Sunday, January 27, 2013

Cute and Easy Paper Covered Bic Pens

I saw this idea a long time ago to decorate the inside of a Bic pen and thought it looked so easy and cute. I finally did it this year and gave bunches of them away as Christmas gifts to people in the lab. They take about 30 seconds to make and the possibilities are endless. The link I saw it on used washi tape but I did not want to spend money on that so I just used scrapbook paper and tissue paper and I think it was probably much easier than tape would have been. I found that tissue paper works best because it is so thin. I just used regular cheap Bic pens but I have also seen it done with the fatter clear pens like these ones. Basically, if you can pull the ink out you can use it.

Bic pens
thin scrapbook or tissue paper
clear tape

Pull the center of your bic pens out. Cut a strip of paper just the length of the pen and about 1.5 inches wide and secure to the middle of the ink barrell with a piece of tape. Hold the pen end while rolling the paper around. Make sure it is nice and tight. Insert back into the barrel of the pen. It will be nice and snug and you probably can't ever get it out so if you mess up just throw it away and you only lost about 10 cents.

Tie a bunch together with ribbon or put into a mug as a gift. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Crayon Monogram Shadow Box

Now that I've given away a few handmade presents over the last few months I can finally post about them. This crayon monogram shadow box is the perfect teacher gift or would be cute in a child's room to display the first letter of their first name. I used a regular certificate frame (that fit 8.5X11) that I found at Hobby Lobby, it doesn't need to be an actual shadow box frame, just one where the glass is in the front and doesn't directly touch the back so that you have room for the crayons. I found inspiration for the directions here.

First I made a large letter in Word on a paper size template and drew a line as a guide for the height of the letter. I printed off both, the letter on scrap paper and the line guide on nice cardstock.

Then I laid out my crayons and cut them to the right lengths to fit over the letter template. I used an exacto knife to make the cuts. The crayons on the curve must be cut at an angle. Once I had my letter perfect (and in a ROYGBIV color like order) I transferred them one at a time to the cardstock with the line quide (so that I wouldn't have to worry about any of the letter showing through) and glued them with Elmer's glue. I felt more comfortable using Elmer's glue than hot glue so that I had some freedom to shift the crayons around after I set them down. Make sure your cut edges don't have any crumbly edges or else when it is all finished you will have wax crumbs falling to the bottom of the frame, so blow on it to test for any strays.

Then I set the frame on top and cut a piece of thick cardboard to fit the back. I had to make my own backing because the one it came with wouldn't fit right with the crayons. I gave it as a gift to a teacher with a nice stand to display it on.