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Washi Tape Covered Can Pencil Holder

  • 4 min read

This Washi Tape Covered Can as a pencil holder is the little-craft-that-almost-wasn’t. But, in my opinion, if you can find the right can for you this is a huge win on cost v cuteness. Read on, then give it a try!

Diving in to Washi Tape Covered Cans

I am going to be honest: I’ve seen people do a ton of these, and I generally am not a huge fan of how they turn out. Then, by pure accident one day, I discovered I owned a non-standard size, smaller can with no ridges around the middle – that is when I really saw the project as a something I could love! This project does involve some shades of washi-tape-wrapping, which most of you will know is something I tend to avoid. In this tutorial I am very transparent about what went well and what could have gone better, so scope things out and decide if this is the craft for you.

Supplies for a Washi Tape Covered Can

Can (I used a mandarin orange can, store brand, for this project)

Washi tape (in whatever assortment makes you happy)



Optional, but Recommended:

Modge Podge and paint brush

Sheet of craft foam

Hot glue gun and glue

Supplies for Washi Tape Covered Can

Prepping Your Can

You need to start with a clean, empty can. Ensure there are not sharp edges. Remove the label. If there is any leftover glue, use an adhesive remover to take that off, too. Wash the can again to remove any excess adhesive remover. Dry thoroughly before starting.

Pick Your Washi Tape Covered Can Design

For my can, I opted to do diagonal lines. I chose this for two reasons: ease of application and margin of error. Horizontal lines would mean wrapping washi tape all the way around the can, several times; that is a big “no” from me. For vertical lines, while seemingly simple, it would be glaringly obvious if something strayed from being perfectly straight.

Laying Washi Tape to Decorate the Can

So for my diagonal strips of tape I measured the height of my can, then cut 1.5x that for each tape strip. I just launched into my project on the closest area of the can, but in retrospect I wish I had started at the seam in the can, as that ends up being partially visible through the tape.

Progressing Around the Can

Things to Consider as You Cover the Can in Washi Tape

As you are cruising along, laying your washi strips down, here are some pointers:

  • Try to keep the ends of the tape on the inside of the can relatively even and level. This will make it easier to go back and cover those at the end of the project.

Keeping Edges Even Inside the Mouth of the Can

  • The tape ends on the bottom of the can are going to be covered up, so those really do not matter how they look.
  • If you are having trouble with your can walking around, try bracing it in the front and the back. I used a spare ruler and washi tape roll, those served me just fine.

Just keep laying those washi strips and rotating the can. You may find you have to peel off and re-apply some strips – I promise that effort is worth the finished product looking lovely!

Washi Tape Covered Can Progress

Pretty soon the end is in sight!

Nearing the End of the Can

Laying the Final Diagonal Pieces of Washi Tape

As you can see in the picture, I obviously did not keep my diagonal lines 100% even, because the final area I had left to cover is narrow at the bottom and wide at the top. I did not have enough room to properly repeat the pattern I had been using, so I opted to fill in the whole space with a single style of tape.

Imperfect Final Area to Cover with Washi Tape

This took two and half pieces of that 5mm washi tape, overlapping in many places, to get all the shiny silver of the can covered. If, as I mentioned before, I had started on the can’s seam, I could have easily just made this the back of the pencil cup, facing away from me. Ah, well – next time.

Covered Final Area with Washi Tape

Covering the Washi Tape Ends Inside the Can

If these staggered washi tape ends inside the mouth of the can do not bother you, feel free to skip this step. If you are like me, however, and like to have things with clean edges then take a deep breath. This next step was, without a doubt, the hardest of the entire project.

 Tapes Ends Inside the Can

In order to achieve the result in the picture below, I had to lay a strip of washi tape around the inside of the can, keeping it level and smooth. That was NOT easy, friends. Truth time: I had two hands on the washi tape and one end in my mouth, then it STILL took me a dozen tries to get this right. You have been warned.

Covered Tape Ends Inside the Can

Finishing Touches for the Washi Tape Covered Can

You all already know what I did next: I covered the whole thing in a quick coat of Modge Podge. Then, once that was dry, I was prepared to add my coaster-like bottom piece. This can was 3 ½” wide, so I cut a 4” square of craft foam, traced the bottom of the can, and cut that circle out slightly smaller than my tracing lines. Test the size and fit of your foam piece, adjusting as needed.

Fitting the Bottom Coaster to the Washi Tape Can

Then, I simply hot glued the foam to the bottom of the can. This both covered up the washi end on the bottom and made sure my new pencil cup would not damage my beloved desk. Simple, easy steps, but I highly recommend them.

Finished Bottom of the Washi Tape Can

Finished Washi Tape Covered Can Pencil Cup

Ta-da! It is all done and ready to be a pencil cup (or whatever future you have planned for your lovely new can)!

Finished Washi Tape Covered Can

I hope you try this craft for yourself and tag me @WashiTapeWarrior on Instagram so I can see how beautiful yours is! Also, feel free to let me know: was that strip of tape I put inside the can difficult and unnecessary?