How to Make a DIY Pen Holder with Waste Material

I made a DIY pen holder with an empty can and decorated it with a hand-lettered motivational quote.

It is good to have a reminder on my desk at all times … just in case … 😇

My inspiration for a DIY pen holder

When I was little, my sister created these awesome pen holders for my grandpa and me. She took some old cans and peeled off the labels. Then she colored them in bright colors, and with a small brush, she personalized the pen holders. My pen holder was red and my sister wrote “for my favorite sister” on it in yellow. Note: I’m her only sibling. Ahh, I love her! 😉

Over two decades later, I still have this pen holder I got from my sister. I wanted to create one myself since my pen collection is growing constantly.

How to create a hand-lettered pen holder

First, open the can and eat some beans (or whatever your gusto is). 😉

Luckily, I have one of those awesome can openers that doesn’t leave a sharp edge on the can. Otherwise, you’ll need to sand it properly so you don’t cut yourself.

Learning from my big sister, I peeled off the paper label from the can by soaking it in warm water.

I loved the natural wavy texture of the aluminum and decided not to cover it with color, leaving it with an industrial and modern look.

Then I took the measurement of the can and started sketching on paper—using a pencil from the pen holder I got from my sister. Drafting on the can itself didn’t work that well because the pencil marks were barely visible.

To apply the artwork onto the can, I used the edding 750 paint marker in white. It is ideal for writing on metal, glass, plastic, and wood, and it’s waterproof and heat resistant. (I took the image below directly from the edding home page.)

The tip of this marker was a bit too big for the wavy can surface though. It looked a bit messy because I wasn’t able to write smoothly on it. That’s why I use a thinner black marker for metal surfaces to outline the artwork. This way, the words were even more visible.

And this is how I get new pen holders over the years  …