Upcycled Montessori-Style Crayon Holder

This tutorial for a Montessori-Style Crayon Holder continues to be one of the most popular guest-posts to ever publish on Somewhat Simple. Originally featured in August of 2010, I decided to re-share this creation from Mom’s Crafty Space for those of you who are newer readers and didn’t get to see it the first time around. Here is Heidi with the fabulous tutorial:
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One of my favorite things in the Montessori classroom is the way they set out their art materials as though they are something to be treasured and displayed. The colored pencils are organized into matching colored holders, and I’ve always wanted a set of my own (but not for $75!). Truth be told, my boys will use colored pencils and markers any day of the week, but crayons seem to always get passed over in favor of practically any other medium. Those poor, poor crayons needed some love and respect around here. I thought that maybe if I set out the crayons in a pretty display that the boys would be more apt to use them on a regular basis – and I was right!

1. While packing school lunches one evening, I realized that these fruit cups would be the perfect size for crayon holders. So, instead of being patient and waiting for a bunch of empty cups at the end of the week, I started opening and dumping seven containers of fruit into a big Tupperware for storage – hey, they can always be re-portioned into little Tupperware containers for lunches – I’ve got to get moving on this inspiration!

2. If you’re lucky enough to have a rainbow of spray paint, it would really come in handy right about now. I only had about half the rainbow, so after removing the labels, I used acrylic paint to give each can three coats of paint followed by two coats of glossy varnish to seal it. Mitch rummaged up a piece of scrap 1×3 for me, and I made use of my white spray paint to give it a quick coat.

3. Mitch screwed each can to the piece of wood for me (thank you!), because I’m not quite as handy with the drill as he is.

Now it’s time to add the crayons!

The boys are lovingcrayons these days – yippee! I’ve been able to leave them sitting out on their art table for over two weeks now without a single spill or crayon mess mishap…though you might find yourself getting into serious in-depth discussions with your three-year-old over whether aquamarine belongs in the green or the blue container :)


 To see even more of Heidi’s awesome ideas (she is probably the coolest mom on the block!) visit her blog full of fun ideas- Mom’s Crafty Space


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  1. Madigan at madiganmade says:

    I love this! What a fun way to display and organize.

  2. Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys says:

    That's great! I might have to try that in my boys' playroom which I am remodeling right now. Thank you for featuring it since I missed it on the linky party.

  3. greenbean says:

    omg!…this rocks!…and it's perfect for things other than crayons!…i'm thinking for all my prima flowers!…

  4. staci @ lizard n ladybug says:

    love this! It's just so pretty!! (and simple)
    I made something similar for markers (for a back to school party).

  5. I just love that. It makes art time even more appealing.

  6. Super cool idea!

  7. These are gorgeous!

  8. a very cool idea!

  9. so cute, I want to make one!

  10. Wendy@project-create.blogspot.com says:

    This is so Great. I am definetly doing this one for my class at church!

  11. Elizabeth says:

    I love it! I would love to make one for my JK classroom – kids are in perpetual search of their favourite colour when they're all lumped together! Thanks for posting!

  12. Elizabeth says:

    I love it! I would love to make one for my JK classroom – kids are in perpetual search of their favourite colour when they're all lumped together! Thanks for posting!

  13. Elizabeth says:

    I love it! I would love to make one for my JK classroom – kids are in perpetual search of their favourite colour when they're all lumped together! Thanks for posting!

  14. GREAT idea! love the repurposing and organization aspect!

  15. What a great idea! :)

  16. Thank you SO much for the feature! I'm glad that everyone likes the idea. It was fun to make, keeps things organized and best of all is pretty to look at! :)

  17. That looks fantstic! What a great idea!

  18. Jocelyn Christensen says:

    So awesome!

  19. JOYfilled Family says:

    wonderful! i may give this a try in the next couple of weeks. i'm adding the fruit tins to my shopping list right now.

  20. Makalani Adolpho, PLC says:

    I love how this is so colorful and organized.


  21. I want this for me :)
    Thanks for sharing!! Off to browse around your blog some more!!


  22. Jean @ Quilted Cupcake says:

    I love this. So colorful and fun. I agree – might have to make this just for me! :) Thanks for sharing.

  23. Chez Zizi says:

    Very cool, I think I want to try and make one for my classroom/ Thanks and what a great site you have here.

  24. Ooo! That's cute! I'm doing a version of it for my kiddos! Thanks!

  25. Candy (Mama Lion) says:

    omg talk about thinking out of the box! this looks gorgeous. amazing job.

  26. I have to do this for my grandchildren.

  27. How cute. What a great way to get some more use out of those crayons. We seem to always have to buy new crayons because no one wants to dig through the box to find the color they want. At least crayons are cheep! :)

  28. Love this! I am going to share a link to this post with my Facebook readers! :)

  29. SIMPLE MAMA says:

    How did you handle the sharp edges ? Did you have to sand it ? This is a great idea. Thanks for the same,

  30. Totally brilliant! I have those exact cans of fruit sitting in my pantry right now – I am ON this project this week! I have been thinking about a project like this but your tutorial is just the push I need. Thanks!!!!

  31. I SO want to do this. But my two year old would be having fits for crayons. Maybe next year. I love it.

  32. I thought this was so cute I featured it on my blog The Bridal Encyclopedia. It’s a cute way to make a kids table tie into an Ombre Theme! Here is the link if you wanted to check it out: http://www.thebridalencyclopedia.com/2014/01/o-is-for-ombre-part-1.html
    I will definitely be checking back to your Blog from time to time for new great ideas!