You’ve seen the pen gift sets where a matching pencil and hinged case constitutes a $25, or higher, price tag. Lots of people give pen gift sets out to employees, friends or associates for various occasions but don’t necessarily have to pay the high price. Add embellishments to ordinary pens and you have something just as nice.
There are cheap ways to adorn pens and there are tedious ways, but no matter what you choose, the pen will be an impressive gift. Make matching pencils, put them in a decorated box, and you have a nice pen and pencil set equal to some you see in retail stores. And, since small craft items aren’t expensive, you can make a set for little money.
A quick way to jazz up a pen or pencil is to use yarn. Ordinary yarn is fine but there are also varieties like angora or metallic. There are many ways to do this project. Wrap a single thread round and round until you’ve completely covered the writing object. Or, braid three of the same or three different threads together and wrap. Each technique will give you a different look. Wrap in ordinary yarn then go over that wrap, in the opposite direction, with metallic.
How you wrap the thread will determine the final pattern. Wrap straight around, or angle the yarn instead. Use a dot of hot glue to secure the yarn at the beginning, then another at the very end. Try wrapping straight around for one layer then angle the next. This will leave recessed areas where you can glue jewels.
You can eliminate the yarn altogether and use faux jewels to decorate your pen. First cover the pen in glitter paint and allow to dry. Then lay a row of squeezable glitter paint vertically on the pen. Align the jewels in the paint and lay pen down until jewels are dried. Lay another row of glitter paint and align the jewels. Continue this pattern until the jewels are covering the pen or pencil completely. Instead of faux jewels you can also use sequin or beads.
For a different technique, cover the very tip of a pen or pencil with foil or tape. Spray paint the pen with metallic colors of gold or silver. Use very thin craft wire to make a jeweled wrap for the pen. Choose a theme, like angels, then purchase tiny angel beads. Choose other small beads that go well with the angels’ color.
Wrap the pliable wire around the top of the pen. Begin threading beads and angels, in the pattern you choose. You can cover the entire wire with beads and angels or just slide them on here and there. Instead of angels you can use dolphins, initials, tiny butterfly beads or other choices. And, you can eliminate the wire and simply glue the beads into place for a simpler creation.
A fun design for children is to use tiny eraser shapes. Erasers come in packs of bunny designs, apples, fish, baseballs, butterflies and many others. Glue the shapes on, all around the pen, for a cute look to a child’s set. Or, use tiny pom-poms to decorate the set. They’re soft and help the child hold a grip.
After fashioning new pens the tops often will no longer fit. You can often use magic marker lids in place of the original lid. Another lid can sometimes be made from the hard plastic caps that sometimes come on small squirt bottle products. They’re easy to decorate, too.
It’s easy to make a box for the pen and pencil set to be displayed. The perfect size box is one that often hold new checks. When your new order of checks arrive remove them and decorate the box. Use a rectangular piece of styrene to hold the pen and pencil up off the bottom of the box. Lay the set onto the styrene and draw around them. Use a small knife to cut an indentation out from inside each drawn perimeter. This will allow the pen and pencil to settle into the styrene and keep them from rolling around inside the box.
Cover the styrene, as well as the rest of the box, with corduroy, velvet, satin, or something else. Use fabric glue to hold the material in place. Velvet is one of the easiest fabric with which to work since it hide mistakes easily. Satin is beautiful but is much more difficult to fashion.
You’ll have fun making the pen and pencil sets and the recipient of the gift will never know it wasn’t store-bought – unless you tell them. Either way, it’ll be an impressive gift for yourself or someone else.