A DIY electric pencil sharpener cover is a cute way to hide this much used small appliance. It also makes a great teacher gift!
We all have a few functional items in our house that are not at all decorative, but are used so often that we just live with them being on permanent display.
This is definitely the case when you have kids. Our living room felt like one giant toy box for years. The highchairs around the dining table gave us that mismatched chairs look, but not in a cool, trendy kind of way.
Now that we’ve moved on from highchairs in the dining room, we’ve just traded them for other functional items though. One such thing is an electric pencil sharpener.
With three kids in school and two girls who love art and drawing, someone was constantly sharpening a colored or number 2 pencil. We lived with manual pencil sharpeners for a long time but eventually decided an electric pencil sharpener was warranted.
We bought this one and it was worth.every.penny. The manual pencil sharpeners often broke the lead several times, or sharpened pencils unevenly and then you could only write while holding the pencil in one position.
With the electric pencil sharpener though, you stick the pencil in and a few seconds later you have the most perfectly sharpened, fine point pencil. We love it and use it so much that it found a home on top of the small dresser in our dining room.
That part I didn’t exactly love, but decided it was worth it so it stayed. A year later we were still using it on an almost daily basis so I thought it would be fun to come up with some sort of decorative DIY electric pencil sharpener cover.
Supplies for Pencil Sharpener Cover
Wire basket– that is slightly taller than your electric pencil sharpener (I found mine at Walmart in the floral/craft aisle)
Burlap ribbon– that is about the same height as the wire basket (if it’s taller you can always trim it down; I found mine in the same aisle of Walmart as the wire basket)
Jute/rope/twine– this will be woven in between the holes in the burlap so just be sure it’s not too thick (I found my rope with the ribbon spools in World Market)
Blank tags and letter/number stickers– this is optional if you want a “No. 2” (as in no. 2 pencil) label on the front of the basket (I found my blank tags near the blank cards and envelopes at Hobby Lobby)
Hot glue gun or fabric glue (I love the hot glue gun because the glue dries so quickly, but use at your own risk. I’ve burned myself on the glue gun many, many times)
Scissors (not pictured)
Step 1. To begin making your DIY electric pencil sharpener cover, wrap the burlap ribbon around the outside of the wire basket and cut the ribbon the length needed to fully wrap around the basket. This will give you more than needed to go around the inside of the basket but that is okay, you want the edges to overlap some. Place the ribbon around the inside of the basket.
Step 2. Starting at what you want to be the backside of the basket (I chose to start at a center spot between the two handles), weave the rope through one of the holes near the top of the burlap and over the top of the basket. Then tie the ribbon in place temporarily while you weave the rest of the rope around the top edge of the wire basket.
Step 3. Cut your rope at a length long enough to wrap all the way around the top edge of the basket. My basket measured approximately 6 inches across the top and I cut my rope a length of approximately 4 feet. Apply a small amount of hot glue or fabric glue to the tip of the rope that you will be weaving across the top to keep it from fraying. Let the glue dry.
Step 4. Continue weaving the rope through holes near the top of the burlap ribbon and around the top of the basket. To have somewhat even spacing, I inserted the rope near every edge and center of the holes in the wire basket. Every once in a while, go back and tightened the rope up where needed. You want the rope to be pulled taught enough to keep the burlap in place but no so tight that it causes the ribbon to bunch up.
Step 5. Once you have woven the rope around the entire top edge, tie the two ends of the rope together in a tight knot and trim the excess. Apply a small amount of hot glue or fabric glue to keep the knot from unraveling. Slightly tuck the knot under the rim of the basket.
Step 6. Inside the basket, apply a small amount of hot glue or fabric glue to the top and bottom edge of the ribbon where it overlaps with the beginning of the ribbon to keep it in place.
Step 7. If applying the “No. 2” label, put the letters and number on the blank tag and use hot glue or fabric glue to attach it to the front of the basket.
Step 8. Place the pencil sharpener into the pencil sharpener cover. Weave the electric cord out of the bottom of the backside of the basket. Your DIY electric pencil sharpener cover is complete!
Now instead of seeing a small electric appliance on prominent display in our dining room, we see this cute pencil sharpener cover instead:
This is the perfect project for back to school time and would also make a great teacher gift. For more back to school ideas, see this post about our annual tradition of making back to school cakes.
Do you have any creative ways that you’ve disguised any much loved functional items in your house? I’d love to hear about them.