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Make Your Own….Pencil Cup

Over the summer I enjoyed a Martha Stewart Living article about shell art. I’ve always been a fan of beach décor, not kitschy beach themed accents, just simple furniture and accessories that remind me of summer.

Inspired by that article, I attempted some shell art for my office. Here are the end results:

Shell Pencil Cup

Star Fish Pencil Cup

Make Your Own


  • Clear glass vase(s) from a hobby thrift store.
  • Bag of miniature shells from the hobby store.
  • Starfish from the hobby store or a shell shop if you live by the beach.
  • Twine


  • Glue Gun
  • Needle-nose pliers (optional)
  • Scissors

To make the starfish pencil cup simply wrap the twine around the cup.  Make sure that the front overlaps to build up the twine, tie off in the front.  Place a large amount of hot glue on the area where the twine overlaps and is tied off. Attach the starfish.  Even people that don’t consider themselves handy can tackle this DIY project. Super simple.

Starfish Pencil Cup Closeup

The shell pencil cup will take a little more time and patience, but not much more skill. Start at the bottom place the hot glue, about an inch at a time, and add the shells in a row.  Do one row at a time so that you can be sure it lines up.  Don’t worry about extra glue it gives it a shiny look that I didn’t mind. You can use needle-nose pliers to place the shells if that makes it easier.

Shell Pencil Cup Close Up

I loved the shell pencil cup so much I made more to use as candle holders.  The shells look amazing with the glow from a lit candle. Just remember, unless you’ve achieved a paperless office keep the candles at home.