Recycle A Brick Into Something Useful

7 Materials
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. I'll show you how I turned this ordinary brick into a useful pen holder for my desk.
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.
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 fun and super easy craft. It's also very affordable. I spent leads than $5 for the decorative napkins. Everything else I already had in my craft supplies. If you are starting out without any supplies, it shouldn't cost you more than $10, especially if you go to the dollar store or use your coupons from Michaels or JOANN Fabrics craft Supply.

Resources for this project:

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Diane and Dean DIY
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 18 questions
  • John John on Jan 31, 2018
    Have you tried marbleing ?
  • Nancy Nancy on Feb 01, 2018
    What do you put under it to keep from marking up the desk?
  • Wulf_lisa1 Wulf_lisa1 6 days ago

    How did you keep the napkin from ripping to shreds? Especially trying to write on it afterwards? Maybe I'm missing something but it would just seem like the 1ply left of the napkin would just rip, shred just fall apart even as you try to coat the brick with it.


Join the conversation

2 of 185 comments
  • Maggie Maggie 5 days ago

    I have a place on my glass top desk so I will probably use cork or felt as someone has suggested. Great gift idea too! Something so easy to do Thanks!

  • N. G. Londonderry N. G. Londonderry 3 days ago

    Usually on these kinds of Mod Podge projects you add a protective coating of Mod Podge on top. I’ve done several.