Since the dawn of standardized testing, the No. 2 wooden pencil has topped just about every school-age child’s Back to School shopping list.

But keeping track of all those pencils all year can be difficult—even with a pencil case. To help your kids hold on to those utensils and conserve resources, you can personalize a pencil with this fun DIY project that upcycles extra fabric into a pom pom pencil-topper.

What you’ll need:

  • DIY Pom Pom Pencil Topper Materials

 

  • Some old fabric scraps (children may enjoy bright prints more, but you can also do this with an old T-shirt or other material you may have lying around)
  • Cutting ruler or scissors
  • Hot glue gun (Note: The hot glue gun can get very hot and should only be used by adults; kids should remain supervised at all times that the glue gun is in use.)
  • A pencil or pen

 

Steps:

Measure Your T-shirt
Cut accordingly

1)     Lay out your fabric and use your cutting ruler or scissors to cut into strips approx. ¼ in. wide and approx. 18 in. long. Cut as many or as few strips as you like—but, bear in mind, that the more you cut, the fuller your pom pom will be!

Wrap the fabric around your fingers

2)    Wrap each strip around your extended thumb and index finger, making sure to pinch the bottom of the fabric to keep the wrapped fabric taut as you continue to wrap all (except one) of your strips around your fingers.

Tie a tight knot around the pile

3)    Once you have the amount of fabric you want wrapped around your fingers, take the last strip and tie a tight knot around the wrapped pile.

Trim your pom pom

4)    Take your scissors and cut the wrapped pile at the top of the loop and both sides. Hold the ends tight and trim for a perfect-looking pom pom. (Only if you want to—no need to overachieve!)

5)    Use the hot glue gun to secure your new pom pom atop the pencil with plenty of glue. Let it cool, and you’re done!

You can also attach pom poms to pens, hair ties, backpacks and more. Your kids will love the movement and colors, and will be more likely to hold on to these items—saving waste and money.