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Crafts for Kids

Nautical Pencil Holders

These rope covered pencil holders will look great in Dad's office or home office.

Materials Needed:

  • Small cylindrical plastic or metal container. The example used crystal light plastic containers. You could also use a frosting container or a soup can (but be sure there is no sharp edge remaining if you use a metal container.)
  • Heavy washer that will fit inside the container.
  • 4-ply rope or any rope that gives you the look you desire.
  • Hot or low melt glue gun.

NOTE: If using a hot melt glue gun use great care not to press on the glue as you're pushing down the rope. This project is best for older children who can safely work supervised with hot or low melt glue. My 4½ year old needed a lot of assistance. He was able to pull the rope taut and rotate the container, but I did not allow him to press on the rope when the glue was hot.

  1. Practice wrapping rope around the container before you use glue to get a feel for how tight you will need to be working. Pull enough rope off your roll so you aren't unraveling rope as you go.

  2. Make a flat, small, tight spiral about the size of a silver dollar out of rope to start. Add a generous amount of glue to the middle bottom of the container and stick the spiral on. Be care full not to press to hard on the rope - you don't want hot glue moving to the side of the rope and burning your fingers. Enlarge the spiral to cover the entire bottom of the container by adding more glue and pressing the rope down onto it.

  3. Once you have reached the sides add glue in a zig-zag pattern across the direction of where the rope will lie. Your zig-zag should be wide enough for about three widths of rope. Place glue about 1/3 the way around then stretch the rope out and rotate the container so the rope wraps around it. This is enough pressure to make the rope stick, but reduces the amount you need to press on the rope and potentially burn yourself. Rotate the container, place glue another 1/3 way around and press down more rope. After gluing and placing the last 1/3 you can then continue to wrap and glue two more rows. If you find you work quickly made your zig-zag wider. If you find the glue is hardening before you get to the last row make your zig-zag narrower.

  4. Repeat step 3 until you have reached the top rim of the container. Add one more row of rope at the top to completely cover the rim. For this row you will need to add a thin strip of glue to the side of the rope row below and press down carefully with your fingers.

  5. Cut the rope and twist the frayed end tight and glue down.

  6. If desired glue a brass or pewter trinket like an anchor or the letters DAD to the side of the container. (Not pictured.)

  7. Drop some glue to the inside bottom of the container and stick in a washer. Adding this weight to the bottom will prevent the light plastic containers from toppling over when heavier items like scissors are stored in the holder.

    Do you have an idea for another Project of the Month for our Crafts for Kids Cubby? We'd love to hear from you. Email our moderators with your suggestions!

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