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TUTORIAL: Fabric covered pen pots

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A fun way to repurpose all those stockpiled tin cans!

Prints used for this tutorial are designed by Pixiesandlynn.

All prints are available to shop on our website. You can upload your own design or choose from our extensive online design catalogue provided by our design community. Our designers are paid a commission on every print sold.


Follow these simple steps to make a fabric covered pen pot...


You will need:

You will need_4


-     Enough fabric to cover a tin can. (We use a Fat Quarter size 65cm x 48cm fabric piece - This should be enough to cover at least 4 cans)

-     Empty tin cans

-     Something sticky (glue, glue gun, tape, PVA glue, double sided tape etc.)  

-     PVA/clear drying glue (if following Step 6)


-     Fabric scissors or craft knife/scalpel and cutting matt

-     Pen/pencil/chalk to mark out fabric cover

-     Tape measure

-     Ruler (metal is better if you have it)

-     Tool to apply glue (paint brush, foam brush, spatula etc.)


Step 1: Prepare the tin can

If you haven’t already, make sure your tin cans are squeaky clean! To remove the labels and sticky residue, soak the cans in warm water for around half an hour.


Step 2: Measure the can

Step 2_5

The measurement for the height of the can should be exact (our measures 4 inches).

Add at least 1cm to the circumference measurement of the can to allow for a slight overlap.


Step 3: Mark measurement onto wrong side of fabric.

Step 3_8

It is really important to mark the measurement on the wrong side of the fabric as otherwise you will see the markings on your finished tin.


Step 4: Cut out the fabric for the can. 

Step 4_7

If you have one, use a craft knife and metal ruler for this so you get a perfectly straight cut line.

Focus on lining up the fabric to the bottom edge of the top rim of the can. If your fabric is slightly too long, you can fold it round the bottom of the can. 


Step 5: Apply glue to the outside of the can and wrap fabric onto can.

Step 5_5

Be careful not to get any glue on the top and bottom rims of the can. If you are worried about this, you could always cover it with masking tape or blue tack. (This is not essential, it just looks a bit nicer!)

Press down on the can to make sure the fabric is well secured.

*Side note/appreciation note - This print perfectly matched up when it was wrapped around the can! Magic print making right there!


Step 6: Leave the fabric covered can to fully dry and then apply glue to the outside of the fabric.

Adding more glue to the outside of the can strengthens the fabric covering and makes sure the fabric is secure. It is best to use PVC glue.

Please note this step is not essential if you do not have PVC/clear drying glue. 


Step 7: Leave to fully dry again, trim any frayed threads and then start filling your new pen pot!

Fill your penpots

Tags: Home decor, How to guide, Tutorial, Pen, Pencil, Step by step, Homeware, Decoration, DIY


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You missed a step...sand down any sharp bits in the can which can often be left after opening, I cut my finger just washing out a can the other day, the top rim on the inside was sharp.