My Simple Marker Holder - Hardest Part Was Drying The Mod Podge

My Simple Marker Holder - Hardest Part Was Drying The Mod Podge

Years ago I came across this felt pen, or marker, holder in Jean Van’t Hul’s book The Artful Parent. It was geared towards toddlers as it’s easier to pull the marker out of the holder rather than the from a little lid and much simpler to put the marker back. I knew I had to create it for ourselves and made sure to snap some photos of it; however, once finished, I never got around to sharing them with you. I loved the finished product and the kids enjoyed using it but Zoey was still a bit too small to use it by herself and Ada became disinterested in it so once the markers dried out it became simpler to store the new markers in a pencil box so the felt pen holder was set aside. A couple months ago; however, Zoey came across it and asked me about it so I decided to fix it up so they could use it again. Both girls, now four and almost six, have been enjoying using it again. I’m not sure how long they’ll stay interested in using it but I wanted to share it with you, while I still remembered, in case you’re looking for something similar for your kids. Although, I made it when my kids were younger I could see this being a fun project to do with them if I were to make it again now.

Pinterest image showing a collage of five images (all shown below) of the felt pen holder along with the title and URL of my blog post.

I immediately went out to buy a bucket of plaster of paris and, as the felt pens’ lids would be stuck within the plaster of paris, knew to choose markers that would be simple to find, over the years, so I could easily replace them whenever the old ones dried out. I ended up deciding on the Crayola Pip-Squeeks Skinnies and bought a multi-pack. I actually hoped their size would mean more room for the markers in the holder and more room around each marker for the little fingers to grasp them. After assembling the rest of the supplies, including a bright and colorful thick flannel scrap I got from the first and only time I visited a Fabmo sale, I finally got started making it. I followed the directions listed in the book and and it turned out fabulously…. and then I continued on my own and had a few issues. I had dyed the plaster pink, using red dye, and it didn’t seem as apparent as I expected so I wanted to go on and glam it up by adding plastic Dollar Tree rhinestones and tons of glitter. I also didn’t want that glitter all over the house so I decided to protect it with mod podge. I knew if I brushed the mod podge onto the surface the glitter might also be brushed off or streaked so I, instead, chose to pour it on. This caused a much thicker layer of mod podge than I had wanted but since I was in a hurry to go somewhere, probably a play date, I left it as it was and returned, three hours later, to our home smelling so strongly of mod podge and the mod podge itself still thick and wet. At this point I knew I had to do something so I trimmed the excess flannel around the top edge and, using a brush, moved some of the mod podge to coat the top and sides of the flannel. I made sure to leave the bottom unpainted as I wanted the soft flannel to cushion the felt pen holder and not scrape my table when the kids moved it back and forth. I then grabbed one of the plastic plates we had, wrapped it in plastic wrap, and flipped the felt pen holder upside down on it hoping the excess mod podge would drip off and the remaining mod podge would dry much quicker. I then set it aside for two days before discovering the mod podge was still wet in places. Some of the mod podge had dribbled down the markers and dried so I took all of them off, scrapped the dried mod podge off of them, used a paintbrush to remove any wet patches on the surface, put the markers back, and then left it right side up to dry overnight. Finally it had dried and the kids were so excited to try it out!

Closeup of the felt pen holder. The surface is all white from the mod podge and the fabric is unfolded around it.
I followed the steps in the book to create my felt pen holder. Once it dried I removed the resulting plaster holder from the bowl, added rhinestones and glitter, and poured mod podge over it all.
The felt pen holder is now sitting on a plastic wrap coated yellow plastic plate. The one piece of flannel is flopped down and the other piece is wrapped around the plater of paris bowl.
I then trimmed the excess flannel from the edge.
Closeup of the base of the felt pen holder. You can see the glitter and a couple of gemstones where the white mod podge was scraped away. The paintbrush used rests leaned up on it at the left while the excess wipes are at the bottom of the photo.
The mod podge wouldn’t dry so I tried to take the excess off with a paintbrush and apparently a wet wipe based on the picture.
Upside down view of the felt pen holder showing the soft flannel bottom of the holder. Then pens in the holder are keeping the base upright above the plastic wrapped red plate.
And then laid the felt pen holder upside down so the excess mod podge would drip off onto the plastic wrapped plate.
The felt pen holder is now upright with blobs of pink mod podge laid out around the felt pens. Some of the felt pens have dried upside down mod podge puddles connected to the bottoms.
Since it was upside down the mod podge ended up looking funny. I had dollops of wet mod podge on the base and had to scrape any excess dried mod podge off of the markers.
Closeup of the base without the markers in the lids. You can see the pink hued plaster of paris and mod podge with the multi colored glitter and plastic gemstones showing through the clear mod podge.
Closeup of the base after taking the markers out of the caps.
Clseup of Ada pulling out a pink marker from the felt pen holder. The holder sits on a piece of paper towel on a brown paper lined table. A painted paper stocking sits in the background.
When it was finally driy I loved how it turned out. The first time we used it I put paper towel under it since it seemed damp from the Vaseline but over time the soft bottom was perfect when the kids moved it along the table.
Collage of three views of the felt pen holder as Ada reaches out and grasps the marker (left), pulls it out (center), and draws next to the holder (right).
Ada loved the novelty of a new toy; although, looking back I wonder if it was too young for Ada, as she had already kind of learned how to take the markers’ lids off, and too old for Zoey as she had trouble and I let it get ‘lost’ after the markers dried out.

Over the next couple years the holder went through some abuse including having a crayon stuck into one of the marker lids. This meant when Zoey became interested in it I had to fix it up by removing the crayon and used crazy glue to insert a new lid once the force of removing the crayon pulled it out. Other than one cracked lid that I couldn’t remove, it was simple to fix up and let the kids play with it again.

Closeup of the top of the felt pen holder showing the open lids and one open hole in the plaster. Among the lids lays a single lid on it's side with a bit of orange crayon sticking out and a metal screw.
I decided to remove the crayon from the lid by screwing a screw into the crayon and pulling it out. Unfortunately. the lid popped out of the plaster before the crayon came out of the lid. Either way the crayon eventually popped out and I decided to instead use a new marker lid instead of the crayon coated one. Either way crazy glue easily stuck the lid back into the open space.
Closeup of the broken lid, in my hand, while, in the background, you can see the little bit of the lid left in the plaster.
Zoey and I realized one of the other lids were cracked. I tried to pull it out but the top stayed in the plaster while the sides came off so I finally gave up taking it out and one slot was lost.
Photo shows a new package of Crayola Pop-squeaks skinnies markers, the emptied felt pen holder, and Zoey's pink clad knees.
We had one final pack of pip-squeak markers on hand so we didn’t have to wait to order more before adding the new markers to the holder.
The felt pen marker has a single marker already in it while a yellow one is poised to be added. Zoey is on her knees behind the felt pen holder and there are various markers on the floor beside it.
Zoey had fun matching the markers with their lids.

And if you’re refilling the felt pen holder then you’re left with all of the marker lids. Zoey had been rescuing emptied toilet paper rolls from the garbage bins so I grabbed some of them and, along with the lids, set up a temporary sensory bin for her.

Image shows our yellow sensory bin with two vertical toilet paper rolls inside it and three below it. Inside of each roll are a couple marker lids.
She started by hiding the lids inside of the vertical toilet paper rolls.
In the foreground I'm holding an angled toilet paper roll and Zoey is about to drop a turquoise lid into it. In the background there's a yellow bin with two vertical rolls and a lid that just came from the 'slide'.
I next showed Zoey she could use the toilet paper rolls as a slide for the lids.

Overall I’m so glad I came across this and made the felt pen holder for the girls. That said I haven’t made anything else with my bucket of plaster of paris so do you have any recommendations on what to do with it? Have you come across The Artful Parent before? If so did you try to make the felt pen holder? How did it turn out for you and what would you do differently? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. I hope your day is going great. And thanks for the awesome idea Jean Van’t Hul.

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