I found an old brick at our rental house the other day when we were doing yard work. It looks like any old building brick but when I saw the holes, it reminded me of a project I saw where someone had recycled an air brick into a pencil holder. I have a gazillion markers, calligraphy pens, pencils and small paintbrushes and am always looking for unique ways to display them on my desk so that I have easy access to them.
This is what an air brick looks like if you aren’t familiar .
My brick only has 5 holes but the holes are a little larger and can fit 3-5 pens and markers in each hole depending on the sizes of my markers.
I would have preferred an air brick like the first picture but when I saw a photo of the air brick below, I almost drooled. I mean, my whole set of Tombow brush markers could fit in this beauty of a brick.
Until I run across an air brick this large, I’m happy to have recycled the brick I found into my pen holder for my desk.
Any craft Paint (I used what I had on hand)
Permanent Opaque Marker for lettering. Black or Gold depending on the color and pattern of your decorative napkin. I used the Sakura Pen-Touch in Gold but I felt the lettering didn’t show up as much with the floral background. You could also use a black oil based sharpie pen.
Small stencils from the craft store if you don’t feel confident with your handwriting
STEP 1: Wipe your brick down with a dry cloth if there is just a little dirt on it or if it is in pretty rough shape hose it down or give it a good scrub to remove any embedded dirt in the holes.
STEP 2: Paint your brick. I had some Annie Sloan Chalk paint in Pure White. I used a paintbrush to give it a couple coats of paint. I did not paint down inside the holes nor did I cover every part of the terracotta brick. I wanted some of the natural brick to show through.
STEP 3: Separate your 2 or 3 ply decorative napkin so that the decorative side is the only ply you have left. This can be a little tedious. Don’t worry if your napkin tears a little. When you mod podge over it, it won’t be noticeable.
STEP 4: With the Sponge foam brush, apply a coat of mod podge on one of the larger sides of the brick. Immediately apply the single ply decorative napkin to the brick.
My decorative napkin was exactly the same length as the brick so I was able to apply the napkin directly to the brick all at one time.
If your napkin is smaller or larger, tear additional pieces and apply to the uncovered areas of the brick. This is the beauty of mod podge. It seals everything together so that it looks like one solid piece. If you don’t care for any seams that there may be, you can take a sanding sponge and lightly sand down the seams. With the decorative napkin being so thin, I doubt that you will see any seams.
Gently tear off the decorative napkin at the sides and bottom of the brick.
STEP 5: Repeat STEP 4 until all the sides of the brick are covered. Let dry for about an hour.
STEP 6: With stencils or your own hand writing, you can write or paint anything on your new pen holder for your desk.
I use my new pen holder for my desk as an actual art supply holder for my favorite hand lettering tools.
Other ideas: If you don’t want to mod podge a decorative napkin, you can use black and white newspaper or pages from an old book. The brick looks great with just paint and stenciled letters too.
Have fun with this super easy craft and feel good that you have recycled something old into something new for you!