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Crafts for Kids: DIY Desk Accessories

Updated on June 28, 2015
Ronna Pennington profile image

Ronna Pennington is a professional craft writer and a life-long crafter whose motto is "If I can hot glue it, I can do it."

Re-invent a tin can!

Homemade gifts show you care

Show your child the importance of putting time and thought into a gift by helping them make something for dear old Dad. This Personalized Pen/Pencil Caddy does not require a lot of supplies and it creates something convenient and useful for Dad. It doesn't take long to make, which means the kids can see the results of their efforts quickly. These caddies aren't just for dads! Moms, grandparents and college students will love them too!

You need:

1 empty tin can with a safe lid (we used green beans with a pull-top lid)

Acrylic craft paints


Brush on craft varnish

Large paper clip

Butterfly clip

Hot glue gun, glue stick


  1. Wash and dry the can. Paint the can the desired color. Acrylic craft paints are fine for the kiddos to use and they dry fast. Our can is a simple blue (Dad's favorite color), but feel free to paint on any designs you like.
  2. Allow the paint to dry completely, then brush on clear craft varnish. This helps protect the paint from scratching and provides a light sheen as well. Allow the varnish to dry thoroughly.
  3. Decide where you want to glue your clips. We glued the butterfly clip near the base on the front of the can. Here's where the adult's work comes in. Apply hot glue directly to the can, then press the butterfly clip in place. Be careful not to burn yourself! A dollop of hot glue on the back side of the caddy will hold the paper clip. Glue the clip near the top of the can so any notes will extend above it and be easily seen. Be sure to glue the clip side up. If the paper clip is upside down, it isn't usable.
  4. Slide a favorite photo into the butterfly clip and fill the caddy with pens and pencils, and your personalized pen/pencil caddy is finished!

Helpful hints:

Don't paint the bottom of the can. If you just brush on paint to the bottom edge, you won't have to worry about the paint sticking to a surface as it dries.

Use caution when working with hot glue.

If you don't like your clip placement, just pull it off and paint over any peeled paint that may result.

Paint the can in small sections, turning as you go. By the time you work your way around the can, the paint is already starting to dry.

Substitute another large paper clip for the butterfly clip tha

What about you?

Do you like helping children make gifts to give?

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    • ThatMommyBlogger profile image

      Missy 2 years ago from The Midwest

      Cute idea. I might really make this with my kids.