Pencil Case Desk Buddy!




About: Hello everyone! My name is Nathan, and I love making things, inventing things, and just having fun!

Hello Everyone!!!
          So here's the deal, the school year is right around the corner, and I have this little problem... I always manage to loose all my pencils! It seems as though I can never find a pencil when I need it, and it gets quite annoying having to dig through my backpack to find one. So I decided since it is a fresh start, this year I'm going to change all that. Thats why I made.... The Desk Buddy!

          This project shows you how to make a pencil box buddy that makes it easier to keep track of all your pencils. The design fits easily in a back pack or sitting on a desk. Best of all, the famous Instructables Robot is right there making sure to keep your supplies safe from harm. How could you go wrong? The materials needed for this project are common to nearly all households, and all the steps are easy to do! So... are you ready?!?!?! Lets get started!

Be safe and have fun!

Step 1: The Materials Needed

As mentioned earlier, all these supplies should be fairly easy to come by... If you're missing something let me know, I might be able to think of an alternative!

        - 1/4 inch wood
        - Permanent Marker
        - Paints (Spray or Regular)
              Yellow, Black, Red, Blue...
        - 4 Nails
        - 2 Washers
        - Hot Glue
        - Wooden Bead
        - Paperclip

        - Drill
        - Coping Saw
        - Wood Glue
        - Hot Glue Gun
        - Paintbrush
        - Sand Paper
        - Clamps
        - Chisel 

Step 2: Creating the Center Piece

Once gathering the supplies you should be ready to start! The first step to making your Desk Buddy is to make the center part of the pencil box. To do this you must first cut the wood so that you have two strips of 1" by 6.5" these are for the front and back, and two strips of 1.5" by 6.5" for the sides. Once you have these all cut out, sand them down so they fit together nicely. Make sure they will make an adaquate torso for the instructables robot!!! After you got the wood, its time to glue them together. To do this I started by gluing the two sides on to the face piece of wood. To do this I just used wood glue, and carefully held them in place until they stood by themselves. Next I glued on the top piece of wood. While the wood dried I clamped it all up, and left it sit for a couple hours. After it dried nicely I sanded down the rough spots and beveled the edges slightly with sand paper. 

Step 3: Putting Together the Head

Just like anyone else, the Instructables robot needs a good sturdy head. In this step we'll be putting it together! You need to gather more quarter inch wood first. Cut the wood so you have three 2 inch squares for the face and two sides, one 1.5" by 1.75" rectangle for the top, and one more 1.5" by 1" rectangle for the back. Fit these together and make sure they can form a nice cubicle shape as pictured. You should leave one open end of the cube, so that it can be fit on the top of your Desk Buddy. Now that you got all the pieces together, its time to glue them up! Do this step much like you did the last one using wood glue. Make sure once you got the glue in and the pieces situated nicely to clamp it all together and leave them to dry for a while. After the piece is dried, the pieces should be ready to sand down. I beveled the edges of the head to make it look a little nicer. Now you're ready to start making the hinge between the torso and the head!

Step 4: Making the Swivel

Now its time to make the swivel between the torso and the head. This isn't too difficult, but make sure you think things through and place the swivel in the correct location. The first step is to drill holes for the swivel to go through in the head. These holes can be slightly larger because it should swivel loosely around the nail used as the swivel, I used an 1/8th inch bit. Next you must drill starter holes into the actual body of the robot. Be sure to not skip this step, because the wood will likely crack if you pound in nails without a starter hole! This starter hole should be small so the nail once pounded in is tight, I used a 1/16th in bit. Make sure you also drill the holes in both the head and the body in the same place on each side, If done correctly when you place nails on each side the head (Don't pound in yet... just push in a little for a trial run) should rock back and forth smoothly. There should be a quarter inch gap in between the head and the body, in this gap put in washers that fit loosely. Alternately you can make your own spacers out of scrap pieces of plastic like I did. As long as it fits nicely, it will work!  

Step 5: Adding the Feet

This is one of the most simple steps, but is also very necessary if you'd like to see your Desk Buddy up and standing on your desk. I made a template for you to follow when cutting out the wood for the feet. Look at this template and draw it out on a board before trying to saw it out. Alright, so cut out the feet on a quarter inch board, and then sand them smooth. Once these steps are done you can set the body on the feet and they should match up like they do in the picture. Don't worry about gluing them yet, we can paint them first....

Step 6: Painting & Gluing the Body & Feet

Now that the pieces are all put together for the most part, its time for the fun steps! Painting!!! First you’ll want to paint the center body yellow. You can use either spray paint or regular paint. On this project I used spray paint. Try to get a nice smooth coat, but don’t be too hard on yourself! Once the yellow paint has dried, add some details to the front of the body with a permanent marker. Feel free to write whatever you’d like on the side! It would be especially cool if you put your name or something! Once you have everything painted or drawn the way you like, glue together the feet and the body to make a headless robot… but not for long! The next step we’ll be painting the head!

Step 7: The Painting of the Head

My favorite part of this project was painting the head of the world famous Instructables robot! To do this the first step is just to paint the outside of the head all yellow like the last step. I also painted the inside of the head black and the edge of it blue, just to make things look nice. Once these parts are all painted its time to get out your paint brush and do some fine detailed work! First draw out your design on a piece of paper, and then copy it on to the head lightly with a pencil. Using paints and a fine paint brush start to fill in the face. Alternately you could use a permanent marker for this step. Once you're done with the facial details its time to make the ears or antenna things. For these I used a wooden bead (half inch wide) and a couple small nails. I used a small saw to cut the wood bead in half, then painted both halves of the bead red to match the instructables robot. Taking the two nails I filed off the points, and then painted them black. Once I had all the pieces I found the centers of the two sides of the head, and then using hot glue, I glued the pieces on. The final result should remind you of a very familiar robot face!

Step 8: Attaching the Swivel

Alright folks! Get ready for the final step!!!
In this step we will be attaching the head to the body using a swivel system. Since we've already drilled the holes for the swivel this step should go quick! The first step is to create the back stop system. This system is just put in to hold the head in the correct location when the pencil case is shut. To make this all you need is a strong wire such as that of a strong paperclip. Using a needle nose pliers bend the wire so there is a c-shaped loop simular to that in the picture. Next drill a couple of small holes for this wire on the top of the back part of the body. Look at the picture if you need help getting it in the right place. Once this is done you can go ahead and glue the wire into the holes using hot glue. Make adjustments to this wire to help position the robots head after this step is over. Now its time to put in the actual swivel. The swivel is really just a couple nails on each side of the head. Since you have the holes already made, just push these nails in and then tap them in the rest of the way so they are held in tightly. After this step... CONGRATULATIONS! You have just completed your first Desk Buddy!

Step 9: The End.

          I had a ton of fun making this project! I am also really happy how it all turned out. This pencil box is going to be a lot of fun to use this coming school year, and I'm already making out plans for my next pencil case. I hope all of you try this project out! Remember, don't feel like you have to do the same design as I did... If you'd like, experiment and create something original!

          For those of you who read through this instructable and plan on making it... Thank You! It's always fun to hear comments and see the amazing creations other people made! Be sure to let me know what you think! Thanks again!

Have a great school year!!!

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    20 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Looks like a PEZ candy thing


    5 years ago on Step 2

    this would fit in perfectly on my brand new desk

    Chad Baxter

    6 years ago on Introduction

    looks like a Minecraft creeper, lol, that's a very nice everything you has there, it'd be a shame if something were to happen to it. LOL

    1 reply
    NatetronChad Baxter

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Hahaha, that's hilarious.... you're right! I had never thought of that.. Thanks for commenting! Have a great start to the school year!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! Yeah, I'm going to be carrying it around on my backpack this coming year! :)
    Hope you have fun if you plan on making it!!!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Oh, that's a really good project - well-written, well-photographed.


    Just one question - don't the antennae stick in you when you carry it?

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the comment!!!
    Hahaha, I guess I'll let you know after I use it for awhile... as of now I haven't gotten poked! I think I'll be alright though, he's a very friendly robot.