Beaded Pens Make Unique Gifts
I came across a YouTube video of this lady making beaded pens and I loved the idea. She used a lot of bling-y beads, which is cool, but I had a stash of coloured wood beads, so I thought I’d give this idea a whirl using them.
I gotta tell ya, this may just be my new craft obsession! It’s so easy to do and the results are sooo satisfying! I’ve already made several pens and I’m going to start giving some of them away. Beaded pens make unique gifts, as well as being something that everyone uses.
- package of stick pens (Dollarama)
- assorted wood beads (on hand and Dollarama)
- mini screwdriver set (specifically Philips and slotted)
- needle nose pliers
- Gorilla Glue (on hand)
Don’t let the fact that I’ve listed tools throw you. As you will see, they play only a minimal role here.
I bought a package of 15 stick beads for $1.50 at Dollarama. I also had some pen refills I had bought on Amazon a while back and used a couple of them to make smaller pens.
My stash of beads, along with a package of pony beads and smaller round beads that I added when I knew I was going to be using a lot of beads. I thought the pony beads would make great spacers, or add a contrasting colour to a pen. But, as you will see, spacers aren’t strictly necessary.
Note the longish oval beads on the upper left-hand side of my bead tray. I used two of these for each pen.
I bought a set of mini screwdrivers at the dollar store years ago and they are still going strong. I am using the smallest slotted screwdriver to help me wedge the top off of the stick pen. I simply placed it under the edge of the cap and wiggled it back and forth until it loosened.
Be careful doing this. I poked myself in the finger once when the screwdriver slipped!
Once the top of the pen has been raised a bit, it’s an easy matter to grasp it with the needle nose pliers and pull it and the refill out of the pen. New pens come with a little plastic bit covering the pen tip. I learned to leave it on until after I was done adding the beads. Saves you from getting ink on your fingers. 😉
Before I could start adding beads, I discovered that many of the ones in my stash weren’t hollowed out enough to fit over the refill. That’s were my mini Philips screwdriver came in handy. It’s just about the same width of the pen refill. I used it to push through the beads to clear out any blockage.
Because of the ridges on this screwdriver, I was also able to use it to make the inside of a bead a bit larger by twisting it back and forth inside the centre of the bead.
Once I had tried the bead on my refill and new it fit, I used a toothpick to apply some Gorilla Glue to the inside of the first bead, to ensure it would stay in place. You can use hot glue, but I wanted a more permanent hold.
I used these long beads just above the pen tip. I thought this would make for a comfortable way to grip the pen when using it.
Once the first bead was in place, it was a simple matter to thread the rest of the beads onto the refill. Choose whatever colour combination or bead size you like. The possibilities are endless! I happened to be making this pen for my daughter-in-law, who loves purple.
I didn’t find it necessary to glue these beads together. I used a second long bead to finish the pen at the top, adding glue to it first and pushing it on so it fits tight against the rest of the beads. This top bead and the one by the tip, holds the others securely in place.
By not gluing the middle beads together, I’ve created something like a fidget pen, as they move quite freely.
Here’s a pen I made using all brown beads. For this one, I started with smaller beads and worked my way up to larger ones.
If, after you place the end piece on the pen, a bit of the refill protrudes out the top, it’s a simple matter to trim it off using an X-acto blade.
Some of beaded pens I’ve made so far. The green one and the red and brown one were made using the smaller pen refills. Looking at all these pens makes me happy!
There are so many different types of beads out there. I’m excited to go shopping so I create more of these fun pens!
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