So… I am not sure how today’s piece will count as ‘art’ per se…but it sure was fun.
My daughter had this flower pen…you’ve seen them…it’s a regular pen, with a big ol’ flower sticking out of the top. We go to one restaurant locally where that is the only kind of pen they have and my youngest loves these pens.
So, my daughter had this pen. I am not sure where it came from, but she says someone gave it to her. The pen itself has been kinda sucky. It only writes halfway, when it feels like writing at all. It;s a bit annoying to use most of the time. But–it’s so cute.
I started to think about this pen…and about the sunflower pens from our favorite restaurant. The restaurant uses big sunflowers on theirs. My daughter’s pen has an exploded pale purple rose, with a ribbon around the base of the flower/top of the pen.
The more I thought about these pens, and the more I fought with my daughter’s pen–she gave it to me because it had ticked her off so much with its attitude–the more the idea of these pens charmed me to no end.
So–I did an internet search…diy flower pens…and tons of links popped up…I read through about 5 of them…and methods vary widely, believe it or not…some of them want you to not only pop the end cap off, they want you to remove the ink tube and trim that down as short as you can…for the record–I did not mess with the ink tube at all.
Please, if you do this, use caution and protect your surfaces. Do not do as I did. My table has some random knife scratches in it now. If I weren’t planning to refurbish the table in the future, I would have put down a cutting mat or something.
Take precautions when removing end caps and the like as well. Make sure your eyes are protected. And fingers.
silk flowers or whatever else you are sticking inside your pen
glue of some sort (some articles said hot glue, others used school glue)
something to trim flowers to size
something to whack or cut the end caps off with
something to pry the remaining end cap out of the pen, if necessary
I took an old knife (we have more of those than we care to admit) and basically sawed and smacked the end caps/tops of the pens off.
The best thing I read was — it doesn’t matter how that end of the pen looks because it will be covered with floral tape. This is a good reminder because some of the end caps popped off and popped out without any issue…some I not only had a time whacking off the end…but I used tweezers to pry the end caps out of the body of the pen…and sometimes that did more damage than cutting the end of the pen off.
Cut your flowers to size, shorter than the barrel of your pen. I used scissors to do this–the flowers have metal wires inside them, so don’t use good scissors for this. Wire cutters may have done a better job all the way around–but I wasn’t going to threaten my own hands and fingers using them.
I took glue-all and lined the end of the pen with it (the end I prised the end caps out of). I stuck a flower down the barrel, making sure the glue and the flower met. There was plenty of room between the flower stem and the ink tube inside the barrel when I did this with my pens. I made sure there was some glue on the outside of the pen barrel to help secure the floral tape–and in the event the glue at the top of the pen and the flower did not meet or didn’t form any sort of decent relationship, the glue on the outside of the pen under the floral tape helped seat that flower permanently.
I started wrapping the floral tape at the bottom of the flower, pulling the tape gently but firmly …and I wrapped the tape all the way down the barrel of the pen, covering all of the pen. About 1/4 of an inch from the tip of the pen, I added a bit more glue to secure the floral tape at the bottom of the pen as well.
If there is glue inside the body of your pen–it’s ok…it will dry and no one will ever see it under the floral tape.
Sometimes when you push the flower into the body of the pen, the tip of the pen comes out the other end — you just pushed it loose. Just push it back in, no problems.
Floral tape is sticky, Just so you know.
If you finish wrapping your pen and notice you can still see some of the body of the pen–just add more tape where you see pen and wrap it around. I had to do this a couple of times…and nope, I didn’t add glue then, but you can if you want to make sure it’s really secure.
Yes, when you are finished and if you feel the need you can stick your pen cap back on your pen (once all the glue is dry, of course). My daughter swiped some of the pens I made and had to have a cap for every single one of them…and they all fit without an issue.
I used Bic cristal pens–because these are my favorite pens in the whole wide world, even more so than my fountain pen…
I found some cheap little flower bouquets on clearance at the store and those are what I used. Each bouquet, except for one, had six flowers–for some reason, one bouquet had five flowers. I also found two cute little silk butterflies (not seen in the above picture) and used those.
For the butterflies…they are just on simple wires…I tried to twist the butterfly wires around the stem of the flower–but that was too much for the pen barrel, even though I did it pretty tightly. So, I inserted the butterfly wire first, holding the butterfly up higher than I wanted it to be when the pen was done, stuck the flower into the pen, then adjusted the butterfly–after which I taped everything together with the floral tape.
I ended up with twenty-nine new flower pens. After you get the end cap off the bottom of the pen, this is a really simple easy project, My biggest issue was keeping the toddler’s fingers safe–and his eyes when things popped off and went flying. He was not at all perturbed by any of it. He in fact only wanted to watch…
I am keeping them in two separate jars–because they wouldn’t all fit in one jar. Just an old jelly jar or two. I did not add pretty stones or beans or rice or any of the other things any article that included a jar suggested–because if I added anything to these jars, it would not only end up all over my desk pretty quickly–but whatever was in the jars would be all over the house in the blink of an eye. Come meet my toddler for a few minutes if you don’t believe me. The boy has a powerful magic that means stuff goes everywhere in less than a second…seriously…it’s his ‘gift’.
You can dress up your jar. Or decorate a can. Or throw them in a pile of other things (like my daughter did). Whatever makes you happy.
Now, why? Why did I make these pens? What am I planning to do with these pens?
Now, usually I prefer to write with Bic cristals, black ink mostly, but now and then I feel like blue. I also have a few sets of the colored pens…pink ink, green ink, orange, ink, yada yada. And I have some of the usual red pens as well, that were supposed to be for grading work and for making corrections. I used unused pens I already had on hand–because when the annual school sales come along, I stock up on my favorite pens–and whatever else we might need. (My daughter tells me that this year we need glue sticks…my toddler wants…glue and more construction paper.) I pulled out a bunch of pens, all different colors of ink. And I made my flower pens.
Since I made these pens this past Sunday night, I have used them for: journalling, list making, snail mail, goal setting, note taking…and for just about anything else I needed a pen for…except for dating some of the work in my art journals–because I for some reason require a black pen when I do that and since I cannot really be sure what color pen I grab of the flower heads, I grab a plain old regular black pen so I am sure the ink will be black when I date my sketches.
Guess what–these pens are FUN to use. It makes me happy to use them. The flowers here this year barely lasted at all, so we are almost entirely out of flowers to ooh and ahh over. Even my thriving rose bush that is supposed to produce these beautiful vibrant pink blossoms…are so washed out by heat the flowers are a pale pinky white, more white than pink.
These pens are about reclaiming some of my old playfulness and spontaneity that I have lost over the past few years due to depression and babyhood and everything else. That above all else it what these pens are for: reclaiming my playfulness, allowing my Inner Child to come out and twirl and play and have some fun. That is the important thing right there.
I hope you enjoyed this really quick little ‘tutorial’. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or leave a comment here.