Tutorial: How to Decorate a Pencil Cup

Tutorial created using Adobe Photoshop CS5 with Windows Vista.

This tutorial will show you how to decorate a pencil cup using Safari Time Collection and Safari Animals Embellishment Mini.

I think I buy new colored pencils every year for my children to have here at our house. And every year, it seems the box gets lost and the pencils are found in various places. I decided this week to collect them and put them in a pencil cup. Then I remembered some glass jars that I had saved. I thought it would be fun to decorate the pencil cups (in this case, two jars). You can use a cup, glass, jar, or can (with smooth edges) for this project.


1. Measure the area of the jars that you will be decorating. Wrap a piece of paper around the jar and make a mark where the paper overlaps the end. Then lay the paper flat and measure from the edge to the mark. I would add half of an inch to allow for overlap. Then use a ruler to measure the height of the area. I needed to make a rectangle that was 9.5 inches by 2.3 inches.

2. Open up a new document in Photoshop that is 11 inches wide and 8.5 inches tall. Create a new layer, choose the Rectangular Marquee Tool, choose Fixed Size for the style, and enter the values you obtained for the width and the height. Then click on your document and a rectangle selection will appear. I suggest clicking towards the left of the document so the whole rectangle shows up. Make sure that new layer is still selected and use the Paint Bucket Tool to fill the selection with color (any color). Then turn off the selection by clicking on Select, then Deselect.

3. Open up a paper and put it on the layer above the rectangle. Clip the paper to the rectangle.  You can do this by making your paper layer active, right-clicking over the paper in the Layers Palette, and choosing Create Clipping Mask. In Photoshop Elements, use Ctrl+G to clip one layer to the layer below.  Now add layers of grass and animals. You can add shadows to the animals. You’ll see below that I have two rectangles on my screen. I wanted to decorate two jars so I worked on them in the same screen.

4. When you have the animals arranged, print your project; I used white cardstock. Next, cut out your rectangle. Use adhesive to adhere one end to the jar; I used glue dots. Then wrap the rectangle around the jar and adhere the other end. Place your pencils in the jar and enjoy the cute pencil cups!

5. Use your digital scrapbook supplies to decorate pencil cups to suit your taste, your decor, or the season! The best thing is, you can change the look as often as you’d like!

I happen to know one little fellow who sure enjoys seeing these animals while he is drawing!


Safari Time Collection

Safari Animals Embellishment Mini

Tutorial written by Scrap Girls Designer Charlene Crowder


  1. Super cute, and so are the pencil holders!

  2. Oh how simple and cute!

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