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Upcycle a Can into a Pretty Pencil Holder with Buttons

This project will keep the kids busy and help the environment! Upcycle your empty food cans into containers for various storage and use buttons to create a fresh, fun look. You can create any kind of pattern or look with just a few easy-to-find materials. I created a pencil holder out of a spaghetti sauce can.

First, I covered  it with some fabric. Then I embellished the top edge with a swag design of pink and purple buttons. (Optionally, you can line the inside of the can as well.) I’ve created a number of different pencil and school supply containers using fabric or paper, so whichever you like best will work great!

upcycled can to pretty pencil holder

upcycled can to pretty pencil holder

Materials you need to upcycle the can:

Steps to make your own button embellished upcycled can pencil holder:

  1. Measure and cut fabric to fit the outside of the can.
  2. Cover the can with your choice of fabric & adhere with glue.
  3. Add a swag pattern to the top of the outside edge of the can using glue and twine.
  4. Adhere buttons in place, alternating colors.
  5. Make small bows of twine and glue at the top of each swag.
glue twine to can

glue twine to can

create a scalloped swag design with twine

create a scalloped swag design with twine

add buttons to twine

add buttons to twine

add more buttons

add more buttons

make a bow out of twine and glue on the can - I got a little too much glue on my fingers

make a bow out of twine and glue on the can – I got a little too much glue on my fingers

The best part about upcycling empty cans is that they are small.  This allows you to use your left over craft scraps to make some neat, decorative containers. Mix and match your scraps with your favorite button colors to create a whole collection of pretty pencil holders and other organizing containers. Plus these are easy enough that your kids can make their own too!

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