DIY Pencil Vases

DIY Back to School Pencil Vase

Last year my son’s teachers asked for a pack of pre-sharpened pencils. Instead of just giving them a box of pencils, I wanted to give his teachers something prettier than a box of pencils. When I found a colorful package of pencils, I knew I was on to something. After some  sharpening pencils it was time to get creative.


(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)


Remove the label and clean your recycled glass bottle. Dry it thoroughly. Apply double-stick tape to the top and bottom edges of your bottle.

Lay one pencil onto the bottle vertically. Press it against the tape for a temporary hold.

Continue adding pencils around the bottle. At about 1/3 – 1/2 coverage, slip a rubber band around the middle of the bottle over the pencils. This will help hold the pencils in place.

Continue adding pencils until the bottle is completely covered.

Choose a coordinating washi tape and tape one end of the pencil stack.

Press the tape firmly against the pencils and repeat along the bottom edge of the pencils.

Remove the rubber band.

Fill the bottle with water and add some flowers.

Deliver this beautiful DIY Back to School Pencil Vase to the recipient.

You might have to convince them it’s okay to remove pencils as needed.

Either way they look cute on the desk for a while.

Here’s a video tutorial to show you how easy it is to make the back to school pencil vases:

Like this idea? Pin it for future reference (and to share the love):

DIY Pencil Vases

If you liked this idea, you’ll love some of these other teacher appreciation ideas:

Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas Series | Pretty Handy Girl


Pressed faux flowers behind glassPressed Faux Flowers

Hello, Pretty Handy Girl friends!  Julie from love my simple home here, with a new DIY project!  Pressed faux flowers behind glass is quick and easy to make. You’ll end up with a beautiful piece of leaning art that you can display on a shelf in your home.


  • Faux Silk Flowers
  • Glass from two picture frames in different sizes
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Craft Glue


  1.  Choose two different size picture frames (they can be any size you want.)  Make sure they will fit on your shelf.  I used one 5″ x 7″ and one 8″ x 10″.

Materials for Pressed faux flowers behind glass

Remove the back and the glass from your picture frames.

2.  Select the flowers of your choice. Pull the blooms off the plastic stems.

Pressed faux flowers behind glass

3.  Cut the plastic stems from the flowers. Use your scissors for this task.


4.  Arrange the flowers any way you like on top of the larger piece of glass.  When you like what you see, add a dab of craft glue to the back of each flower and gently press onto the glass.

6. Place the smaller piece of glass on top of your lovely flower arrangement.  Grab your trusty hot glue gun and put a dab of glue on the four corners of the smaller glass piece.

7.  Flip the glass, then lay the glass down over the flowers. The glass should be centered on the large piece of glass. Gently push down on the four corners and hold it in place for about 30 seconds or more until the glue adheres to the glass.   After the top piece of glass is in place, the flowers will lay flat pressed between the two pieces of glass.

Pressed faux flowers behind glass

Pressed faux flowers behind glass

That’s it, you now have a beautiful piece of leaning art you can display on a shelf in your home.

Pressed faux flowers behind glass

I hope you enjoyed this quick and easy DIY art idea.

Be sure to check out my other tutorials here at Pretty Handy Girl and over on my website love my simple home.

20 clever diy upcycled vases social media image

20 Clever DIY Upcycled Vases

Vases are beautiful and one of those home decor items that can be used in many different ways. They can sit empty on a shelf adding to the style of the room, hold beautiful flower arrangements, or be given as loving gifts.  These clever upcycled vases show only a few creative ways you can make a vase from items you already own, can be found in your recycling bin, or at local yard sales. I hope one of these many ideas inspire you to think outside the bottle ;-).

DIY aluminum sheet metal vase

Can you believe this DIY Sheet Metal Vase is made from a decorative aluminum sheet found at your local hardware or craft store?


test tube wall mounted vase

These DIY Wall-Mounted Test Tube vases look really cute on the wall and can be used in any room.


Make these sweet personalized gifts by wrapping Pounded Flower Artwork around a jar. It would make a great gift!


Simply slip a Mason Jar into a Boot to create this fun and quirky vase.


Practice your soldering skills to create this unique and pretty Copper Pipe Flower holder.


Decorate lattice and add some privacy to your yard with these gorgeous Glass Jar and Copper Wire vases.


No power tools? No problem! Create this gorgeous Produce Crate Centerpiece to hold your flowers using only hand tools.


Create this Outdoor Patio Living Flower Centerpiece vase using PVC pipe and decorative tin.


Check your recycle bin for bottles and make these Frosted Glass Vases for your springtime flowers or to give as a pretty gift.


Use some beautiful pieces of tree bark to make these beautiful Rustic Birch Bark Vases that can be used year-round.


Make this functional and pretty Reclaimed Wood Hook and Vase to decorate your entryway.


These Simple Bright Colored Vases can be made using recyclables, some paint and tape, and look absolutely gorgeous holding a variety of flowers.


Beautiful Simple Springtime Flower Striped Vases are created just using some decorative washi tape. They make great gifts!


You’ll just need a couple supplies to create beautiful Spray Painted Glass Jars and Bottles.


Use some small glass bottles to make these pretty Hanging Beaded Glass Flower Vases to hang near a window.


Paint some jars, fill them with flowers and show your teachers some love any day of the year with these Painted Vases.


Would you believe you can turn a soap dispenser into a vase like this unique Mother-of-Pearl flower vase.


Use old milk bottles to create these modern DIY Glass-Etched Vases.


Turn an old glass bottle into this fun textured Faux Stone Vase. 


Still have some recycled bottles left? Make these super simple (but super elegant) Gold Leaf Bottle Vases to display or give as gifts.

What do you think? I hope these 20 DIY Upcycled Vases collection inspired you to use something old to make something new and beautiful. All of these make great home decor items or gifts to others to show how much you appreciate them. Enjoy, and get out there and create something!

If you liked this collection, please pin this image to Pinterest:

20 clever diy upcycled vases pinterest image

Happy upcycling.

~Read more of Sheri’s posts~


Other posts you may like:

12 Inexpensive Ways to Decorate Your Bathroomways to decorate your bathroom

Decorating Ideas for an Outdoor Garden Partygarden outdoor party ideas


Pin for later!

Clever DIY Upcycled Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

This bread and cheese board makes a great gift, and is simple to make!

This bread and cheese board is simple to make, but looks like it cost a fortune! Perfect for entertaining!DIY Bread and Cheese Board

Hi there, Pretty Handy Girl readers! I’m Vineta from The Handyman’s Daughter, back with another tutorial for you! This bread and cheese board was a gift to my mom for Christmas, and she absolutely loved it! The marble inlay is perfect for keeping cheese cool, and the walnut cutting surface contrasts beautifully against the white marble.

I was nervous cutting into this gorgeous walnut piece. I decided to wait until my dad, The Handyman himself, visited for Christmas. The whole process was actually quite simple, and we finished just in time to put the present under the tree!


(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)


Start by cutting a piece of marble tile to your desired size. (Mine was already 2″ x 18″, so I just sanded down the cut edges to remove any bumps from the tile saw.)

Next, cut your walnut to the length of the tile. Make sure the ends are square before proceeding.

Cut the ends of your cheese board to the length of your marble piece.

Run your walnut through the table saw to make sure is square. (The dado blade was already in place, so my dad just used the blade closest to the fence to make the cut.)

Clean up the edges of the board on the table saw.

Using a 1/8″ roundover bit in your router, remove the hard corners from each side.

Round over the edges of the cheese board with a 1/8" roundover bit on the router.

Determine where you want the marble to go in your finished piece. (I wanted my marble stripe to be asymmetrical, so I placed it 2″ from the edge.)

Determine the placement of the marble on the cheese board.

Mark the width and depth of the marble tile on the end grain of your walnut.

Mark the cut for the marble insert on the edge of the board.

Set the depth of the dado blades on the table saw to the same depth as the marble. Line up the edge of the blade with your markings, then make the cut. Repeat the cut until you reach the mark for the other side.

Cut the groove for the marble with a dado blade in the table saw.

Test the fit of your marble tile inside the groove. There should be a tiny bit of room on either side to allow for wood movement. If the marble rocks when you press down on one side, you can clean up the bottom of the groove with a straight router bit.

We soon realized that the corner of the marble was sharp, while the rest of the cutting board edge was curved. Luckily, marble is very soft, so we were able to round over the corner with 80 grit sandpaper.

Sand the edges of the marble to match the curve of the routed edge.

Sand your cutting board with progressively finer grits of sandpaper. Be careful not to round over the edges of the groove.

Give the surface of the wood an initial coat of mineral oil or cutting board wax. This will prevent the silicone from seeping into the grain. (Isn’t it amazing how the wood comes alive as it soaks up oil?)

Add mineral oil or cutting board wax to the board before adding the marble inlay.

Tape off the edges of the groove with painter’s tape. Then apply a line of silicone along the perimeter. Check the label to make sure it’s food safe 100% Silicone.

Add 100% silicone to the groove to adhere the marble.

Cover the top of the marble with painter’s tape, then lay it in the groove. Run another bead of silicone in the gap between the marble and the wood, and run your finger along the seam. This will prevent crumbs from getting into the cracks, while also allowing for wood movement. Let the silicone set for at least 24 hours before use.

Seal the seam between the marble and wood with more silicone.

Remove the painter’s tape and clean up any silicone that might have squeezed out with a razor blade. Then give it another coat of mineral oil and it’s ready to use!

This bread and cheese board with marble inlay is perfect for serving party appetizers!

This bread and cheese board makes a great gift, and is simple to make!

We put the bread and cheese board to work right away serving appetizers on Christmas Day!

This bread and cheese board is multi-functional! Cut bread on the wood section, and cheese on the marble! Pair with grapes for the perfect appetizer display!

I plan to make a few more of these to give as gifts in the future. It’s such a simple project that’s sure to impress!

If you loved this project, check out my other woodworking projects over at The Handyman’s Daughter!

~ view more of Vineta’s projects ~

Liked this tutorial? You may also like this DIY Wood Cutting Board:

31 last minute gift basket ideas social media images

I’m sure you are feeling that crunch to get gifts for those last people on your list. Or maybe your cousin you haven’t seen in years is suddenly coming for a visit. I get it, there’s nothing worse than feeling the pressure to purchase last minute gifts for people. Today I’d like to ease your burden and offer you 31 Last Minute DIY Gift Basket Ideas. The best part about this collection is that they can be tailored to even the most quirky and unique people in your life! Most of these ideas only take half an hour to make and you may even have many of the supplies on hand. Oftentimes the supplies for a DIY Gift Basket are no further than your scrap wood pile or a quick trip to the local hardware store.

Gift baskets can take many forms. They can be a crate, a basket, a tray, or anything that holds things can become a gift basket. I love giving gift baskets because you can use the “basket” long after the contents have been used or consumed. Plus, they don’t require gift wrapping!

Gift Caddies:

One of my favorite caddies was made out of an old wooden box and a branch. Once painted and distressed, this Branch-Handled Rustic Caddy would look adorable filled with seed packets, gloves, garden sheers, twine and a trowel! But, that’s just my idea, fill it with anything you want.


This multi-functional caddy has nice clean lines and would thrill anyone after they remove all the gifts. How fun would it be to fill this caddy with a bottle of wine, some crackers, cheeses, and other munchies.
How to build an easy scrap wood multiuse caddy

How impressive would it be to buy a vintage toolbox caddy and fill it with lots of little gifts? This gift idea requires no building, crafting or sewing, making it a snap to assemble.
Get organized before the school year creeps up on you. This toolbox homework caddy will help your kids find everything they need. | Toolbox Homework Caddy

Sometimes you have a few smaller items to gift, and don’t want to use a large basket. In that case, this pint-sized picket fence caddy would make an adorable gift basket.

I’ve seen a lot of beer caddies in stores that look flimsy, but this custom built caddy will definitely hold a six pack of micro-brews without sweat. Add a wall-mount bottle opener and you have the perfect gift for that guy or girl on your list that loves a good brew.

DIY Tool Tote Gift Idea | Pretty Handy Girl

Can you name one person who wouldn’t appreciate getting a DIY Cupcake Tray Caddy filled with cupcakes? Neither can I, so get working on this cute project and use it for a gift basket this holiday season.

DIY Cupcake Tray Carrier


Gift Crates:

The only difference between a caddy and a crate is the lack of a handle, although a few of these crates have rope or ribbon handles on the sides.

I get it, some of you haven’t broken out the power tools yet (but if you want to learn, I have an entire library of power tool tutorials.) In that case, feel free to Build this Rustic Crate using no power tools! None, nada, zilch. And you can still create a beautiful custom crate to fill with gifts (or flowers.)

How to Build a Rustic Crate Centerpiece (No Power Tools Needed!) | Pretty Handy Girl

Creating your own DIY Rustic Wood Box Crate is a great way to custom build a larger gift container for gifting bigger items (think pillows, throw blankets, or a plant.) When the gift has been opened, your recipient can use it for storage. For fun, you could add to the character and charm, by attaching some rusty hinges or odds and ends you’ve been hoarding.

How to Build Custom Rustic Box Crates | Pretty Handy Girl

Forced bulbs are a beautiful and thoughtful gift for the holidays. Why not gift them in a unique White-Washed Wine Crate?

I love repurposing driftwood. A few years ago I collected lots of driftwood from my favorite beach and kept it in my workshop until I came up with this fun Driftwood Gift Crate idea.

Make a Driftwood Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

You can’t get a more simple gift crate than this! To “make” this Rustic Wine Crate, ask you local wine shop or Costco if you can have their extra wine crates? Stain the outside, drill a hole for rope handles and fill this crate up with some gifts.

Easy Rustic Wine Crate Box

Gift Trays:

Trays are one of my favorite bases for a gift basket. You don’t have to add a lot to make it look full. And trays are perfect for use anywhere in your house. They help corral items to keep things looking neat and organized. If you worry about items falling off, use double stick glue dots or cellophane to keep the items secured onto the tray.

In the spirit of all things shiny, you can make these simple sheet metal trays to hold anything you want to give to a friend or family member. Plus, you can use up your scraps of wood in the process!

DIY Sheet Metal Trays

I love a customizable project that allows you to Build a Tray or Gift Box to the size you want. These cute little gift trays can hold anything you want them to. Simply gather your gifts and measure the size you want to make the box. The tall and skinny one works well with just a bottle of wine inside!

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

If you’ve taken on a room renovation, you may have loads of scrap moulding laying around. Why not use those scraps to make adorable Scrap Moulding Trays. These little trays provide many uses: from organizing desk items to corralling hair products. You’ll surely find something special to add to this gift tray.

DIY Scrap Moulding Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

One of the easiest trays to make is this DIY Bathtub Tray. Think about how nice it would look if you tied beautiful towels, soaps and a bath bomb to the surface! Makes for an instant spa-themed gift basket.

Rustic Wood Bathtub Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Building a tray is a simple idea, but you can elevate the gift by creating a DIY Cut Out Tray with the recipient’s name on it. Talk about being the “talk of the season” when you deliver this beauty with baked goodies on top.

What to do with all those scraps of pallet wood you harvested? How about a Rustic Scalloped Pallet Wood tray to serve as a gift platter?

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

This City Pride Rustic Tray is an easy DIY project using scrap wood and upholstery tacks. As a bonus, I’ve included my source for making free watercolor prints of your favorite city. How cool would it be to gift someone with this map tray filled with local goodies?

City Map Rustic Tray

If you are scared of the power tools, this Painted Scrapbook Paper Tray can be made using a few items from your craft store. Purchase an unfinished tray, paint it, and get crafty. Then fill it with thank you cards, cookies, or anything your gift recipient might like.

Autumn Mantle Décor and Vignettes | Pretty Handy Girl

What could be better than a fun upcycled gift idea? Make a tray out of an old cabinet door and then load it up with baked goodies.

Make a Cabinet Door Tray


Gift Bins, Pails, and Baskets:

These round vessels can be extremely inexpensive options for gift baskets. Hunt your local thrift store, dollar store, or the hardware store for a bin or pail to use as a gift basket.

Dollar Store pails and buckets are one of my favorite vessels to use for gift baskets. For the holidays, I like to tuck an inexpensive scarf inside to line the bucket and then fill it with chocolates, hot cocoa mix, and a Dollar Store mug. These are the perfect Instant Warm & Cozy Gift Baskets for last minute gifts.

What busy Mom doesn’t deserve a spa day? Why not create this Aged Painted Pail Gift Basket and fill it with some indulgent bath salts and treats. You’ll love my frugal idea for making the fabric liner. I bet you’ll never guess what I used!

So you have a golf lover on your list?! You can’t go wrong with this Golf Gift Basket. Don’t stress about buying all the golf balls. Read my blog post to learn my secret to making the basket look full and not spending a ton on golf balls.


A homeowner will always find good use for this Hostess Gift Basket in a Chalkboard Pail. Especially when you tuck a Lowe’s Gift Card into the basket. Include some scented soaps and candles to freshen their home for the holidays.

Paint Can Hostess Gift Idea | Pretty Handy Girl

Who says laundry isn’t fun? This Laundry Fun Gift Basket is also the perfect gift for that person who is moving into a new house or apartment (or the new college student.) Sew a basket liner and fill it with DIY Laundry Detergent and more. (Bonus, you will save them loads of money when they learn they can make their own DIY Laundry Detergent.)

Laundry Gift Basket - Perfect for a College Student or new Home Owner


Creative Gift Containers:

Remember when I said anything that can hold items can be a gift basket? Well here’s the proof. Tuck a gift card inside a mug, glass, or jar with some snacks and you have an instant gift basket!

This is a gift idea I threw together for my sons’ teachers one year. Make some Lemon Zest popcorn and throw a movie theater gift card (wrapped in plastic) in the center of a mason jar mug. Then fill popcorn around the card.  The teachers raved about this gift idea.

Lemon Zest Popcorn {Gift Idea} | Pretty Handy Girl

Who wouldn’t love this DIY gift idea: Hot Cocoa in a Jar. It can be incredibly fun to line up a bunch of mason jars and fill them with hot cocoa mix and top it with a bow. Even the kids can help make this gift idea.

Hot Cocoa Mix in a Jar

Coffee lovers will flip for this idea! Sew a draw string pouch and include coffee and an insulated cup inside to make a super simple Coffee Lover’s Gift Idea

Coffee Lover's DIY Gift Idea

These Custom Etched Glasses are gift enough on their own, but if you wanted to use them as a gift, personalize one and fill it with a gift card and some sweets for your special gift recipient. Or make one for a teacher and fill it with pencils, pens, and a gift card to an office supply store.

Custom Etched Glasses

These chalkboard painted mugs are right on trend with the chalkboard craze. Fill them with some hot cocoa, coffee, or a gift card to Starbucks and you are done.

Chalkboard Painted Mugs

Okay, I get it, sometimes purchasing a gift card is the simplest solution for that hard to buy for friend. Why not hide the gift card in a super secretive book with hidden storage? Tuck the gift card inside and watch your friend’s reaction as they open your gift.

Book with Hidden Storage | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you have any creative DIY gift basket ideas? I’d love to hear them in the comments below. Hope you have a Happy Holiday!

Love these ideas? Be sure to pin this image for reference throughout the year!

31 last minute gift basket ideas pinterest images


You’ll also love these DIY Gift Ideas:

35 Upcycled Gift Ideas

35 Upcycled Gift Ideas | Pretty Handy Girl


50+ DIY Gift Ideas

50+ DIY Gift Ideas