Make A DIY Pencil Holder – From Bricks!

Do you ever walk into a shop and see something that immediately catches your eye? Then, find yourself unable to leave without buying that something because you truly believe in love at first sight?


Organise your desk space with this DIY pencil holder – made upcycled red bricks!

Learn how to make a diy pencil holder from brick / grillo designs

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Have you ever walked into a shop and seen something that immediately catches your eye? Then, find yourself unable to leave without buying that something because you truly believe in love at first sight?

Well this happens to me a lot… more times than I can count actually!

I’ll just be strolling quite happily through the shop aisles (it’s really crucial that I add here that the only places I happily stroll through are either the hardware or home decor store) when I spot something that makes the wheels in my head start turning real fast …

I mean, faster than normal because let’s face it, when are those wheels ever not turning?

That’s another rhetorical question by the way.

So I saw these bricks… yes there are the very  ones.


Before picture of bricks before they became a diy pencil holder / grillo designs


Fell in love,  immediately thought ‘hey these would make great pencil holders for my desk’ and the rest,  as they say, is history. In other words, they’ve been given an Upcycled Grillo Makeover.


Organize your pencils with this diy pencil holder / grillo designs


At the time, it didn’t matter that the cashier guy was giving me weird looks… like  ‘she’s just gonna buy two bricks?? Really… oh o-kay’.

Or that passerbys’ shot me even weirder sideways glances as I made my way to the parked car with these two bricks held tightly in my hand

I just  didn’t care.  Firstly, because when I get a new idea, nothing else really matters and all rational emotions like say, embarrassment, awkwardness, or even mortification are strangely not present. And secondly, what else did they want me to do… carry the bricks in my bag??





Paint the brick.

The end.

No I’m just kidding, there was a little more to it than that . Promise!


1. Using a paint brush, I painted on two coats of white primer paint.


Paint brick to make a diy pencil holder / grillo designs


2.Then I painted over the primer with a flat light grey emulsion (latex) paint. You can use any brand you like for this part.


Painted diy pencil holder / grillo designs


3. I noticed those yucky paint strokes once it had all dried. To get rid of this look, I started dabbing on white paint using the end of my brush. You can mix the white up with darker shades of grey if you like. Keep on dabbing until you are happy!


faux concrete effect diy pencil holder / grillo designs


By the way, is this sounding familiar? It’s the same technique I used for my faux metal letters, except that time I was going for a more shimmery look. This time I wanted more of a concrete effect hence the lack of shiny and shimmery paints.



4.I then added a raw piece of wood to the underside of the brick with liquid nails glue – so the pencils wouldn’t fall out the other side. I left this to dry overnight.


Apply liquid nails glue to your diy pencil holder/ grillo designs


5. I also rubbed chalk over the entire pencil holder to give a chalky type effect then smudged it in with my finger.


Chalky effect diy pencil holder / grillo designs


6. And finally, I stencilled on some letters (optional) with a sharpie pen. I sanded it back with sanding paper to make the words look a little aged and distressed


Stencil words on to your diy pencil holder / grillo designs


And thats it! No need to seal if you want to keep that chalky look. How’s that for an upcycle?


diy pencil holder to organizse your pencils / grillo designs


I’m going to attempt to read your mind now and answer a few of those questions I know you’re just dying to ask me, like


tutorial on how to make a diy pencil holder for you desk / grillo designs



What’s the name of this brick – I noticed it has square holes?

It called an air brick!

How do I make the holes if I have a regular brick ?

Good question. You can use a drill sized at least 7/16 to make holes!

Can I make a similar pencil holder with concrete or wood?

You sure can! Heres a great tutorial on how to make a DIY pencil holder from wood and here’s another tutorial using  concrete

Could I not just buy a cinder brick and do this rather than painting it to look like one ?

You could, but those things are huge!! Can you imagine the looks I would have gotten lugging that to the car!



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  1. This is genius and adorable and artistic all rolled into one. I wish our bricks came with holes in them, I might have to go searching 🙂

  2. This is so cool! I saw your project was a reader’s favorite on Pink Heels Pink Truck link-up and no wonder, this pencil holder is awesome! And I def know what you’re talking about when people give you the side eye in stores, in my head I’m just like I’m about to make something awesome with this lol. Thanks for sharing, enjoy your week!

  3. Love how this turned out! So uniquely cool! Thanks for sharing with us at Snickerdoodle! Pinning to share.

  4. This is so freeking cool, the fact that it is so simple makes it a fantastic idea. Love the stenciling details too! This is the sort of thing you’d find in a shop like urban outfitters. I’m off to B&Q over the weekend to buy a brick I think I can cope with the strange looks.

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