Friday, January 6, 2012

DIY - Wall Mounted Pen Holders Made Of Mason Jars!

I'm no Martha Stewart, but maybe after thumbing through this book that my husband bought me for Christmas, I will be! Nah.. It's just given me a TON of cool ideas! And, I'm learning ALOT!

I'm loving this book so far!

Something I wanted to tackle over my 12 day holiday break was actually something I felt inspired to do before Martha Stewart became a part of my nightly routine. *She cuddles with me as I fall asleep* I wanted to find a way to mount mason jars above my desk for pens, pencils, highlighters, etc. I have somewhat of a small desk so space is an issue. I thought, given my recent homemade pin boards, and the magnet board I wanted to make, some sort of mounted board directly in the center above my desk would look great. I wasn't disappointed!

Here's what I did...

First, I hit up my local Lowes Home Improvement store for scrap pieces of wood. I wasn't expecting to hit the motherload, but that's exactly what happened! I was quite surprised at what I was able to score for FREE! Unless you plan on mounting more than 2 jars, you only need a piece of scrap wood about 10" wide, 1" in width and about 6" tall. If you're not lucky enough to score a perfectly smooth & even piece of wood, you could bat your eyelashes and ask the men in the lumber area to help you, or you can smooth it out at home. Your pick! ;-)

Items you'll need:
  • Scrap wood (estimated 10" x 1" x 6")
  • (2) pint size Mason Jars (I used the Kerr brand, but Ball can be used as well)
  • (2) #56 4" adjustable pipe clamps (found in the plumbing dept. of a hardware store)
  • (2) slotted-drive round-head wood screws, 6 x 1/2" 
  • (2) self-leveling picture hangers
  • (2) 1" nails (for attaching the finished product)
  • Fabric of your choosing
  • Spray paint color of your choosing
You'll also need a drill with drill bits, a hammer, razor or sharp knife, fine tip marker, flat-head screwdriver & a staple gun.

Once you have the wood piece you plan to use, you're ready to get started! I chose a quilted type fabric since it was a bit thicker than your typical fabric and I just really liked the simplicity of it. But, you can really use any kind of fabric you want as long as it covers the wood enough where you can't see through it. For that matter, you could skip the fabric altogether if you'd rather spray paint it, or even cover it with wallpaper, etc. Your choice! But for purposes of this post, I will explain what I did based on using fabric.  Also, I chose to spray paint the insides of the mason jar - only the insides. I felt this gave it a frosted look, but didn't completely take away from the elegance of the actual jar. Plus, it hides the barrels of the pens, pencils, etc. for that "clean" look. You can also skip this step if you choose to.

Step #1 is to cover your wood piece with your chosen fabric. I essentially just wrapped the fabric around the wood folding over the corners similar to how I wrap gifts. You may need to gently trim the fabric if it's too thick around the edges. I used a staple gun to attach the fabric. It doesn't really matter if your fabric doesn't cover the back of the wood completely - who's going to see it?! Once you have your fabric mounted the way you want it, you're ready for step #2, which is...

Line up exactly where you want the mason jars on the front of the board. I wanted my jars to be directly in the center, but you may want them lower. Honestly, the jars can be raised or lowered after you've mounted the clamps, however, the clamps themselves need to be lined up so you can be sure where on the jar they will be tightened to. So, with that said, adjust the pipe clamps down to the size just slightly bigger than what will comfortably tighten over the jar without the jar slipping through. This will give you an idea if you need to move the clamp up, down, or to the right or left. Remember, you're mounting two jars so make it as even as you can! While holding the clamp in place where you plan to mount it, use a marker to make a small dot where you'll need to make your pilot holes. And then...

The fun part! Not really - this was something I honestly had to get my hubby to help me with. But, if I tried harder I probably could have succeeded on my own. TIP: Always make your hubby feel needed!  You'll need to drill small pilot holes (about the size of the screws) in your metal pipe clamps exactly where you marked it. Be careful with this step. TIP: Open the adjustable pipe clamps up completely using a flat-head screwdriver.  This will help you to align the drill effectively. They're bendy - they'll go back in circular form. Press down on your garage floor, or a workshop table, but just be sure it's a steady surface. Once the pilot holes are made in the clamps, you can put the clamps back together in circular form. Set aside.

Because fabric can become frayed or twisted once you take a drill to it, especially quilt-like fabric with "stuffing", you'll want to make a small tear/hole where you want to mount the clamps. You can use the clamps with the pilot hole in them as a guide. This will help when you go to actually mount the clamps to the board, and there won't be any "twisting". But be careful, don't make the hole too big! You're almost ready to mount the clamps, but first...

You'll want to mount the picture hangers now, before the pipe clamps are attached. This is because once you actually mount the clamps it will be really hard to hammer down a hanger set if you have a clamp jutting out over 4" on the other side! Yeah, I goofed on this step myself. *live & learn* I used the typical self-leveling picture frame hangers. I used two sets, one of each side of the back of the board. Make sure they're level!

You're ready to mount the clamps! Again, you may want to open up the clamps to mount them, then close them again using a flat-head screwdriver.

Now that you have the wooden board covered in awesome fabric, hangers are mounted & the cool pipe clamps are anxiously awaiting your mason jars, you're ready to spray paint. To protect the outside and rim of the jar, I would recommend covering the jar completely with painters tape. Carefully spray the insides of the jar twisting the jar around as you go. Careful, don't put too much too soon - you may end up with a gooey pile of paint at the bottom of your jars! Let dry for a couple of hours, then gently remove some of the tape to see if you need to apply a second coat. Let your jars dry for several hours.

All you have left to do now is attach this awesomeness to the wall! For sake of just being too cumbersome, leave the jars out of the clamps while mounting. Once you have the board mounted where you want it, slip the mason jars into their forever homes! Adjust the clamps around the jars as necessary to get them exactly as you want them, tighten (but not too tight), and voila! You have an awesome, super crafty, nifty pen & pencil holder for your home office!

This was a really fun project that didn't take a lot of time - it honestly took me MORE time to write this up than it did to probably do the whole thing! Well, not including the paint dry time of course. It also wasn't very expensive to do either! I'd estimate only $12 worth of supplies total, not including the tools needed that I already had at home.

You like? Feeling inspired to make one for yourself? If you do, I'd love to see it! Let me know how it turns out! If you have any questions about this project, let me know - I'd be glad to help!

I gotta say, I ♥♥♥ crafting!

Feeling my own Etsy store isn't far away!!


  1. How to do nail those wonderful crafts on the wall? It made me create one for my kitchen since I have bits and pieces there.

  2. Hi there! Using two self leveling picture hangers, as show in the pic in the post, you essentially just hang it like you would an everyday frame, using two decent strength 1" nails. That's it! (you attach the picture hangers to the back of the wood board, through the fabric). Hope this helps!


    ~ April