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Paint your own Back-to-school Accessories and Supplies

Written by: | Published: July 30, 2021 | Updated: January 16, 2023

Customize your school supplies and accessories with this easy painting technique. You need just a few materials to get started. This is a school themed craft perfect for updating a desk. homework station or school supply area in a classroom. So grab your favorite paint colors and let’s create some personalize projects.

DIY artsy painted pencil holder

I’ve partnered with Plaid to show you how quickly you can create these fun school accessories. We are featuring the Apple Barrel Gloss acrylic paint for this project. It’s got a great shine and dries pretty quickly. You can find this paint in a variety of colors and multi-paint sets at Walmart.

Apple Barrel Multi-color Gloss Acrylic Craft Paint
Apple Barrel Multi-color Gloss Acrylic Craft Paint

This affordable and long-lasting paint applies smoothly and dries quickly giving all your projects a high quality finished look. Use on wood, Styrofoam, plaster, terra cotta, tin and so much more! Shop Apple Barrel Gloss acrylic at Walmart

paint your own colorful pencil holder for back-to-school

DIY Painted Pencil Holder

Easily customize desk accessories, notebooks, pencil holders and more. I’ll show you how to create an artsy painted look in your favorite colors. This is a perfect DIY project for beginners and a fun family activity to get ready for school.


  • Apple Barrel Gloss acrylic paint
  • Wide paintbrush
  • Empty aluminum can, washed and dried
  • Bowl of water
  • Paper plate
  • Paper towel
Create this DIY project look for 3 paint colors

Tip: I used just 3 colors for my project. I’m using colors from the Apple Barrel Multi-color Gloss Acrylic Craft Paint (20 Pieces) from Walmart. Choose 3 of your own favorite colors or use the same I did: Pure Pink, Tangelo, Real Yellow.


  1. Protect your work surface.
  2. Prep the aluminum can – removing the label, washing inside and out, then allowing to dry.
  3. Apply a coat of pink at the top, yellow at the bottom and create a quick blend with orange in the middle. Allow to dry.
  4. Apply a second coat of paint, pink, yellow then orange again. Before the paint dries, add a bit more color to overlap pink onto orange, yellow over pink, etc. Be careful not to over blend or you’ll end up with a pencil holder that is mostly just orange. Once you’re happy with the look, set aside to dry.
  5. You can paint the inside of the can by adding all three paints and rolling the can. Make sure to pour out the excess or allow to dry for a few days.
This gloss paint is bright, bold and paints easily
Paint a recycled can to create a pencil holder
paint the inside of your pencil holder too

More DIY painting Ideas for back-to-school

Follow this same technique to decorate notebooks, pencils and more. I like to use my scrap paper to create bookmarks too!. Or how about using different sized brushes to create a different look. Mix and match different combinations of colors and coordinate your supplies. You can also paint some of the desk accessories for at home learning or a teacher desk.

paint notebooks too!
Create custom pencils with paint
Use different colors to create unique looks and fit your own style
Apple Barrel gloss acrylic paint from Plaid

Make this project! Head to Walmart for your own set of Apple Barrel Gloss acrylic paint from Plaid (you can shop online and ship home or pick up at your local store.). Save a couple cans and set aside some of your school notebooks and folders. This is such a fun project to make with the kids. Everyone can personalize with their own colors and style. as you’re getting excited for school to start up again!

DIY Pencil holder with paint
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Jen is Passionate about Creativity. She is the owner and "doodle in charge" of JGoode Designs, a Denver based design studio. She is an illustrator, mixed media artist and creative lifestyle blogger. Jen has been a creative professional since 1998 but says she's been an artist since she was old enough to eat glue.

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