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Art Class Dollar Store Pencil Sharpener Hack

Do you have trouble with pencil sharpeners in your art classroom?  Maybe you need my Pencil Sharpener Hack! I think this is a common problem!  I have been teaching art for 14 years now and I think I have tried something different every year.  This year, I’m going to share with you what I have come up with.  I will circle back with updates about how it is working later in the semester!  

I typically use those little metal or plastic hand-held sharpeners at each of my tables in my classroom…mostly because I don’t have much of a budget and I’m cheap!

My classroom doesn’t have one of those old school wall pencil sharpeners (plus, I’m not a fan because even high school students will EAT UP the pencils in those things!) I do have an electric pencil sharpener, but I save that baby for JUST ME. No Students Allowed! Most of the students don’t even know I have one of those! I don’t want students putting colored pencils in there!! You know they would!

Can you see why I need this Pencil Sharpener Hack?!

Each table typically has a little basket with supplies.  Inside of there, I have a small cup that holds the small pencil sharpener.  They just use that at the tables and it fills up with the shavings. 

Every so often, they have to dump the shavings out, but it seems like often also dump the sharpener in the trash, too!  So, I’m always having to hand out new sharpeners.  

This year, I found some nice metal pencil holders from the Dollar Tree.  I also discovered some small metal (probably meant for paperclips) cups that nested in the top of the canisters!  I bought each table one of each.  I also found some small magnetic buttons at the Dollar Tree.  They came in a pack of 14 for $1.25. 

I used hot glue to attach the small magnets to the pencil sharpener.  Then I placed the pencil sharpener in the small container on top of the larger pencil holder.  The magnet keeps the sharpener a little more secure and students can fill up the bottom cup with the shavings so they can always easily find the sharpener!

Now, someone please give me some help with ERASERS!

pencil sharpener hack supplies

You can see all the supplies (except the hot glue gun!) here. 

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Hi, I’m Erin!

I’ve been a high school art teacher at a rural school in WV for the past 14 years. I teach Art 1, AP Art + Design, Art 2 and 3. 
I’m a little obsessed with my sweet husband. Together we have FOUR kids and a rescue dog named Boomer! 
I love a bad pun and terrible dad jokes. I spend time looking at MBTI memes, cooking, listening to serial killer podcasts and Harry Potter audiobooks on repeat. I also teach yoga and indoor cycling. Click the button below to learn more about me. 

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