip and place the edge right next to the inside rim and glue on.  Begin by weaving over and under the vertical strips as you wrap the horizontal ribbon around the can.  The wrapped horizontal woven ribbon should end at the place where you began. Glue ends in place.

6.  Continue adding and gluing horizontal strips on, alternating and weaving over and under until reaching the bottom rim.  Straighten and adjust the ribbon by pulling down the strips.  

7.  Once finished weaving, wrap vertical ends over rim onto bottom of can and glue down.

8.  And finally, cut out a circle of burlap or fabric or cardstock slightly smaller than round rim of can and glue on to cover ribbon edges.

These woven ribbon tin cans really turned out easy to make and definitely has a one of a kind look. 

For another can, I used left over wired burlap ribbon that I removed the wire from the ribbon before using.
 Remember, when making a woven ribbon tin can, keep in mind that a decorated pen or pencil holder should reflect the personality of where you plan on putting it.  Be it in a craft room or office  .  .  . whether it's a fun place, creative, serious or even cluttered.  
Have fun with weaving the cans in complimentary ribbon colors and prints!
It's really so easy!

Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!


  1. This reminds me of getting ready for my students to return after summer break! I made these for each section of the room. Not quite as fancy as these - I used contact paper!

  2. I too need a lot of pen stands Gail and love your ribbon weaving tips...on my to do list!!
    Dr Sonia
    Cards Crafts Kids Projects

  3. These look great Gail! I love that they can be made to match any decor.

  4. This is an awesome craft! Looks so easy too! Thanks for sharing!!

  5. How cool. You are so creative. I wanted to let you know I just started a Fall linky party. Come by and check it out. This would be a perfect post. They look Fallish! Thanks for sharing. I hope you'll come by.
    Have a great week.

  6. I don't know which one I like better, Gail! Love the basket weave idea to pieces! Now you have me thinking what to do with my next batch of cans. Thank you so much for sharing at Creative Craft Challenge! You always have such clever ideas!

  7. The basket weave idea is great! How creative and so thrifty Gail. Have a great week...

  8. Love the basket weave and it does look sort of Fallish!
    Thanks so much for stopping by today and for your sweet comment!

  9. Love the basket weave and it does look sort of Fallish!
    Thanks so much for stopping by today and for your sweet comment!

  10. I simply LOVE the way your cans look :) I might have to make some of these with my son. Thanks for sharing with Roses of Inspiration. Hugs!

  11. A very cute project and a great idea. I bet those pens are loving their new digs! Cheers.

  12. Gail, you do everything so beautifully! It is so finished and high end. Love the fabric mix, too.

  13. What a great upcycle project! Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday, hope to see you again next week!

  14. What a wonderful idea! Thank you for sharing.

  15. Great can upcycle! Thanks for sharing at the Submarine Sunday Link Party!

  16. oh what a great way to cover a can, so unique and so easy to personalize!! I am going to have to show these to Kristina - she was looking for more ideas for decorations for her work parties and this will be a good idea! Thanks for sharing at the creative challenge!

  17. These are super cute! Great decor idea!! I'm asking bloggers to share their tin can DIYs this month at a new monthly Create With Me party and I would LOVE to see you link up!! Lindi @ Love Create Celebrate

  18. There are 3 options when painting fabric, fabric pens, fabric paints and 3D fabric pens. fabric markers


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