“Upcycling Milk Cartons into a Stylish Pencil Holder”

“Upcycling Milk Cartons into a Stylish Pencil Holder”

Upcycling Milk Cartons into a Stylish Pencil Holder


Reusing old materials in creative ways is an excellent form of sustainable living. Upcycling, the process of transforming waste products into useful items, allows us to give new life to items that would otherwise be thrown away. One great upcycling project is transforming used milk or juice cartons into a handy pencil holder. With just a few simple materials and steps, you can upcycle these common household items into a stylish organizer for your desk.

Gather Your Materials

To begin, you will need to gather a few basic materials:

  • Milk cartons – Make sure to thoroughly rinse and dry used milk or juice cartons before upcycling them. You will need one carton for a single pencil holder, or several cartons for a larger holder.

  • Scissors – Any type of scissors will work for cutting and shaping the cartons.

  • Glue – Opt for a strong glue like hot glue or super glue to firmly adhere pieces together.

  • Paint and paintbrushes (optional) – Acrylic craft paint in your desired colors can be used to decorate the pencil holder. Paintbrushes will be needed to apply the paint.

  • Decorative paper, lace, ribbon, etc. (optional) – These extra touches can personalize your pencil holder.

Preparing the Milk Carton

Once you have gathered your basic supplies, you can begin preparing the milk carton:

  1. Cut off the top of the milk carton with scissors. Be sure to leave 2-3 inches of the carton intact above where the inner seal was located.

  2. Cut or tear away the side panels of the carton. Try to keep the cut edges as even as possible. Remove any inner plastic lining as well.

  3. Cut away one side panel completely to open up the carton. Reserve this side panel to use as the base of the holder.

  4. Wash and dry the prepared carton pieces thoroughly to remove any residue.

Assembling the Pencil Holder

Next, it’s time to assemble the prepared carton pieces into a pencil holder:

  • Glue the side panel you reserved as the base onto the bottom of the box shape formed by the other carton pieces. Allow time for the glue to dry completely.

  • Glue any carton seams on the inside to reinforce the pencil holder structure. Again, let the glue dry fully before moving on.

  • Apply painter’s tape around the upper edges of the carton if you want to paint it, to protect areas where you don’t want paint.

  • (Optional) Paint the carton pieces in your desired colors using acrylic craft paint and brushes. Do multiple coats for best coverage and allow adequate drying time between coats.

  • (Optional) Add any decorative touches like wrapping paper, lace, ribbon etc. around the outside of the painted carton. Get creative with making it look stylish!

Fill and Use Your Pencil Holder

Once assembled and decorated (if desired), your upcycled milk carton pencil holder is ready to use!

  • Fill it with pencils, pens, and other small desk supplies. The rectangular carton slots are perfect for positioning writing utensils upright.

  • Place it on your desk, table, or other work area to keep supplies organized and easily accessible.

  • Customize it to match your decor by painting or adding accessories in your preferred colors and materials.

  • Make multiple holders in different sizes and shapes by upcycling additional cartons.

With a simple upcycling project, you can give used milk cartons new life as a functional and fashionable pencil holder. This sustainable craft is the perfect way to repurpose household waste!