The art of storage: How to make your kids tidy up without having to ask

One way to get your kids to tidy up (without nagging) is by creating cool containers they will actually want to put their stuff in.

This psychadelic pen holder is just that. What’s more it’s super easy to make and perfect for sorting out untidy pen habits.

Cool container: twisted pen tidy
How could something so warped and twisted…
Cool container: twisted pen tidy
…be so cool?!

Note: I’m not sure how obvious the illusion is, but as you can see from the photos above, I was trying to give the impression that the pens in the container had warped and twisted.

How to make one

If you’d like to make one, I have made the artwork available for download. All you’ll need to do is print it out and wrap it around an old tin can. You may want to add a false bottom to lift the pens a little higher, it helps with the illusion, just follow the instructions below!

Download the label artwork

How to make a space saving pen tidy: illustrated guide
Can't read the instructions?

What you need

One can of baked beans. An A4 sheet card (210gsm), glue, scissors and perhaps a compass and ruler.

Step 1

Eat the tin of baked beans - it’s nice on toast! Clean the tin and remove the label.

Step 2

Download the label artwork and print it onto glossy paper - trim it to size, and then glue it around the empty tin can.

Step 3

To stop the pens tilting over make an insert from 4 pieces of card. Fold and glue them as shown.

Step 4

Create a raised base from a circular piece of card and a tube. Glue the insert onto the base and lower it into the tin can.

Do your own thing

Try creating your own label. Draw the design onto plain paper and then scan or copy it onto glossy paper (it looks cooler and is easier to clean).

Left illustration
Right illustration