Learn how to make this easy wooden DIY ruler pencil holder. A quick and simple project made from scrap wood to organize a student desk or a DIY teacher appreciation gift.
This DIY ruler pencil holder is a really quick project and makes a perfect teacher gift too!
We actually made it for the first time a few years ago as the farewell gift for my daughter’s preschool teachers.
Truth is, we have since made another 3-4 of these (honestly, I have lost count) because this is the gift my kids decide on every year for their teacher.
And every single teacher loves it and displays it on her/his desk. I am sure nothing beats that feeling in the kids.
What’s more, it is so easy to make that the kids can help out too! On the latest version, my 5-year old had a lot of fun helping.
It uses a few pieces of scrap wood – literally only 15″ of scrap wood and a bunch of rulers.
It takes only about 30 minutes to whip one up and costs probably about $3 for the rulers.
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Materials needed for a Ruler Pencil Holder
- Scrap wood – I used 1″ x 5″ scraps – You need about 15″ total length.
- 8 Wood rulers – just the cheapest basic ones. I used these from Target
- Hardboard or 1/4″ Plywood – for the bottom.
- Wood Glue
- Miter Saw or Miter Box with saw
- Brad nailer and 1 1/4″ finish nails
- Countersink bit (optional)
- 1 1/4″ wood screws (optional)
- Sanding block or detail sander.
How to make a DIY pencil holder
Below is a full video tutorial showing how I built this easy wooden pencil holder. Step by step instructions and details follow.
DIY Pencil holder step by step
Step 1: Make cuts
Cut the scrap wood board into two 4″ pieces and two 2.5″ pieces. You can use a miter saw for this or a miter saw works well too.
This is also a good time to sand the pieces to make sure they are all smooth and have no rough edges.
Step 2: Build the box
Build the box by attaching sides using wood glue and finish nails. If you don’t have a brad nailer, you can use countersunk screws as well. Just be sure drill a pilot hole first.
Step 3: Add the bottom
Cut out the bottom of the box using a 1/4″ plywood or hardboard.
It should be 4″ x 4″ but just to be sure, I used the box to trace the bottom and cut it out with a jigsaw.
STEP 4: Add the rulers
- Cut rulers to length using a hand saw.
- I used these rulers from Target. They are just a a tad over 1″ wide. I used 4 rulers on each side.
- We glued them up on each side and let dry overnight.
Since the rulers I used are slightly over 1″ wide, they line up really easy and overlap beautifully on the edges.
That is it!
We added a red ribbon around it to add a bit of festive look because there is something about teachers and red 🙂
Since the lumber is 3/4″ thick, there is enough space to write a name or message at the top. Or you can write it at the bottom of the pencil holder too!
Plus it was so much fun to make with my kids every time!
But be sure to take all the safety precautions while working near the kids!
If you decide to build it, I’d love to see it! Feel free to email photos to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag me on Instagram @anikasdiylifefor a chance to be featured on social media!
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Anika's goal is to inspire and empower beginners with woodworking, DIY, home improvement, and home decor ideas.
She wants everyone to unlock their creative potential and experience the feeling that comes with making something. Nothing feels better better than seeing something and saying "I can make that!"