Sunday, June 12, 2011

Flower Topped Pens

It's that time of year for us: what to give the teachers and staff that spend more waking hours of the day with our children than we do?  This year's gift is flower-topped pens (thanks Alison for this great idea!).  It really is a quick project once you've worked out the kinks (Kayla, don't laugh!--Kayla and I worked on these the other night and had a few choice words come flying out of our mouths...okay maybe it was just my mouth.)

The {photo-less} How To:
  1. Remove the end cap from the pen (opposite the pen nib).  We learned the hard way that the manufacturers now bond this cap to the pens as they pose a choking hazard.  So we (read: Kayla's smart engineering husband) fastened a little fix for this: use a chopped off piece of the heavy duty wire found inside the flower stem to blast through the underside of the cap (okay, I'm realizing I'm going to need to do photos for this tute).  You could also use a pointed metal barbeque skewer here.  This was really a very gratifying step in the process.
  2. OK, so you've removed the end cap, now to prep the flower.  Chop off enough of the stem so that it's shorter than the length of the pen barrel.  Strip off the plastic (and in our case, fuzzy) coating from the stem to reveal the wire.  You may be able to skip this step if your flower stem is skinny enough to fit inside the pen barrel.
  3. Place a dollop of hot glue on the hole you created in step one, and carefully, ever so carefully, slip the wire stem into the barrel of the pen making sure you don't jab the wire into the actual pen tube causing ink to come pouring out (trust us!)
  4. Almost done; see how easy?  Now for the part that had us banging our heads against the craft table: covering the unsightly pen barrel.  We planned to use regular green florist tape, but once we wrapped a pen up in that wretched stuff we knew that NO ONE would want to touch our pens. Ever.  They were coated with yucky stickiness that transferred to your hands and made you want to bathe in Goo Gone.  What to do, what to do?  Google how to remove sticky from florist tape: tried it all to no avail. Ribbon?  How to glue on.  Crepe paper?  Too flimsy.  Spray paint?  Would chip.  Green electrical tape?  Too glossy.  And then like a green light bulb lighting up inside her head, Kayla, my trusty crafting partner, called out "Frog Tape!"  
This, my friends, is the answer to all your pen-barrel-covering, stem-creating, flower-tipped-pen making problems.  Forget painting, this company needs to re-market this stuff for crafts.  We found a lot of unhappy sticky-stemmed makers in our searches online.  None of them mentioned this tape, but I am here to tell you it is perfect.  Okay, back to step 5.
    5.  Place this God-sent green tape of perfection (available at the hardware store, did I already say that?)
         at a 45 degree angle on the barrel under the flower.  Wrap tightly around the barrel until you get to the
         tip. Snip off, and then use additional pieces of tape to cover up the angles at the two ends.  Voila!  A
         perfectly pretty pen.

Hope you go whip up a bouquet of these!

1 comment:

  1. My memory of the night is of your brilliance and very little cussing, actually:)


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