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DIY Sweet & Simple Motivational Pen Cup

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I’ve mentioned my ‘problem’ before, but I have a seriously difficult time getting rid of glass jars. They’re just so nice and useful! We eat protein pancakes every single morning for breakfast (yes, every single morning) and my husband puts a teaspoon of creamed honey on his. I love the jars his favorite honey comes in and always save them, which is why this jar may seem familiar! It’s the ‘same’ jar I used for this shabby chic painted jar a little while ago. In that post, I showed ways to help acrylic craft paint adhere to a jar and mentioned that I didn’t have chalk paint. Since that time, I’ve actually started using some chalk paints, so I decided to do another variation on the painted jar project! This time I’m showing how to DIY and sweet and simple motivational pen cup:

DIY Sweet & Simple Motivational Pen Cup

Sorry my handwriting isn’t exactly the best – I’m sure many of you can do a far nicer job of it than me!

Wide mouth salsa or sauce jars would work really well for this project and, of course, you could always use a purchased jar if you need to. Whatever jar you use, make sure the label and all sticky residue are completely removed and that the jar is nice and clean! Finger oils, or leftovers from products like GooGone, can prevent the paint from adhering well.

Materials needed for a DIY motivational pen cup

  • A jar!
  • Paint. I used turquoise chalk paint, but you can also use a spray primer + acrylic paint, as outlined in this tutorial
  • A foam paint brush
  • A paint pen/metallic markers, or a small paintbrush & a steady hand

How to make a DIY motivational pen cup

Have you washed your jar with soap and warm water, then allowed it to dry fully? If not, go ahead and do that before you get started.

supplies for making a motivational pen cup

Apply a thin, and even as possible, coat of paint to your jar. I’ve found that it’s easier, and ultimately better looking, to apply several light layers.

paint the upcycled jar

Bonus Tip #1: To avoid washing your brush a zillion times, wrap it in plastic wrap between coats of paint!


Bonus Tip #2: Set your jar on something like a plastic lid while it’s drying to avoid getting paint on your desk or table.


Once your first coat of paint is fully dry, add another. I’ve noticed that chalk paint tends to come up if you try to add paint on top of paint that’s still wet, so make sure it’s totally dry!


Bonus Tip #3: You can use a hairdryer on cool/low to help dry your paint more quickly.

And more coats of paint, if needed. Keep adding light coats of paint until you’re happy with how you jar looks! I used three coats on the pictured example.

Allow your jar to dry completely, then grab your paint pen/marker and add a motivational message. Again, make sure your paint is totally dry or the marker tip can make it come off.


Use and enjoy!

DIY up cycled motivational pen up

I hope you enjoy this super simple upcycling project! It’s a fun way to refresh your desk and put a smile on your face. =)

What have you upcycled recently?

Natasha - The Artisan Life
{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Duni December 5, 2016, 23:17

    I’m the same with jam jars!
    Your pen holder turned out so cute – love the mint color and the quote 🙂

    • Natashalh December 6, 2016, 07:00

      I do have my eyes on a jam jar we have right now. =) It won’t be going in the trash when it’s empty!

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