1. Cute Candy Pencil
Rolled caramel candies
Cardstock — chrome yellow and dark pink
Paper cutter (optional)
1-inch circle punch
Craft tape runner
Fine-tip permanent markers — black and blue
Glue stick (extra-strong)
Chocolate candy drop (one per pencil)
- If using individual candies, tape seven of them together to form a roll. Remove the paper flag from the chocolate drop. Using an adhesive dot, attach the chocolate drop to one end of the roll of rolled caramel candies
- Using a paper cutter, cut a 3 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch piece of yellow cardstock. Cut a 3 1/2-by-1/2-inch strip of pink cardstock. Cut a 3 1/2-by-1/2-inch piece of aluminum foil
- Match the 3 1/2-inch sides of the yellow and pink cardstock pieces together. Attach them to each other using the craft tape runner. Fold the strip of aluminum foil into thirds. Using the craft tape runner, attach the foil strip to the yellow paper, just below the pink strip
- Using either marker, write the back-to-school greeting you desire in the middle of the yellow paper
- Run a line of extra-strong glue along the back of one long side of the yellow cardstock (the attached pink and silver strips will be on the opposite side). Roll the yellow cardstock around the prepared roll of caramel candies, keeping the pink and silver strips on the outside. Hold the paper together until the glue adheres and it is safe to let go
- Create the “eraser” by cutting a 1-inch square from pink cardstock. Using an adhesive dot, attach the pink square to the caramel candy at the pink end of the pencil. Trim the edges to create a circle
- Repeat steps to make as many pencils as desired
Tip: Using the black marker, darken the tip of the chocolate drop to give it the appearance of lead or graphite.
2. Pretty Pom-Pom Pens
Pom-pom maker (optional)
2-inch-wide strip of corrugated cardboard (optional)
Yarn, baker’s twine or string in your desired color
Lightweight wire — about 25 1/2 centimetres (10 inches) per pen
Ballpoint pens with caps
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Follow the instructions that come with the pom-pom maker to make your pom-poms
- You can also make pom-poms with a 2-inch-wide strip of corrugated cardboard (length doesn’t matter). Wrap yarn, baker’s twine or string around the cardboard strip; the more times you wrap, the denser and fluffier your pom-pom will be
- Once you are done wrapping, slide the fiber bundle off of the cardboard strip. Hold tight so the fibers don’t separate. Wrap a piece of lightweight wire around the center of the bundle, twisting the ends together to hold the fibers in place. (Keep the excess wire attached to the pom-pom.) Using scissors, cut the looped ends of the fibers and fluff them with your fingers to form a pom-pom
- Remove the clip from the pen. Holding the pom-pom at the top of the pen (not the ballpoint tip), hot-glue the excess wire to the pen’s barrel. Take care to keep the pom-pom fibers out of the way. While the glue is still warm, wrap matching — or contrasting — yarn, baker’s twine or ribbon around the pen, leaving enough room at the end to fit on the cap. Use a dab of hot glue to hold the end of the fiber in place
- Repeat steps to make as many pretty pom-pom pens as desired
Tip: This project is a great way to upgrade inexpensive pens and to disguise pens bearing advertising logos.
Tip: Wrapping your pens or pencils in just yarn is another adorable way to embellish them. Simply dilute crafting glue in water, soak the string in it, wrap and let dry.
3. Fancy Feather Pencil
Real or artificial feathers in the color(s) you desire
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Ribbon in the color you desire
- Using the utility knife, trim the bottoms of three feathers to leave about two inches of shaft on each. Hot-glue the exposed shafts near the top of a wood pencil. (You want the feathers to plume over the top of the eraser)
- While the glue is still warm, connect a piece of ribbon to the top of the pencil (just below the vanes of the feathers). Wrap the ribbon several times around the pencil until it covers the ends of the shafts. Trim the ribbon, fold the end, and hot glue it in place to prevent fraying
- Repeat steps to make as many feather pencils as desired
Tip: Add extra dimension to your feather pencil by hot-gluing one or more buttons, small stones, glass beads or metal charms on top of the ribbon.
Tip: Nothing complements fancy feathers like fun faces! Glue some googly eyes to felt and wrap it to cover the metal part of the pencil eraser.
What’s your favorite back-to-school craft? Log in or register and tell us in the comments below!
Debra is a Midwest-based expert on crafting, home design (especially kitchens, baths, and storage), and holidays. She spends her free time renovating and decorating her 1909 Craftsman home—and wrangling her two Golden Retrievers.