I’m going to make my own pens at home. Sounds ambitious, doesn’t it? Well, to be fair, we’re not making the whole pen. We’re making the body of the pen. But I still think it’s pretty cool. Specially, for the stationery obsessed (like me). Because, not only do I get to add new designs to my collection. But I also get to make them in a whole range of colors and combinations. Just imagine making these in the colors of the rainbow and having the complete set! I AM EXCITED! So, let’s see how we can make a pen at home!
Time: 20 minutes per pen
Budget: Low to medium
- Colourful air dry clay
- Pen refill
- Powder/ flour
- Glue / Mod Podge
For these pen covers, I wanted the design to look like those big swirled lollipops you get at carnivals. You know, the ones that you buy because they look pretty. But, can never manage to finish (If you can finish them, then you’re amazing!). So, we took clay in a whole bunch of colours.
Here’s how to make your own DIY pens:
- Start by deciding on your colours (1-5 colours. More than that, and it will be difficult to manage) and breaking off equal pieces of the clay.
- Sprinkle a little bit of powder or flour on a hard surface.
- Take the first colour and roll it in the powder.
- Then place clay between your hands and started rolling it. First into a ball and then into a tube/ cylinder. This helps make the clay softer and easier to work with.
- Place the cylinder on the surface and using both your hands start rolling the clay outwards. The strand needs to be at least 3 cms longer than the length of the pen. If you’re using a single colour, then about 6 cms longer than the refill.
6. Repeat this step for all the colours.
7. Once the colourful strands are ready, pinch all the strands together from one end.
8. Apply a thin layer of glue over the refill.
9. Using the joint end, start wrapping the clay around the refill. Start from the bottom, overlapping the first layer and then move upwards, at a slight angle. Keep pressing the strands together to make sure, no gaps are seen. When you’ve reached the top of the pen, cut off the excess clay.
10. Pinch the clay together, just below the nib. I don’t apply any glue here, usually. Because it leaves a very small gap, which can be used to pull the refill out, once its over. That way, you can reuse the cover with another refill.
11. For the bottom of the pen, make a small ball of the excess clay and place it over the clay. Smoothen it into the swirled clay.
12. To make the pen firm, carefully roll the pen between your hands and against a hard surface. This will help smoothen the surface and remove any excess air.
And then just leave it in the sun for a couple of hours and it’ll be ready to use! Neat, right?
Things to keep in mind:
- Try to make the clay strands as even as possible, without making any part too thin. If the strands are thin, they will break off when you’re rolling them around the pen.
- In case the clay breaks while you’re rolling it, then press the same strand at the breaking point and press it really well. It’s not ideal, but it will hold.
- Wrap the clay as close to the refill as possible.
- Obviously, you’re not writing any exams with these pens. But, if you’re the only one using them, you can press your fingers into the sides of the pen, while they’re drying. This will make a small indent, that will make the pen easier to hold.
How do you like our tutorial on how to make a pens at home? Let me know your thoughts, questions and what design you would make in the comments below. And, if you make this tutorial, please don’t forget to share a picture with us!