Upcycled Project: Magnetic Tin Pen Holder

diy pen holder

Whenever you can recycle something to make something pretty and useful out of it, it's a win-win.

When I saw these pretty container magnets made out of tea or candy tins by simply adding a magnet on the back, I had an idea: why not upcycle a little can to make a pen or pencil holder for the fridge?

Here is my step-by-step guide to make a pretty pen-holder out of a tin can:

You will need these supplies:



  • Small tin can (I used a tomato paste can)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Pencil
  • Magnets (possibly with sticker backing)
  • Ribbon or fabric
  • Scrapbooking paper or other paper
  • Double-stick tape
  • Ruler

Tin Can With Magnet Tutorial:

  1. Rip off the tin can label. I didn't bother to remove all of the glue under the label because it's going to be covered with the scrapbook paper anyway.
  2. Measure the height of the can and mark the scrapbooking paper, then cut it to fit. My paper was the perfect size already – it even had the perfect size gap in paper for my magnet! I like the thickness of the scrapbooking paper but you could also use thinner paper or cut a piece out of a magazine. Just be aware that thinner paper would probably show the ripples of the can and wouldn't be as durable.
  3. Take the double-stick tape and place strips along the back-side of your paper along the edges and through the middle. This is a quick and easy way to execute this project. Another option, that takes a bit longer is to use Modge Podge which would take longer to dry, but may result in your paper sticking for a longer period of time.                
  4. Now, cut the magnet to size to fit the back of the can and if it has it's own ahesive strip, simply press it onto the can, but you may need to use an additional adhesive such as the glue-all or a glue gun if your magnet doesn't come with it's own adhesive strip.  Additionally, make sure that the magnet you use is pretty thick because it has to carry the weight of the can as well as the pens and/or pencils you'll put into them.
  5. Then trim your ribbon of choice to fit around the can on the top (and bottom if you choose). I decided on this lacy ribbon because it complemented the shabby chic paper I chose.  
  6. Glue down the ribbon using the glue-all, let it dry, and you're done!


You could add other embellishments on the paper like stickers or buttons, or seal it with Mod Podge if you are worried that the paper could get stained with use or to simply embellish the design even further. This particular project is an easy one to fit to your personal tastes as well as home decor.  I combined my DIY pen-holder with a notepad for a new message center on our fridge. and now there's no longer a search for pen and paper!

Would you create this upcycle project for your own home? How might you personalize it for your needs?

Images via Dagmar Bleasdale

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Upcycled Project: Magnetic Tin Pen Holder

Dagmar tackles motherhood, thrifty home decorating, DIY projects, and green and frugal living on her lifestyle blog Dagmar's Home. She loves finding treasures in thrift stores and sells her handmade candles on Dagmar's Home Decor. Connect with her on Twitter (26,000 followers), Facebook, and Pinterest. ... More

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  1. Profile photo of Jeanetta Jeanetta says:

    Great DIY project to try…

  2. its easy and cute. think ill make one for my bulletin board.


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