Not Martha

to make: fridge tin pen holder


before and after


first, take the lid off


just pull a little and the thingy will bend, the top will come off easily


I painted a white base coat, leaving the back bare


small, strong rare earth magnets


ta da (I’ll get around to decorating the band aid tin someday)


I did the same with a wide band-aid style tin

While I was searching for band-aid style tins I noticed the Starbucks gum tin would be great as a pen holder for the fridge. I took off the lid, it came off easily with a little pressure and wiggling, then I painted a few coats of white. I used matte Mod Podge to put down strips of orange tissue paper (this was done around Halloween time). Then I used silicone glue to attach tiny rare earth magnets to the back. I found the magnets at Radio Shack, but Alex has found some at The Container Store called Mighty Magnet Rounds, see her A-list for more great stuff.

The first one of these I painted all the way around, then glued the magnets on the back. When I tried to pry it off the fridge the tin came with me, but the magnets and some flakes of white base paint stayed on the fridge. So don’t bother finishing the back if you are going to use very strong magnets.

I tried regular magnets, see the marble magnet project, but they were not strong enough, the tin tended to slide on the fridge too easily.

I also found a wide silver band-aid style tin at a Japanese stationary store in Palo Alto, California called Mai Do. I took the lid off, glued more magnets down, and it’s great for holding small things, recipe cards or notes.


added in May 2005: I did the same thing but with some nice, removable 3M Command interlocking fasteners (like velcro, but not) to attach a pen holder to the inside leg of my desk. Also to note, Eclipse mint tins have the same long thin shape.

18 Comments

18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bette // Dec 16, 2006 at 1:59 pm

    GREAT IDEAS!!
    I found your web site through StumbleUpon.com.

  • 2 Marilyn // Dec 20, 2006 at 7:16 am

    I definitely have to try this out. I have just the paper for it too!!! Thanks!

  • 3 Amanda // Oct 7, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    Awesome! I have a dry-erase board on my fridge…now I know what to do with all my dry-erase markers that roll off the top of the fridge everytime I touch it :)

  • 4 toddc // Dec 19, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    I just wanted to remind you the magnet is not good to have next to your computer. It damages the hard drive. I saw this in the second pic down in the right column. Nice Web site!

  • 5 Charcuterista // Feb 12, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Sweet idea! I’m always chasing down a pen to add stuff to my grocery lists, conveniently kept on the fridge…this is a must do.

  • 6 Kelly // Feb 24, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    I need one of these so badly…

  • 7 Toblerone @ Simple Mom // Jun 16, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Brilliant! Such a great idea.

  • 8 Deborah // Sep 1, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Very cool.
    What kind of glue did you use for the magnets?

  • 9 Jan Stark // Sep 13, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    I’ve linked to this project, recommending it as a Christmas gift idea. And, thanks for the Mighty Magnet Rounds tip.

  • 10 Crafts from the heart at etsy.com // Nov 22, 2008 at 6:20 am

    Great Ideas

  • 11 Dee // Mar 19, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    neat idea… like the way you present it, too.

  • 12 Phannie // Apr 18, 2009 at 8:01 am

    Thanks for the idea! I’ve been saving the starbucks gum container for awhile, knowing that i could use it for something. When I saw your project, I thought it was great!
    Thanks for the idea!

  • 13 Angie // May 17, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Love this idea! I’ve been trying to think of a way to keep dry erase markers on the fridge. Thanks!

  • 14 Gwen // Jul 25, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    I have also done this with a plastic M&Ms Minis container and attached a round magnet. It holds up to 4 pencils without tipping.

  • 15 shel // Nov 3, 2009 at 7:31 am

    omg y didn’t i think of that ive been looking for one for awhile but they always seems over prices for what they are.. and i would just keep the look of the original package.. gum.candy or whatever.. it kinda adds whimsy and would brighten my day :) when i grab a pen

  • 16 Back to School Ideas for the Classroom: What to Do for the First Day : thelessonmachine.com // Apr 9, 2010 at 10:52 am

    [...] with a magnet on the back. Those who like straight advertising and product packaging art will find this project from Not Martha exceptionally quick, as you won’t have to even decorate the tin if you [...]

  • 17 do stuff! » Dry Erase Magnets tutorial, plus other magnet ideas! // Jun 8, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    [...] a piece of paper towel to use as an eraser, excellent!  Or, you can make one of these awesome fridge tin pen holders by Not [...]

  • 18 Mama__B // Feb 12, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Sweet. I have a couple of tins in my purse. Thanks!

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