What you needAbout two dozen clean wooden popsicle sticks (you'll need more if you choose a larger container)
Cardboard tube container (such as those from Crystal Lite drink mixes or Pringles potato chips)
Craft paints in assorted colors (tempera or acrylic paints work well)
Small paint brushes or makeup sponges for applying the paint
Several rubber bands large enough to go around the container
Enough heavy string or ribbon to go around the container several times
One piece of paper (this will be mostly covered by the sticks, but decorative scrapbook paper or wrapping paper works well)
Strong scissors (you'll want to do the cutting for your child)
Kids just love to make presents for their parents, especially if it’s something useful that they can see them use throughout the day. It works great as a gift for birthdays or just as a nice “I love you Dad” present for his desk at home or at the office. Of course, Mom would really like one of these, too! Kids can even make a few for their own desk to hold crayons, pencils and markers. They can be decorated in any way you choose, so it’s easy to personalize them to make just the perfect gift.
- Trim the container down until it is the desired height for the pencil holder. Use a Popsicle stick as the measuring device to make sure you get it cut to the right height. Be sure to do this step for your child, since it could be too dangerous for younger children.
- Trim the piece of paper it so that it is the right size to cover the canister. Use craft glue to attach the paper, and let dry.
- Using the craft glue, start to attach the Popsicle sticks one at a time vertically around the canister. If you get to the end and find that you still have a space left that is too small for another stick, scoot the rest of the Popsicle sticks apart a little bit so that they are evenly spaced, but fill in the empty area. Make sure the Popsicle sticks are even across the bottom of the container so that it sits flat on the tabletop.
- Place a couple of rubber bands around the container to hold the Popsicle sticks in place until the glue dries.
- Remove the rubber bands after the container is dry. Use the paints to decorate however you want. An alternate method of decorating is to paint the Popsicle sticks individually before you attach them to the container. Choosing a design that Mom or Dad really likes, or using the colors of their office are good choices. If a child is making one for their own desk, adding their name in a decorative fashion is a cute idea.
- Allow the paint to dry completely to avoid smearing.
- Once the paint is dry, you can use the string or ribbon to tie one or more bows around the container for a final decorative touch.