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Make your own pen holder for the desk

Functional pen holder for the (children’s) desk with magnetic sheet
Author: A. Wetzel, Adelsdorf, Bayern, Germany
Online since: 12/09/2022, Number of visits: 18935
Aside from the excitement and maybe a sweet treat on the first day of school, first graders are guaranteed to be happy about a gift that motivates them to do their homework. Admittedly, it probably makes us parents just as happy, if not more so!

I crafted little "terraced houses" as pen holders for the desk. The houses have two functional sides. They can be lined up magnetically on one side and individually labelled with chalk on another side.

Now, organising a desk is quick, easy and almost takes care of itself.

I crafted two versions, one for boys or any fan of the universe, and another for girls or anyone with a preference for lighter, brighter colours.

Craft materials needed

Note from the supermagnete team: There are almost no limits to the design and use of different materials. Whether you prefer to work with coloured magnetic sheet or self-adhesive magnetic sheet, both are possible. Design your pen holder any way you like.


All house walls are made of 2 mm thick grey chipboard and glued together with undiluted Planatol BB bookbinding glue. Adhesive residues are not a problem since the house is going to be plastered inside and out later.

Measurements for the prefabricated parts
  • 1 piece 8 x 8 cm
  • 2 pieces 8 x 13 cm for the gable walls
  • 2 pieces 7.6 x 8 cm for the side walls

Note from the supermagnete team: Instead of the bookbinding glue, you could also use our UHU MAX REPAIR adhesive.
In my project, the basic square shape of the house is 8 x 8 cm.

So I drew the roof gables starting at a height of 8 cm. You can choose any roof shape you like.

Tip: A box cutter and a metal straight-edge ruler make it easy to precisely cut the gable ends out of the grey chipboard.
As soon as the house is assembled and dry, it can be plastered. I used acrylic spray paint for the interior surfaces.

It is best to leave the spray-painted house to dry for a few days to air out any lingering odours (though you may touch it sooner than that). Afterwards, you can add your designs to the outside. I started with the gable ends and continued with the side pieces. The bottom cover was done last.
I covered the gable ends of the house by placing that side on the paper or cork and tracing it with a fine pencil. On the "non-sloping" sides, I left tapered overlaps to glue and wrap around.

I coated the gable sides with dispersion adhesive and glued the paper or cork to it.
The magnetic sheet can not be creased, so I didn’t add any overlaps there and simply glued on a correctly sized square. With the blackboard film, I did leave one overlap at the bottom.

Tip: Even though the blackboard film CB-4040 and the magnetic sheet MS-A4-STIC are self-adhesive, it is still advisable to use additional dispersion glue. That holds better, especially on surfaces that are not completely smooth or slightly textured.

Now the last thing missing is a bottom cover, e.g. made of cork, and your house will be finished. Afterwards, you can decorate, style it and add design elements to match your personal taste.

For more creative ideas visit the blog and shop of Angela Wetzel at www.schnipselschnecke.com or her Instagram account @angi_schnipselschnecke.

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