"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul." - Dieter F. Uchtdorf -

Pencil Caddy Makeover

I've had this pencil caddy for years - think I got it for about a quarter at our band garage sale.  It quietly sits there on the ledge above my computer, never complaining, just doing it's job, and getting all dusty (yes, that is indeed dust!) 
But it's not very pretty is it? 

Actually, when I first got it it had all these stickers along its sides and ends.  So you see that I was thinking about doing something to it, just hadn't gotten around to it yet.

But then . . .  I follow this crafting group called . . .
Their project for this month is toolbox/caddy type things.  So after seeing all these other cute ideas, it gave me inspiration to give my little green pencil caddy a long overdue makeover.
Check it out here.

The first step was to sand it down.  Alas, where is a sander?  When you're living in transition you don't always have what you need nearby.  My guy kindly brought me home a Black & Decker sander which really gets the job done, but my hands felt like they were about ready to fall off!!!

I didn't get rid of all the colour because that would have been pretty much impossible!  But I sure smoothed it down and got rid of all the sticker glue residue.  It looked so much better already - why didn't I at least do this much years ago?

Then I painted it - just with a craft paint called Tan (how original!).  It took two coats to completely cover the green.  On the inside I only painted the very top edge, for two reasons actually:  1) the pencils don't care what colour the inside is, and 2) I'm too lazy!
Then I sanded it again.  Some of the green still showed through but I really liked the way that looked - phew!!!

Then I stained it with a Minwax wood finish stain called Provincial.  I always love this step - the way the stain makes it look and feel so good (but not smell so good!)
Then I antiqued it - another favourite step of mine.  Next picture shows the only tube I've ever used to antique and it works great.  I put a small dollop on the newspaper and then rub a smidgen into my rag and then rub it on, lightly at first, where I want it to look aged.  (See my rubbings on the newspaper?)
Burnt Umber - you can see the tube is hardly dented - you use such a little bit. 

Then I wanted to cover up the handle because honestly, I don't really like the handle!
The thought came to me to wrap it!!!  I wanted to use a hemp type twine but all I had on hand was this string.  I don't have time to run to town for things.  So I got this much done and realized that I didn't like it so I pulled it off.  Now what to do?

I decided to wrap it in fabric.  The piece on the right is the one I used - sorry the colours aren't showing up too well.  That worked out much better - and now the handle matches . . .
. . . one of the little fabric flowers I made to decorate the front.  They are just made from a long strip of fabric rolled up and glued once in a while.  The green leaves blend with the original green paint peeking through.

And it's finished!!!  And I'm lovin' it!!!

Jenna purged our pen/pencil collection - isn't it amazing how many pens we keep that don't work?  Or is that just me?

So little pencil caddy is now back at work and doing a marvellous job!!!

Now, I look up from the computer and see something so much cuter - yay!!!  Maybe it won't even be a pencil caddy in my new house.  Wouldn't it look cute in the bathroom with wash clothes in the slots? and greenery around it? or in it?

And always the perfectionist, I'm still looking at it wondering what else I could do to make it even better.  I think I'm gonna tie some fabric on each each end of the handle - just short and knotted.  It'll hide the ends better.  I think after that it will be about perfect!!!


  1. That's a great caddy, and I'm glad you finally finished it. It was fun to see your distressing process, I have to try out the burnt umber you used. The fabric rosettes are SO cute on the front too. Nice work!

    Thanks so much for linking up this month! :)

  2. What a fun transformation! It looks so good. I love the shape of your caddy. Way to rock what you got! Love the fabric rosettes too! thanks for playing along!