The Crafty Mom: A Clever and Creative Pencil Caddy!

By Mary Lyon

Make your favorite young student a nice desk accessory for the new school year! This is a great way to use a whole bunch of those stray wooden popsicle sticks that always clutter up a kitchen drawer. Young ones can do this easily with a little help from an older friend or family member. This project takes less than one hour, and you can customize it with your favorite school colors!

What You Need
The Craft Mom

• empty toilet paper tube
• 28-30 clean popsicle sticks
• 2 pipe cleaners in colors of your choice
• scissors
• pencil
• ruler
• 1 medium-heat glue gun

What You Do

1. Trace a straight line down the length of the toilet paper tube on either side, using the pencil and ruler. Cut along each line until you’ve cut the toilet paper tube into two halves. Don’t worry if your cutting is a little off. They don’t have to be exactly matching.

2. Assemble the popsicle sticks, side by side, inside each half. You’ll need six or seven to cover each inner surface. When you have them placed so that they cover the inside surface of the toilet paper tube half, glue one popsicle stick on the outer edge in place with the glue gun. Then you can attach the other sticks, one by one, until the whole inside surface is covered. Let the glue set. Repeat for both toilet paper tube halves.

3. Now, cover the outer surface of each toilet paper tube half, starting with a popsicle stick on the edge, as in Step 2, and working over the rest of the curve. You will need one extra stick for each outside surface. Let the glue set.

4. Measure each pipe cleaner to 5-1/2 inches and cut. With your fingers, curve each end into a round hook shape. These will cover the edges of the top popsicle sticks of one of the toilet paper tubes for a nice, finished look. Drizzle some glue along the open edges, and then set the pipe cleaners in place. The hooked ends should hug the curved tips of the popsicle sticks. This will be the top half of your pencil tray.

5. Now, add a line of glue down the middle of the outer curved surface of the other toilet paper tube half (the stand). Set the top half from Step 4 on it, right in the middle. Let the glue dry. Now your pencil caddy is ready for your desk!