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How to Make the Cutest Pen Holders with Washi Tape

You know how guys love to wander through a hardware store, Home Depot or Lowe’s? They went for a pack of screws and came home with a new drill, a socket~thingy, and some tool that they can’t explain why they need it. Well, I bet you DIYers and crafters and home decor and organization lovers do the same thing, just in a different type of store.  If you are like me, we can stroll through the craft stores, up and down the aisles, discovering new products and tools we didn’t know existed. It’s as good as spending hours as Barnes & Noble trolling the fiction aisles. That’s how I discovered washi tape last year. I was looking for skinny ribbon to use as trim for a dress I was making for granddaughter #1. On an endcap, I spied what I thought was the cutest ribbon, only to discover it was tape. And there was so much of it in the prettiest patterns and colors: stripes and dots and chevron and zigzags. I had no idea what to do with it (I asked at check~out what it was called and the cashier acted like I was the last person on earth to have heard of washi tape ~ maybe I was.), but I was smitten and brought several rolls ~ and I haven’t stopped since. Whenever I have a minute at the craft store (I have to confess that I have 3 craft stores ~ their names start with H and J and M ~ within 15 minutes of my house; kinda spoiled.), I have to check if there are some new patterns of washi tape available. That’s why I had about 20 rolls of washi tape (only 20? you ask incredulously) on hand for this little project in my new office. So here is how to make the cutest pen holders with washi tape.

How to Make the Cutest Pen Holders with Washi Tape

This project is so easy I’m almost embarrassed to show it, but I love the result. It all started Christmas 2015 when I was packing away all those battery~operated Christmas lights that I had discovered at Target (another store to troll and stroll). I promise I won’t go on and on about how much BOL’s changed my life. Sorry, went off on a tangent there about how much I love BOL’s. Anyway, the BOL’s come in clear, plastic cylinders. I thought, surely there is something that those can be used for, so I kept them. (Sweet Shark couldn’t understand why I was keeping a dozen plastic containers, but that was a year ago. He’s learned now just to smile and not ask.)

Last summer I decided to make something useful with one of the plastic containers and a free sippy cut from Haven. I had some colored markers, a roll of Cricut vinyl (I didn’t have a Cricut then, but I had purchased a roll of vinyl to cover a journal.) and some skinny ribbon and made this pen holder. I used the Cricut vinyl and some of that cute skinny ribbon. You can see the complete DIY post on that project here.

How to Make the Cutest Pen Holders with Washi Tape

Here’s the first pen holder I made last year for dry erase pens with the plastic containers.

How to Make the Cutest Pen Holders with Washi Tape

Now in the new office, I had room to organize my pens and markers and pencils. Of course, I was going to use all those plastic containers. Here’s what they looked like as plain~Jane, wallflowers.

How to Make the Cutest Pen Holders with Washi Tape

Now they are the prettiest, cutest pen and marker holders, the belle of the ball and their dance card is full.

How to Make the Cutest Pen Holders with Washi Tape

Now if you don’t have empty plastic containers that you saved from the BOL’s that you absolutely love, any glass or ceramic container will work.


Cricut, Silhouette or other vinyl paper with backing
rotary cutter
washi tape in colors, patterns of choice

How to Make the Cutest Pen Holders with Washi Tape

Measure the circumference of your container plus an extra 1/4 inch. (9 1/2 inches for this container) Decide how wide you want your vinyl band to be. (I decided 2 inches.) Line up your ruler as a straight edge, use the rotary cutter to cut the lengths and widths you need.

How to Make the Cutest Pen Holders with Washi Tape

Starting at the “back” of your container, slowly pull the backing off as you wrap the vinyl around the container, stretching a little to keep the air bubbles out. If the vinyl doesn’t line up exactly on the back, that’s O.K.

How to Make the Cutest Pen Holders with Washi Tape

Wrap the washi tape around the top and bottom of the vinyl band, overlapping as much or as little as you want holding it just I did the ribbon in the photo above.  Make sure the tape is as straight around as possible, adjusting as you go. Cut off the tape from the roll. Use your fingernail to smooth out any air bubbles or creases.

How to Make the Cutest Pen Holders with Washi Tape

That’s it. So simple, but big impact. The vinyl and washi tape gave what was a plain container a snazzy, cool, and cohesive look. Aren’t they cute? I used 7 different patterns of washi tape, all in shades of teal, pink, and gold and only repeated 1 pattern. The 8 containers took me about 45 minutes. The hardest part is separating the vinyl from the backing; use your fingernail to get in between. Sometimes the vinyl wraps around straight and smooth easily and other times you have to work at it. Go figure. But now you know how to make the cutest pen holders with washi tape.

How to Make the Cutest Pen Holders with Washi Tape

Some washi tape has a backing you peel away and some don’t. Some stick better than others. I haven’t discovered the reason for that yet.

If you missed last week’s posts about organizing a small office you can see it here  and if you would like to see another easy and inexpensive DIY I did for my office here is How to Make a Gold Polka~Dot Planter for Under $10.

I’ve got a bunch of ideas for more projects with the washi tape. I wish the cashier at the craft store could see me now. I bet she’s not rolling her eyes anymore.

Have fun and tape away.

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  1. I bought one roll of washi tape a long time ago and have yet to use it. Maybe the secret is getting several rolls so I have a mix and match craft.

    1. Jenn, that’s probably a good idea. You can shop by patterns and colors that you are attracted to before you even have a project in mind. That’s what I did. If you love the pattern, any project you make will be great.

  2. These are fun, look easy and fast and really nice on your shelves. I’m in love with battery operated lights but all mine seem to have come in those awful hard-shell bubble plastic that kills your hands when you open them! Or a box! Next year it’s Target!

    I do love washi and have more than my share of it. And when I see a good deal on something I like, I’ll grab more, no matter what!

  3. I’ve made something similar before, but mined never turned out as pretty as yours. They are wonderful for a home office or craft room. Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned!

    1. Thank you Teresa. I really appreciate your visiting Bluesky Kitchen, your commenting and hosting your link party. I’ll be back.

  4. That cute little makeover made a big difference! I’ve used washi tape once to cover an aluminium can that holds my pens and pencils. Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story, have a great weekend.

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