Absolutely Invisible Pencil Cup Compartment




About: I just happen to be the future ruler of the known world. Until then, however, I shall continue to rule my workshop with an iron fist.

When I was thinking of cool things I could build to enter in the secret doors/compartments contest, I was also thinking about how I never use all the colored pencils that sit on my desk. But then, inspiration struck!

Step 1: What You Need...

The supplies for this project are pretty simple:

-Crappy pencils/pens
-Sturdy cardboard
-Razor blade or other sharp knife
-Cup (duh)
-Actual working pens (optional)
-Scissors (optional)
-Hot glue gun
-Glue (optional... NOT)
-Cutting board (only optional if you have an expensive table)

Step 2: Measuring the Amount of Pencils

Fill your cup slightly less than halfway with pencils (if you want the thing to hold REAL writing implements, too). Otherwise, fill it exactly halfway.

Step 3: Cut Your Pencils

Cut each pencil approximately in half. To do this, dig the razor blade or knife into one side, then snap the pencil with your hands. You can leave the ends a bit rough, because it helps the glue to adhere.

Step 4: Cut Your Cardboard

This is by far the hardest step (:P) so pay close attention. Trace the top of your cup onto the cardboard. Then trace the bottom of the cup inside the first circle. Choose a circle somewhere in between the rim and the base sizes, and cut the cardboard on the line in between those original two. (If you want to use this to hold actual writing implements, cut a small wedge in one side of the final cutout.)

Step 5: The Fun Part...

Now, take your pencils and the hot glue gun, and put a bead of glue on the CUT end of a pencil. Place this pencil on the cardboard. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Get the idea? NOTE: Do not place two halves of the same pencil next to each other! This will arouse suspicion pretty quickly.

Step 6: Finished!

That's it! Place the false top on your cup and stash whatever you want to hide! I added a bunch of nice pictures for you guys...

If you enjoyed this instructable, please vote me up. This is my first contest and it would be REALLY cool if I could win even as a runner up. Remember, every vote counts!

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    49 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I made it without a hole for good pencils and it looks even more real!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I have more pencils with the leads out than I can count and should even bother keeping cause as soon as I sharpen them the lead falls out again. This would be a great use for them. I saw the shape of the cut out and at first wondered then realized that since I only use a couple of actually good pencils that the cut out was for those working pencils so the pencil cup is not just a junky desk safe and unsuable. I'll put my really nice pens and pencils in that cut out section, something that made me think: with all my bad pencils, sometimes I reach for a stupid bad pencil from the middle without thinking, so maybe I could leave colored pencil or two loose in the middle of the glued one so it still has the moving about effect of when you pull out one pencil and the others jostle.

    1 reply

    5 years ago on Introduction

    okay, sure, i'll jump in on this hot debate: i would think it'd be pretty obvious, though. the cut-out allows functional pens/pencils/etc. so you get good pens and pencils. you snag the remnants of your four year old's pencil box and glue those to the cover.

    ****then rotate the holder so the nice pens are in front***

    nobody's going to go riffling through crappy, busted-up, finger-stabby, splintery, old pencil crayons when there's nice, fresh, smooth Fineliners front and center!

    2 replies

    5 years ago on Introduction

    I love this idea! This is a great use for all the short colored pencils that my 3 young kids generate. It's amazing how fast they "sharpen through them". And it's a nice project to build with them.

    1 reply

    5 years ago on Introduction

    I can't help but think that the whole secret is blown when someone reaches for a pencil. Why not stash the stuff at the bottom and put the pencils on top of it? No cutting, gluing, fuss, and trouble. Plus, anyone can grab a pencil or two and no one is the wiser.

    2 replies

    (I am really not trying to sound like a jerk, so sorry if I do.)
    That has already been asked, but the answer stays the same. The cutout allows you to put real, useable pens/pencils so that those who need a pen can get one. Cutting and gluing the pencils creates more space underneath. If you just want to store loose change or a couple of bills, your method works great. However this compartment is designed to store your expensive watch, your Zippo, your jewelry, your gold/silver bars, etc. The goal is to use really terrible pencils or those that would not be practical for everyday use (hence, colored pencils), while isolating a few good pens that people would take to use. Again, sorry if I sounded like a jerk, but I get a little defensive. :)


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    @Ironinspired: I personally do not think you sound like a jerk at all. You idea is great and with it being so obvious it makes it better. It isn't like someone breaks in your house to rob you and thinks "Oh boy, I better steal some half used pencils and broken pens!" Based on the people asking that about it being foiled.. well, those hollowed out book and cans will do little good to if someone opens one or a low I.Q. thief decides to steal your Copyright 1964 Websters Dictionary or Can of Pinto Beans. I think to many over think this whole thing. That is why these work so well. I love your idea and think it has a seriously simple genius to it! Yet, that is just my own honest opinion.