Practical yet elegant: a pencil holder made from a log

A wooden desk is standing in an office. Two finished pencil holders, each made from a log, are on the desk holding pencils and other office paraphernalia.
From log to pencil holder: a rustic accessory for your desk.

  • Difficulty
  • Cost
    < 50 £
  • Duration
    < 1 h


Tidy up with nature! The DIY wooden pencil holder lends any office a rustic look while making sure that your office paraphernalia is always neat and tidy. Follow our simple five-step instruction guide and create your personalised alternative to the pencil case without breaking a sweat.

You need
  • pencil
  • g-clamps
  • work gloves
  • safety glasses
  • 1x log with bark (e.g., birch): approx. 15 cm thick, 6 cm to 12 cm in diameter
L: Length, W: Width, H: Height, D: Diameter

Let's go - step by step

Step 1 5

Measuring out the desired length on the log.

Close-up of a woman measuring a log using the Zamo digital laser measure while holding a pencil in her hand.
First, measure out the desired length for your pencil holder on the log.

You need: Digital Laser Measure Zamo (Set), Zamo - Tape Adapter, pencil

For this upcycling project, the first thing you’ll need is a wooden log. You can find these in well-stocked DIY stores or using online classifieds. We chose to use birch for our pencil holder. Once you have found a log in your preferred type of wood, decide how tall you want your pencil cup to be and measure out that desired length – we recommend 8 to 12 centimetres. Use the tape adapter to measure from the edge out so that you can rest the Zamo laser measure on the log. Draw a line with a pencil to mark out where to cut the log.

Step 2 5

Cutting the wood using a saw

Close-up of a woman wearing gloves who is sawing a piece of a log off using a cordless reciprocating saw.
Cut off a piece of the log using a saw.

You need: Cordless reciprocating saw with saw blades for wood, g-clamps, work gloves, safety glasses

Put on your safety gloves and protective goggles. Securely fasten the log to a workbench or to a table with G-clamps when sawing to prevent it from slipping. Now, saw off the piece of wood for your pencil holder using the mark you drew as a guide.

Step 3 5

Sanding the top side

Close-up of a woman who is sanding a piece of the log with a sanding block and coarse sandpaper.
Sand the top side of log.

You need: Hand abrasives

Wrap the sandpaper around the sanding block, hold the log firmly in place and sand the top of it. 80-grain sandpaper is best for this task as it is particularly suitable for the coarse sanding needed for wooden surfaces. This prevents the log from losing any of its natural, rustic look.

Step 4 5

Drilling holes for pencils and other items

Close-up of a woman using a cordless drill to drill holes into a wooden log that is fixed to a table using G-clamps.
Now, drill the holes into the log.

You need: Cordless Drill, Brad point drill bit, Forstner bit 20mm

Fasten the log to your workbench or a table with G-clamps again so that you can work safely and precisely. Use your cordless drill to drill the desired number of holes in the trunk, keeping in mind what you need for office tools. If you want to drill holes for pencils or thin scissors, for example, we recommend you use a wood drill bit (8–10 mm). If the hole needs to be wider in diameter, such as for very thick permanent markers, use a Forstner drill bit (20 mm).

Step 5 5

Adding a personal touch to your log

Close-up of a woman decorating a wooden log with a pattern using a cordless hot glue pen.
Grab a glue pen and let your creativity run wild.
Two ready-to-use pencil holders, each made from a log, containing various pencils on a wooden table. Notebooks and a pen are next to them.
You can put your pencil holder on your desk as soon as the glue is dry.

You need: Cordless glue gun, Glue sticks in the colour of your choice, Bleistift, Scrap wood or cardboard

Now it’s up to you to decide how you want your pencil holder to look. Grab the Gluey cordless hot glue pen, insert a glue stick and design your new pencil holder. We’ve gone for a glittery violet zig-zag pattern. Let your creativity run wild and decorate the log however you like. You should have some scrap wood or cardboard ready to make sure that nothing goes wrong. We also recommend sketching out the pattern on the wood with a pencil beforehand. This will make decorating easier and you can still change the pattern if you don’t like it. Let the glue dry for a few minutes before putting your new pencil holder on your desk.

That wasn’t too hard, was it? You have brought a little slice of nature to your desk in just a few minutes. Congratulations on making your new DIY pencil holder from wood!

oder? Mit wenig Aufwand hast du ein bisschen Natur auf deinen Schreibtisch gebracht. Herzlichen Glückwunsch zu deinem neuen DIY-Stiftehalter aus Holz!