I know a new pen cup isn’t a huge purchase. There are some fairly decent-looking ones on sale at the office supply store for as low as a dollar. However, when you can turn it into a DIY project and make some, why not? You may already have what you need at home.

A while ago, I made some from some old tea tins. At the time I was really into trying new teas and didn’t quite feel right putting the lovely tins into the recycle bin so I saved them for later. Most were silver and I had some copper ones as well.

Any tin will work for this as long as it’s sturdy enough to not tip over.

DIY pen cup

How to make your own

To make your own, peel off the label and wash all the residue from the glue off before decorating. I spray painted some of mine, but I can picture many different ways to decorate these such as wrapping in colourful tape, paper, twine, fabric, or ribbon. You could even have fun with glitter or stencils – be as creative as you want!

If you are wondering how to spray paint them, once your tin is clean, make sure it’s dry and sand it with steel wool or fine-grit sandpaper. It doesn’t have to be too much. Simpy scuff it a little to give the paint something to stick to. Remove any dust with a damp cloth and make sure it’s completely dry again before spraying. Make sure to follow the safety and use instructions according to your can of paint.

The spray paint should be specific to metal if using a metal can. Again, check the back of your spray can to make sure it works on the surface you’re painting.

Note on choosing colours

When I made these I had black and gold paint I needed for a few other projects. The paint cans went a long way, so I suggest if you aren’t using paint that’s leftover from another project to pick a colour you don’t mind using later to prevent waste.

I’m happy I went with more neutral colours when I made these as my home office has changed a few times since, but I’ve found a place for them each time. Since I started working from home, I organized most of my sewing, art, and craft supplies into my closet, but have kept these out paintbrushes, markers, and all.

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*Make sure to wear proper personal protective equipment and take safety precautions for all DIY projects. If you aren’t sure, please research beforehand.