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How To Make A Gorgeous Leather Pen Pot

DIY Upcycled Rainbow Leather Pen Pot

There is something about tin cans, I can’t help trying to find new ways to upcycle and reuse them. This leather pen pot has to be one of my classiest tin can upcycles.
In the past, I’ve made gold crushed can DIY planters, a recycled jeans planter , Marimekko decorative tin can planters and have even upcycled tins with a faux marble effect. You can see many more of my upcycled tin cans here.
I was about to throw out a rather outdated white leather handbag when I got the idea of using it for my latest tin can upcycle. Having painted leather before for I thought it would be fun to add a rainbow of colour to the white leather and use this to make a fun leather pen pot.
I say leather but the handbag actually turned out to be faux leather (so vegan-friendly!). Don’t worry if you don’t have an old handbag to hand you can easily pick a faux leather one up really cheaply at a thrift/charity store. Or even buy faux leather online.
Also, I say leather pen pots, but they can just as easily be used as plant holders. I think though because the leather pen pot is so colourful it looks great with all my colour pens in it.
This is a really simple affordable craft that uses mainly upcycled materials and took about 30 minutes to complete.
watercolor rainbow upcycled leather pen pot
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What you need to make an Upcycled leather pen pot


How to make a colourful Upcycled leather pen pot

  1. The first thing to do is to cut the faux leather to size. As I was using an old handbag, this involved cutting it open with a pair of scissors first and removing all the lining.
    The piece of leather to go around the pot needs to be the same height as the tin can and about 2cm longer than the diameter of the tin can you are going to cover.
    cutting up leather handbag
    cutting leather pot sleeve to size

  3. Next paint the cut piece of leather with watercolour paints. As you first brush the watercolour paint on the leather you will notice that the faux leather appears to repel the paint at first but if you leave it a few seconds the paint will stick to the leather.
    It is hard to paint detail with watercolour paint but I liked the washed out effect it gives on the leather. I just used lots of bright colours from my paint pallet to create a random rainbow pattern on the leather.
    If you have never painted with watercolours there are lots of fabulous tutorials available. You may also want to practice on paper first before painting the faux leather.
    painting the leather with watercolour
    painting the leather with watercolour

  5. It shouldn’t take long for the paint to dry. I left my paint as it was, but if you want you can seal it with an acrylic spray sealer. This will probably give the leather pen pot a shinier finish. Once dry the sleeve is ready to sew. Stitch the two ends together with a brightly coloured embroidery thread using a blanket stitch.
    Blanket stitch leather pen pot

  7. Finally, slip the leather cover over the tin can to create your lovely leather pen pot.

upcycled rainbow leather pot
Upcycled tin can into a rainbow leather pen pot
Or if you prefer you can use your upcycled leather pot as a unique plant pot for some succulents. Either
Upcycled rainbow leather planter
Either way leather desk tidy or trendy planter I know they will both look great on my desk!
watercolor rainbow upcycled leather pen pot
watercolor rainbow upcycled leather pen pot
If you are looking for more tin cans upcycle ideas you can check them out here.
Amazing ways to upcycle tin cans
This isn’t the first time I’ve painted leather in the past I have made an upcycled leather bag with paint and iron on transfers.
How to make a stunning upcycled leather bag. This was done with spray paints and iron on image transfer.
If you are looking for more green crafting ideas visit


data-pin-description=”Upcycle a tin can and an old handbag to make a rainbow leather planter. #planter #tincan #leather”upcycled leather planter

Rosie (@greenrosielife)

Tuesday 18th of September 2018

I think this would make a great present to give a teacher. I know from my teacher friends that they prefer something handmade and not just anything grabbed from the shelf without much forethought - or yet another "Best Teacher" mug! How easy was the faux leather to sew? #GoingGreen

Claire Armstrong

Tuesday 18th of September 2018

Thank you. The faux leather was so easy to sew the darning needle went through it like butter.

Cheryl | TimeToCraft

Sunday 16th of September 2018

What a great way to use an old leather bag. Fake or not. Love the addition of the paint. I know it would make me smile when I sat down to work, if they were on my desk. #GoingGreen

Claire Armstrong

Sunday 16th of September 2018

Thank you, it does brighten up my desk.

Waste Not Wednesday Week 116 - My Thrifty House

Saturday 18th of August 2018

[…] DIY Leather Pen Pot […]

Waste Not Wednesday 116 - Salvage Sister and Mister

Wednesday 15th of August 2018

[…] How to Make A Gorgeous Leather Pen Pot|Pillar Box Blue […]


Tuesday 14th of August 2018

Love this idea. You were my favorite pick for this week on Waste Not Wednesday!

Claire Armstrong

Tuesday 14th of August 2018

Thank you, Deborah that’s awesome.