Pintern Summer Challenge: DIY Pencil Holder

Our next Pintern Challenge installment features our blogger, Katherine, of the University of Pennsylvania. She’ll showcase her efforts at a DIY Pencil Holder!


I saw this pin on Pinterest, and the concept seemed so simple. All I would have to do is cut and fold. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t that easy.

Materials (Here is the Printed Pattern):

Cardstock (I used manila folders)
A knife
A lot of patience
Optional: Extra colored paper

Instructions Given:

Cut along the black lines and fold along the red…this didn’t happen.

Instructions Actually Followed:

1) Take your printed pattern and either glue or paperclip it to your cardstock, depending on if you want the leave the pattern there. I decided that the pattern wasn’t big enough to accurately cut, so I decided to hand-draw the pattern onto my folder instead. Make sure you do this on the side that you intend to make the back and bottom. This took some time, but wasn’t too difficult, because it was just a lot of lines. (It would have been much easier if I had a ruler.)

I then darkened the lines that I was going to cut.

2) The next step was the one that I thought would be hardest. I cut the circle out, and wound up using a knife instead of the scissors to cut along the black lines, since I was really just slicing the paper. After I made these marks, it looked pretty much the same.

3) Then came the hardest part, turning this two-dimensional project 3-D. The instructions didn’t include which line should be popped in, and which should be popped out, so I followed the finished image, line by line.

I was pretty much done, at this point, after some time of analyzing, and all I had left to fold were the stairs. I was trying to figure out to do this, step by step, when I realized that I could fold an entire staircase at once. All you have to do is take the space to the left side of the stairs and pull right, and push the space to the right of the stairs left.

4) With the main part done, I took another manila folder, this time red, and traced a circle of the same size and attached it to the back. I also added a quarter of a red circle on top of the bottom to give it more color and weight/balance.

5) I glued the parts together and let them dry as paper clips held them together.

6) After this, I decided that the structure just didn’t stand out enough, mostly because of the background. I took a blue (hurray for the red and the blue!) sheet of paper and traced out my structure. I cut it out and pasted it on the background.

Ta-da! And there you have it. This cut-out paper holder was definitely not as easy as it sounded (I didn’t expect to spend 2.5 hours cutting, gluing, and folding), but it also wasn’t as complicated as it looked. The many layers of manila seem to be holding up just fine under the weight of a few pencils, and I’m excited to make this an addition to my dorm in the fall!

Try it out! Do you have any ideas on how to make this project better? Let us know below in the comments!

Written by Guest Blogger, Katherine Chang


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