97. How to Make a Pen Pot From an Old Can

How to make a pen pot from an old can

If you’d like to skip straight to the creative project and learn how to make a pen pot from an old can then scroll down until you see Blue’s paw print below.salvagebox.co.uk - Blue's paw

This episode is subtitled: ‘Should I do it…?’

The forefinger of my sweaty right hand was poised on the trigger of the glue gun while my mind felt like scrambled egg, not knowing what to say or do. The woman standing before me was slim and elegant with perfect blonde hair swept up into a style that looked French, chic. Why had Francesca come to see me? And why hadn’t I put any make-up on this morning? Nothing. Not even a bit of eyeliner. I couldn’t even convince myself that I’d brushed my hair.

Oh Jenny, what’s happened to you? I used to take great care of my appearance when I worked in the bank on the high street – it was expected – but for the past few years Kim and I have run Teacups & Tulips and I’ve just immersed myself in flower arrangements and forgotten about everything else.

I’ve also been a bit too complacent about the business – thankful that Kim’s managed to increase sales year-on-year in Teacups, whilst Tulips has been going slowly in the other direction.

‘You can’t just put your head in the sand and hope for the best!’ Kim had snapped the other day. I couldn’t blame her. She was always looking for ways to improve our business and largely I just let her get on with it.

But Kim is my dearest friend and I don’t want to let her down so I decided there and then to pull my socks up. This gave me two options – turn myself into the next Alan Sugar to improve sales at Tulips or sell my share to someone more ambitious who can drive the business forward with Kim.

The thought of withdrawing from Tulips wouldn’t have been further from my mind had Shaun McArthur not suggested that I work for him as his front-of-house manager in his new restaurant. With great hesitation I raised the subject with Kim.

‘I can’t believe you’re planning on jumping ship and working for a competitor!’ she cried.

‘He’s not a competitor,’ I said, reassuringly, ‘his restaurant is going to be high-end, not a café where you go for a cup of tea and a sticky bun!’

Her face was thunderous and she stormed out on the pretext of going to the wholesalers. Oh dear, I desperately didn’t want to fall out with Kim but I was flummoxed as to what to do next.

Jaz, who’d heard the commotion, sidled over and said, ‘You look like you need a cup of tea and a sticky bun.’

‘Don’t jest,’ I said, ‘I think I’ve really put my foot in it this time.’

We sat down and she let me pour out my troubles. It’s normally me advising Jaz, but she managed to tease out all my hopes and fears and with great maturity said, ‘Why don’t you apologise to Kim for your flippant comment (she’ll appreciate you admitting you were wrong, even if you weren’t) then see whether she wants to take over your share of the business herself? I could run the flower side of things for her and it might just provide the opportunity for her to pursue that one-stop-wedding-shop idea.’

‘Would you mind working for Kim?’ I asked tentatively.

‘She wouldn’t be as much fun as you, Jenny, but I’d cope!’

Jaz is marvellous. She reminded me that it was only a few weeks ago that I was going on about carpe diem to her and now it was my turn to seize the day.

So I had. I’d got things straight in my head and was all set to take a new path, explore new avenues, branch out and take control of my destiny…… when Francesca walked through the door.

I knew it was her straight away because I’d seen her photo pop up on Shaun’s phone when she rang him.

‘I just thought I’d introduce myself to the woman my husband is planning on spending every evening with shortly,’ she said with a forced half smile. Her eyes were cool.

‘Er.. Hhi.. Francesca,’ I said, eventually, trying to unscramble my brain. I started to offer my hand to formally introduce myself but withdrew it when I remembered it was caked in glue from my glue gun. This woman was elegance personified and there was I, looking like I hadn’t had a wash, gluing string to a baked bean tin for this week’s Salvage Box project! I was mortified. ◊

How to Make a Pen Pot from an Old Can

salvagebox.co.uk - Blue's pawMy can opener does a good job and doesn’t leave a rough edge at the rim so it’s great for this project. First remove the label and wash the can out thoroughly. I used a pan scourer with watered down bleach – there’s no way I’m subjecting my Sharpies to a dirty can!

How to make a pen pot from an old can

You’ll need a glue gun and some string.

How to make a pen pot from an old can

Secure the end of the string with a thin dab of glue near the rim of the can. Then wind the string around, keeping it taut, dabbing the glue every now and then.

How to make a pen pot from an old can

How to make a pen pot from an old can

Secure the end with glue when you get to the bottom. Easy peasy, eh?

How to make a pen pot from an old can

How to make a pen pot from an old can

Now decorate it however you want to. This hair clip post shows you how to make flowers out of felt and small beads.

How to make a pen pot from an old can

How to make a pen pot from an old can

I used my glue gun to secure them into place.

How to make a pen pot from an old can

I like to add a surprise if I can so the final flower was glued to the back.

How to make a pen pot from an old can

You could add flowers all the way round, or just in a cluster. The decoration is something you can release your imagination on.


  • If your rim is sharp then glue some bias binding over it.
  • Try not to get large blobs of glue on the can because it dries quickly making your surface bumpy.

Salvaged Items:

  • Baked beans can

Another simple project for you to try this week. Hope you liked it.

salvagebox.co.ukThere is a new episode every Thursday. If you’d like a little reminder so you don’t miss out then please subscribe to our mailing list. Rest assured we won’t share your details with anyone and you can unsubscribe at any time.






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