Introduction: Pencil Box Made From Colored Pencils

About: •Content Creator •Woodworker •Maker of sawdust & awesome

I wanted to see what I could make with 1 box of colored pencils. This project was made with 100 colored pencils. In the video you will see me dump out two boxes but they were 50 packs. I recommend using the Crayola 100 Pack because the pencils are really good quality and when you cut them they don't splinter as bad as a cheaper brand. Also the 100 pack has an excellent range of colours!

There is a certain level of irony in using pencils to make a pencil box but it also brings a unique quality to a hand made project. I really hope you enjoy this Instuctable as much as I enjoyed creating this project!

If you want you can also use the same steps to make this pencil box out of any wood you want just skip ahead to Step # 12 for that!

Download plans with cut lists here

My Website



Enjoy the build and don't forget to send me pictures when you are done!


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Step 1: Cut Melamine Pieces

Cut out the Melamine pieces for the form, you can do this from one piece of 2' x 2', 5/8 Melamine

see the image above

PDF cutlist available here

Step 2: Glue Mold Together

Use CA glue to attach the 3 sides pieces to the outside of the base piece. Leave the last side piece ( highlighted in photo above) out for now, we will glue this in after the pencils are stacked. In the photos and video I used hot glue, that also will work for this application.

The Black CA Glue I use is available here Use code "Urbanshopworks" for 10% off at checkout

Step 3: Wipe Paste Wax

Wipe paste wax using a rag on the entire inside of the mold, this does two things; First it acts as release agent for the epoxy we are going to pour in there later but it also stops the excess silicone caulking from sticking to the melamine when we apply it in the next step,

Step 4: Apply a Healthy Bead of Silicone

Apply a healthy bead of silicone around all the inside joints in the mold. Once done use the cake fondant ball tool to smooth the rides on the silicone. Once that is done leave it until the silicone is completely dried!

Step 5: Now Peal Up the Excess Silicone!

Once fully dry peal up the excess silicone! Because you coated the melamine in a thin layer of paste wax the excess silicone should pull up nice and clean leaving you with a perfectly smooth radius in the corners!

Step 6: Cut Your Pencils

Make sure to wear eye protection!

I set up a bucket on each end of my bandsaw table to catch the bits, also I taped over the throat of where the blade enters the table to help prevent loosing any of the bits. I set the bandsaw fence at 1/2" from the blade. Try to make the cuts as square as possible.

Step 7: Stack Pencil Bits

Its time to start filling the mold with the pencil bits! This is easiest if you stand the mold up on end this will help the bits stay in place while you are stacking them. This is tedious and takes quite a long time so be prepared for that. Also you will want to jiggle the bits every so often to get them seated together nicely with no gaps. once the mold is full all the bits should be tight together interlocking like the picture above.

Step 8: Glue in the Last Piece of the Mold

In the video I didn't do it this way. The truth is you could do this before inserting the pencils bits but depending on how long you cut the pieces and how many usable pieces you end up with you may not have enough to fill a from of pre set dimensions. once this is done run a bead of silicone around the outside of the last piece to keep the epoxy from bleeding out.

Step 9: Mix and Pour Epoxy

I used the Ecopoxy Liquid Plastic 2:1.

Mix the epoxy as per the manufacturers specifications Mix up the epoxy in small batches this is because once you pour it, it will take some time for the epoxy to settle down through all the pencils, popping the bubbles with a heat gun as I went. I tinted my epoxy with black Tint. This is not necessary. I really liked the look that the black brings to the piece and it makes the colors pop.You could tint the epoxy any color you want or leave it untinted too. Let epoxy cure completely before moving to the next step.

*You may find some of the pencils float up and start to stick out higher than the rest. don't panic just push them back down.

Step 10: Break Out!

Once the epoxy is fully cured (See manufactures specifications) you can remove the melamine mold.

Step 11: Time to Sand!

Now its time to sand your growth chart! I used a drum sander for this to get a nice smooth consistent finish.

If you don't have a drum sander then a Router Sled will also work. I sanded both sides so the finish was even and the end thinkness of the stock was 1/4 inch

Step 12: Cut Out All Pieces From the Cut List

There are 6 pieces to cut out. Cut the ends as one piece at this stage because it will be easier to run through the router tables like this. At this point you could make this Pencil Box out of any wood you like following the instructions from this point on.

2 x Sides

2 x Ends

2 x Top/Bottom

PDF Cutlist available here

Step 13: Router Dados

Use a 1/4 inch router bit to cut the dados in the side pieces and the end piece.

The yellow thing I am using in the photo above is the Micro Jig Gripper

Step 14: Cut Your Miters

Wear EYE Protection

This step is tricky, if you are making this out of colored pencils the graphite will want to chip out and fly all over the place so I ran Blue Painters Tape aroundeach end I was cutting. I used my table saw and a miter sled for this but a good crosscut sled that allows you to cut a miter will also work. I cut miter in the ends of each side and end piece. This is also a good time to cut your end piece into 2 end pieces!

I dry fitted the sides on the top/bottom and cut the ends to fit. Using relative measurements with this step will help ensure they will fit clean.

Step 15: Glue Up!

Time to glue the box up, I used Black CA glue for this because its matched the black epoxy perfectly.

Step 16: Touch Up Chip Out

Go over the box and touch up anywhere the graphite may have chipped out with the CA Glue and the Accelerator then lightly sand the excess glue off.

Step 17: Cut the Lid

Using a bandsaw cut the lid off. I cut the entire top off the box and I taped the whole surface that was getting cut with Blue Painters Tape to help prevent tear out.

Step 18: Cut the Lid in Two

Cut the lid in 2 pieces, I cut it at a 45 degree angle about 2/3 of the way down using my table saw. You could also use a bandsaw or a really thin kerf hand saw for this step and I would actually recommend you do because the kerf on the blade is smaller which will save you from having to make up for the lack of material that I go over in the following step.

Step 19: Glue the Fixed Lid Back On

Holding the pivoting part of the lid in place, glue the fixed part on. I glued it on tight to the pivoting part of the lid to eliminate the gap created by the kerf of the blade. Once the glue sets I used one of the thin scraps of the stock that was left over and glued it in place at the very end to take up the gap (see photos above) then I cut the excess off and sanded it flush. (If you use a band saw or really thin kerf hand saw to cut the lid in half you may be able to skip gluing the extra stock on the end to make up the material lost from the kerf of the blade)

Step 20: Pivot Time!

Cut 3 small square pieces from left over stock, glue them together and glue them in the bottom corner of the box. this is going to house the pivot point for the lid which is a pencil. one the squares are glued in place use a drill press to drill a hole that is the same diameter as a pencil about half way down the squares ( Don't drill all the way through the box!)

Step 21: Mark the Lid for Pivot Hole

Now cut the tip off a pencil and stick it into the hole for the pivot with the tip pointing up. This is going to mark where to drill the hole in the lid. Carefully place the lid back on exactly where you want it to be and push down to leave a mark on the inside of the lid. Once you have your make drill a hole through the lid that is the same size as the diameter as a pencil.

Step 22: Cut Your Pivot Pencil

Choose a pencil that you want to be the pivot I used purple but you can use whatever colour you want. If you are making this out of another type of wood a Brass Rodwould be a good choice for this too. I cut it to the correct length so that the pivot is flush with the outside of the lid and glued it into the lid. (Note I did not glue the pivot pencil into the box)

Step 23: Apply Finish Coating

I applied 4 coates of spray on Lacquer with a light sand of 400 grit in between. you could use any finish you like though.

Step 24: Enjoy Your New Box!

I hope you enjoyed this intructable and I really hope this helps you to build your own pencil box.

if you want to download the PDF Plans for this project you can get them here

If you like this project and want to see more from me I encourage you to visit me here




Enjoy the build and don't forget to send me pictures when you are done!

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