Sunday, 12 January 2014

Recycled Pen Tub Tutorial

Pretty pen pot tutorial from
Comic covered pen pot tutorial from
2 for 1 today - bonus!

I love the lovely little pen tubs that you see all over the internet/pinterest where old metal tins are covered with pretty paper.

The problem I have is that my can opener leaves the tops of cans like this:
Not really suitable for crafts! That edge is REALLY sharp.

I have to assume I'm not the only one - surely. The good news is there are a couple of alternative "saved from the bin" items which work really well.

Inside is a kind of waxed card, outside is not shiny so glue sticks really well.
I gave it a really good wipe round inside with my dishcloth, I don't think the card would like a dunk in the washing up water!

And these kind of tins:

The Yannoh is some sort of coffee substitute, I just fished the empty tin out of the bin at work! It has a paper wrap which just soaked off in warm soap water.

To make the pretty tub you need:
An empty tub, PVA glue or Mod Podge, Strips of co-ordinating scrapbook paper
Measure the height of your tub (mine was 8.5cm) then cut the strips of paper just a little bit longer.

Spread glue liberally on the back of the paper then stick then to the tub, line the top up as neatly as you can, then smooth out any bubbles in the paper.

When you get back round to the beginning just measure the gap and then trim your final piece of paper to match.

Then cover the whole thing in a layer of glue to seal.

Leave it to dry thoroughly then enjoy!

I made this pink one months ago and have it on my desk at work. You could easily use just one piece of paper instead of the strips. I save all the little scrappy bits of paper I have from card making so this is a great way to use a few up. 

If you don't have scrap book paper you could use good quality wrapping paper, magazine pages, coloured envelopes - whatever you like. You could use the logo part of adverts in glossy magazines for posh make up or perfume and then use the tub for make up brushes.

The tin Comic book version was made in exactly the same way. The comic paper was a little bit thinner so I couldn't smooth it down without ripping it or rubbing of the ink. I just sort of patted it into place. It has wrinkled just a little in one place but the layer of glue over the top is protecting it all. 

You might also be interested in:

Plastic Tub to Pretty Planter
Plastic Tub to Pretty Planter
Old Bracelet to Necklace Repurpose
Old Bracelet to New Necklace Repurpose
Bird cage card ideas
Bird Cage Card Ideas
Amazing downloadable art
Amazing Downloadable art

I'll be linking up at all of these great link parties, why not check them out?
Sum of their Stories
Sum of their Stories

Hello, I'm Julie. I love making things and this is where I share my enthusiasm.


  1. So cute, I love the comic covered pen pot!

    1. Thanks Brittany, I was please how that came out. I'm now looking round to see what else I can cover with scraps of comic!

  2. I'm a big fan of a homemade pen pot, I have them everywhere!

  3. What a fabulous and pretty project, particularly loving the comic pen pot. The smaller pringle tubs are perfect sized too.

    1. What a good idea about the pringle tubs, I know lots of people use the tall ones for all sorts of different things. I'm forever fishing things out of the bin at home & work - drives people mad!

  4. These are super cute! Pinned from Wined down Wednesday!

    1. Thanks Allison, I'm fast turning into a pinterest addict and it's SO exciting when I pin something of mine and find someone else has too!

  5. These are adorable! I'm always looking for cute (and cheap!) ways of storing my office supplies. Pinning this for later. Thanks! :)

  6. You have such great ideas and projects on your site, Julie. This is one I can actually pull off - I'm not particulary crafty. But this one I think I can do!

    1. Do it, do it, do it! Why is it than when we are kids we try all sorts of things with no fear of messing up, but as adults we worry that we won't be able to do things. Loads of my projects are complete fails, I just undo them/bin them/hide them. If nothing else I would love to think I could encourage someone to have a go at making something. It really is so satisfying!

  7. The Beano one is my favourite! You've done a great job.


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