So I know the holiday have just passed (hope you guys had a wonderful and relaxing time!) and you have probably done all of your gift-giving for a while, but this is a sweet little idea to bookmark for next year or an upcoming birthday: a DIY crayon holder (or pencil, pens, paintbrush holder – whatever!).
I made this one for Maya for Christmas and also gifted a few others. They were super easy and I think the result is darling!
For these particular crayon holders, my Dad gave me a hand and cut the pieces specially out of cherry wood, but you could use any 2×4 piece of wood. I think that Michael’s even sells blocks of wood like this ready for such projects.
Once you have your piece of wood, you want to sand it quite well – on all sides and edges. We did the edges with my Dad’s router, but you could use a block grain or sander. You just want to make sure it’s nice and smooth.
Now onto the holes. We wanted it to be symmetrical and played around with different options. In the end, we thought it looked best to do two lines of five.
After you have measured where you want the holes to go and marked them out on your piece of wood, it’s time to drill. My Dad has a drill press in his workshop, so we used it with a Forstner drill bit. The size of the holes are 1cm. You could also make the holes with a regular drill, but take your time to do them accurately (the nice thing about a drill press is that it always comes down perfectly vertically and really cuts the hole in a more sharp way). Another tip would be to put a piece of tape or something on your drill to know when to pull it back up and out – that way you get the same depth of hole every time.
(this particular block above is a shorter one that we experimented with)
Next up was to stain the wood. I tried out some stain cloths for the first time. Have you seen them? They come in a package and already have stain applied and you just need to rub it in. In the end, I prefer the good old method of taking stain out of the can and applying it with a brush or rag. I felt like the stain went on really strongly with the cloths and it went splotchy in some areas. If the items were larger, then I could see the cloths working well, but for small projects like this they weren’t quite right. However, it worked…
I then painted the names on with regular black acrylic paint. I drew out the letters with a pencil beforehand to make sure I spaced them properly (I inevitably always don’t get the spacing right to begin with), and then painted the letters in with a fine brush.
Maya is obsessed with dumping the crayons out, then putting them all back in again. Then repeat 4 or 5 times. So I guess not *just* a crayon holder but a skills development activity for kids too?! Sweet.
I experimented with a few different things that didn’t quite work out. My first plan was to wood burn the names in. I don’t know if I just don’t have the hang of wood burning yet, but my attempts were pretty pathetic. Perhaps burning smaller names would have worked, but trying to do something big was not great. Lame-o…
I also tried out a black sharpie. It wasn’t bad, but it did bleed a little bit. See how the lines aren’t super crisp – especially on the ‘e’ in Annie? In retrospect, I think the sharpie would’ve been fine, though, so you could totally go that route. If you have some basic woodworking tools in your house, this is definitely a very easy project. The ones I gave as gifts went over really well – so I think they will be well loved (and were also appreciated by the parents!). Hopefully this particular holder will be a fixture on Maya’s desk for many years to come. Got any favourite homemade gifts to share?