This lovely upcycled milk carton organizer is a great way to get crafty, get organized and make a fun decoration. I love how this is a fun way to repurpose something I would otherwise toss in the recycling bin or trash can. It finds a new purpose in this craft, and it helps keep me and my desk orderly. For those with kids – it’s a great addition to their desks or homework work station! Plus, it’s super easy to personalize!
Upcycled Milk Carton Pencil Holder
Milk cartons are one of the most versatile additions to my craft stash. I love that they can be everything from a bird feeder to this cute little pencil holder. They are super easy to cut down into the size needed, and since they are typically coated in wax, they don’t fall apart easily. In this case, they became the ideal base for a cute little simple pencil holder.
I also love that this is a great craft to make with your kids. Since it’s not too complicated, even the younger ones can help you paint, glue, cut, and arrange the craft sticks and fabric. A perfect way to spend a bit of time connecting with your kids while making something fun!
Do I Have to Line This With Fabric?
I like using fabric to line the inside of this holder. It gives this a more finished or polished look. You don’t have to line yours with fabric, but I think that it’s a great addition. You can easily give each organizer a unique look. Pick solid, patterned, or even character themed fabrics and add to the inside.
One great part of adding fabric to this milk carton is that you can make it special for each child. Pick out scrap fabric and let them use one in their favorite color, character theme, or texture they prefer.
I love the idea of also use items you may have on hand that are worn out or have holes in them that they loved. My kids would outgrow shirts and still want to wear them because they loved the pattern. This is a perfect craft to upcycle some of the kid’s favorite clothing that just isn’t fit to wear anymore. It makes it a special project for them, and helps you to use up something you already have on hand instead of buying new fabric!
Tips for Painting Craft Sticks
Craft sticks are one of the easiest and most inexpensive crafting materials to keep on hand. They can be used in so many ways you’ll never have them sit unused in your craft stash!
One thing I love is that craft sticks can be painted in many ways. You can use kid-friendly paint like finger paint, or basic acrylic craft paint works just as nicely. I’ve even used spray paint on many occasions when painting multiples at one time. Easy, fast, and perfect coverage.
When painting the craft sticks, you can use your fingers, paintbrushes or foam paintbrushes. When painting the craft sticks, paint one side first and let it dry completely. Then paint the other side. If the paint is not dry, when you flip it over to paint the other side, the paint might beg smeared and messed up or it can stick to the surface while you are working on the other side.
Most of the crafts I share, like this one, don’t need both sides painted. That makes it easier to manage and much faster when you are trying to keep kids busy.
Tip: If you don’t like painting, you can also buy some craft sticks already dyed!
What Ways Can I Use This Organizer?
Obviously, it is a great choice for a pencil holder, but that isn’t the only way you can use this cute little project! I love that these kinds of projects are super versatile. I might make it for pencils, but a few days later, I realize I can take it to another room for an even better purpose! Below are some of my favorite ways to use this. Let me know in the comments how you would use this in your home.
- Organizer for pens, pencils, or markers on a desk or in a craft area.
- Holder for crochet hooks or knitting needles.
- Straw or utensil holder on a buffet for parties.
- A place to store makeup brushes on the bathroom counter.
- Holder for dry paintbrushes in your art studio.
- Store your scissors or craft knifes in this.
- Add to a side table to store your remote controls.
- Use to hold phone chargers or accessories on your bedside table.
- Milk carton
- Scrap fabric
- Craft sticks
- Craft paint
- Rustic twine or jute
- Craft knife
- Hot glue gun
- Glue sticks or glue rope
How to Make a Milk Carton Pencil Holder
Start by placing a craft stick on the side of the milk carton and measuring how tall on the carton you want to cut.
Next, trace around the carton, then use a craft knife to cut the top part of the carton off. You will want to wash the inside with soap and water then dry completely before continuing.
Now, start gluing the craft sticks around the outside of your carton using hot glue or your favorite craft glue.
Once you have a layer of sticks covering the outside of the carton, measure and trim 4 to go around the bottom edges and glue in place.
Next, you will paint your craft sticks using your preferred paint and brush. I used white paint for mine.
Once the paint has dried, you can then line the inside with fabric. Place the fabric patterned side facing out, and glue in place around the edges.
Cut and tie a piece of twine around the top and add a bow.
Now you can use your organizer to hold pencils, makeup, or anything you want!
If you want more fun craft stick projects – look no further! I love using these for the kids to make these cute craft stick bees. You can also turn them into lollipop photo ornaments, a popsicle stick chicken, or this popsicle stick bunny or chick crafts. They are great for holiday projects like this popsicle stick snowman craft, craft stick ornaments, or this adorable craft stick gingerbread house.
If you don’t have fabric on hand, I encourage you to invest in one of these scrap fabric bundles I found on Etsy. They have tons of variety, and are ideal for keeping in your craft stash for all sorts of needs like this one!
- Start by cutting off the top of the milk carton, and cleaning out the inside with soap and water then drying it;
- Now, glue the craft sticks around the milk carton until it's totally covered;
- Cut 4 sticks to fit around the bottom, and glue them in place;
- Now, you will paint the craft sticks whatever color you prefer and set aside to dry;
- Once dry, glue fabric pattern side up, into the inside of the box;
- Use craft twine or jute and add a bow to the top of the organizer;
- Now you can add pencils, makeup brushes, or whatever you decide to your organizer!
You can use any color or type of fabric you prefer for the inside of this organizer. Even burlap works to line this!
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