Bumpy Pencil Holders

At one point, I had a serious addiction to wasabi peas. For two years I easily went through a tin a night, which had my husband pointing me in the direction of Chinatown for cheaper alternatives. Not being one to throw anything out that has the potential of being transformed into an arts and crafts project, I ended up with hundreds of wasabi pea tins in my basement. No joke. Do the math. Naturally I had to come up with various projects to make use of them, one of which was the bumpy pencil holder. Children have really enjoyed making them, but of course there are only so many bumpy pencil holders one can make. The remaining tins were eventually donated and I have now moved on to chips.


  • Wasabi pea tin or similar
  • newspaper to make bumps
  • masking tape
  • newspaper and white paper towels, torn into strips
  • plaster of paris bandage (optional)
  • white glue
  • paint, tempera or acrylic
  • brushes

If you look at the top photo, the center container was made using newspaper and white paper towels. The other two were made using plaster bandage; neat stuff to work with and available in any art supply store.


1. Scrunch up balls of newspaper and attach to your container with masking tape. 

2. If using plaster bandage, you will need to cut it into strips and dip them in water before applying to the container. It’s great to work with and leaves a wonderful texture. 

 3. If choosing to do paper mâché, I find it easier to alternate between  layers of newpaper and white paper towels  (the folded kind you typically find in office washrooms, available at stores like Staples). This helps you keep track of when you have completed a layer. For this project, 3 layers should be plenty so you can start with one layer of paper towel, followed by a second layer of newspaper, and a final layer of paper towel. It’s always better to make the last layer with white paper towels because your paint will be brighter without having to prime the surface with white paint. Also, make sure you tear your strips because the edges will work better than cut pieces.

 4. Your paper mâché paste should be approximately ¾ white glue to ¼ water. Dip your strips in the paste and make sure to remove any excess before adding to your container. Also, make sure your strips go over the top edge and inside the container by a few inches. Once you have completed your 3 layers, leave until completely dry before painting.


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