Monday, July 7, 2014

Don't Be Jealous of My Harry Potter Wand Pens - Make Your Own!

When you work in a highly trafficked area, you need pens that stand out - pens that would look foolish in anyone else's hands.  Hence, the Harry Potter-like Wand Pen.

I found a tutorial to make these pens on YouTube.  I'm not very adept at putting links in here, but if you copy this and put it in your browser, you'll get to the right place…

NerdECrafter gives a decent description of how to make your own wand-pen, but I made an improvement to this procedure, and I think it's worth noting.

The disposable pens featured in the video are Bic pens with opaque plastic casings.  I've used these pens before to make polymer clay covered pens, and I was successful.  See this post:

I did NOT use aluminum foil to hold the opening for the pen ink, and I did also take out the ink tube itself.  I used the plastic casing in the baking process, and it didn't melt.  HOWEVER, I could have just been lucky - who knows!

THIS time, I purchased Bic Cristal ball point pens and I had a problem with my first batch.  I removed the ink tube but left the crystal clear plastic tube inside the polymer clay before baking.  The 275 degree baking temperature for my clay also melted and SEVERELY SHRANK the plastic tubing, causing it to crack the polymer clay covering.  That batch went into the trash.

Next, I used the aluminum foil method proposed in this video, HOWEVER, I wrapped the foil around a bamboo shishkebob skewer, noting that the ink tube was just lightly smaller than the bamboo skewer. I got a perfectly sized hole for my ink, but when I tried to insert the ink, the aluminum foil squished inside the tube and clogged the chamber.  CRAP!!  I suspect even if I hadn't used the bamboo skewer, this still would have happened, since the aluminum foil seems to stick to the clay during baking.

The Good News:  Finally, I decided to cover my bamboo skewers with petroleum jelly INSTEAD of aluminum foil and I had success!! After baking the skewer slid right out of the polymer clay covering with just a little bit of twisting.  I left the skewer inside the clay for the next baking, when I added the decorative tops pieces on top.

I also think it's worth mentioning not to over bake the clay on the first baking round.  The black pen split, I think in part because I had made it too thin, and also because I over baked it a bit.  I covered the split area with more black clay and when I baked it a second time, it covered the cracked area perfectly.

After they were completely baked, one pen required a very slight  amount of drilling to make the hole just a tiny bit bigger to accommodate the fat part of the pen ink. The other two fit perfectly.  If the hole from the bamboo skewer is just a bit too big, you can wrap the end of your pen ink with a layer or two of clear tape to make a tight enough fit that your ink doesn't fall out.

People will be too intimidated to steal these pens from your desk at work.  
Especially if you shout "STUPIFY!" at exactly the right moment.  

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