With a few cardboard rolls and some yarn scraps, kids can make this handy and colourful organizer to hold pencils, pens and art supplies on a desk or dresser.
This toilet roll pencil holder (or art caddy) is a terrific craft for older kids to make. Younger kids will enjoy it too, but they may need a bit of assistance. It’s really easy and fun to make, and it will let help your kids keep their most often-used art supplies organized and right at their fingertips.
Wouldn’t this look great on a desk, along-side the woven paper plate bowls we recently made to hold trinkets and treasures?
You can find all of our easy yarn crafts here.
Handy and Portable
I made one of these organizers for my gang because there are a handful of supplies that we use every time we craft, and this convenient homemade art caddy keeps them all in one place. We just grab it out of the craft cupboard and carry it to the table, and we’re all set to get creative.
You can use any kind of cardboard tubes to make it – toilet rolls, paper towel rolls, wrapping paper tubes etc., but it’s good to put a Pringles can or a bread crumb canister in the center to stabilize the whole unit so it doesn’t tip over.
Customize the Size
The nice thing about using cardboard rolls is you can cut the sections of your organizer to any size:
- use whole toilet paper rolls to hold pens, pencils and paintbrushes
- cut them shorter to hold glue sticks and paper clips
- long paper towel rolls can hold pipe cleaners and rulers.
Wrapping and winding with yarn is a quick and easy way to make any craft look great. My kids love this kind of activity. Check out our yarn-wrapped cardboard letters, our yarn string art and our yarn and pipe cleaner trivets. If you have a large yarn stash, it’s fun to colour co-ordinate all the difference sections of your art caddy.
Alternative decorating ideas:
If you don’t have yarn, you can decorate your cardboard rolls with any of the following:
- colourful duct tape
- washi tape
Quick, Easy and Pretty
I love our pretty caddy so much! It keeps everything totally organized and handy, and it adds a fun pop of colour to a desk, craft table or dresser or kitchen counter.
- Pringles can
- toilet rolls or paper towel rolls
- glue/hot glue gun
- cereal box (or similar) for bottom pieces
Time needed: 1 hour.
How to Make a Toilet Roll Desk Organizer
- Determine your arrangement.
Play around with your arrangement of tubes, placing the largest (the Pringles can) in the center as an anchor. Do this step first so you can cut your tubes to size before you start wrapping them.
Note: I had already cut and wrapped my Pringles can before doing this.
- Wrap the cardboard rolls and Pringles can.
Cut a long length of yarn and use a bit of white glue or hot glue to stick it to the top edge of the cardboard roll. Wrap the yarn around and around, taking care not to overlap any yarn.
Watch for gaps and slide your yarn down snugly from time to time.
When you get to the top of the tube, cut the yarn and secure with another bit of glue.
- Trace and cut bottom pieces.
Before gluing your arrangement together, trace the bottom of your wrapped tubes on a piece of thin cardboard (I used a cereal box) and cut them out.
- Glue your organizer together.
Set all of your yarn-wrapped tubes up the way you’d originally planned, and glue them together by running a bead of hot glue down the side of one tube and pressing it against its neighbour.
Be sure that the bottoms of the tubes line up so it will sit evenly on a desk or table.
- Attach the bottoms.
Turn your organizer over and run a thin bead of hot glue around the bottom edge of one of the cardboard rolls. Press a cardboard circle into the glue and hold it for a few seconds while it dries.
Note: You won’t need to do this for the Pringles can obviously, as it already has a bottom on it.
- Fill your organizer.
Fill the sections of your organizer with whatever art and craft supplies you want, and enjoy!
Your kids will also love our:
- Painted Paper Mache Bowls (for holding trinkets and treasures)
- Woven Paper Plate Bowls (for holding trinkets and treasures)
- 35+ Yarn Crafts for Kids
Boredom Busters for Kids!
Print off our checklist of 100 Fun Things for Kids to Do at Home. Stick it on your fridge, and they’ll never be bored again!
Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.