Hi there! There’s just something about August that makes me want to make cute school supplies, so today I’m sharing this Polymer Clay Pen Tutorial! Do you guys want to know how cool these pens are? My husband, who sees me craft stuff every day, absolutely loved these and wanted to know all about them!
Polymer Clay Pen Tutorial
We’re going to learn how to make two different pens today, one with an easy marbled look and another made with lace cane slices. These are a great polymer clay project for beginners, because there isn’t any complicated sculpting involved but you still learn some cool techniques. Also, if all you do is smush some colors together and wrap it around the pen, it still looks amazing! I just love projects that take 30 minutes and make everyone say, “Wow!! You MADE that?!?!?!” So let’s get started!
- Polymer clay. Colors – metallic light gold and copper, dark green, pink, orange, and white.
- Bic Round Stic Pens (these are the best for baking!)
- Accordion folded printer paper
- Porcelain tile
Make sure your polymer clay is well conditioned by playing with and squishing it for a few minutes before a start! Let’s make our first pen, using a marbling technique. Roll three balls of your light gold, copper, and dark green clay. Make sure they’re all the same size, or pretty close. Now use the palm of your hand to roll each ball out into a long thin snake. Press the three snakes together in a triangle shape.
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And twist them together! Roll this up into a cinnamon bun, and then use the palm of your hands to roll it into a ball. Next we’ll take that ball and roll it back into a snake.
Twist the snake up lots, and then roll it into a ball again. Now we just need to use our roller and roll the clay out to about 1/8 of an inch thick. Lift and flip the clay often so it doesn’t stick as you roll stout. See how pretty that pattern is? Now flip your clay so the side of the pattern you want showing on the pen is on the bottom, and the wrong side is up.
Bic Round Stic are the absolute best pen for this project! The clay sticks well, they bake perfectly without warping, and they’re super cheap so you can make a whole bunch. Also, the ink cartridge is easy to remove. This is key! You MUST remove the ink cartridge before baking your pen! To remove it, just grab the black part of the ink cartridge with your pliers and gently twist the barrel of the pen and pull it away. It comes out super easily! I recommend using smooth jaw pliers if you have some. I just use my jewelry pliers. Now set the ink aside and let’s get to wrapping this pen. Set your pen on the clay, and trim one side of the clay flat with your blade. Press the flat side against your pen, and smooth the clay over the pen, rolling it up until the clay meets the flat edge.
Press the edges together and then use your blade to trim off the excess. Roll the pen on your tile with the palm of your hand. This will smooth the join of the edges without distorting the pattern too much. You can also use your fingertip to help smooth it down. For the back end of the pen, fold the edges in until they meet, pressing out any air. Trim off any excess, and smooth the end of the pen.
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For the opening of the pen, smooth the clay around the tapered area, and then trim off any excess. Use your fingertip to smooth the clay right to the edge of the opening. Make sure no clay is past the edge of the pen opening so you can easily get the ink back in. This is what your pen should look like when it’s all prepped!
Set your pen in one of the openings of your accordion folded paper. This will support the pen while it bakes and prevent any shiny spots.
Now it’s time to work on our next pen, using a lace cane technique! It looks fancy, but it’s actually really easy.
Start by mixing your orange and pink clay to get a super bright coral shade. I’ve been obsessed with coral lately, and love how it pops against white on a pen. Let’s make our lace cane to decorate our pen. Roll up two balls of coral and white clay. Now take the coral ball and roll it into a thick snake. Take your white clay and roll it out into a thick slab, and place your coral snake on top. Trim the two short ends flush to the snake, and roll it up the same way we did the pen, making sure to trim the long edges so they sit flush together.
Smooth the join so it look like this! Next we’re going to roll this into a long, thin snake. Cut it into five equal pieces.
Press 4 of the pieces around one of the pieces like a flower. Gently smush them together, and then roll the whole thing out to a very thin snake again. Cut this into seven equal pieces, and press them together the same way we did before.
Now roll this out to a thin, even snake again, about 1/4 inch in diameter. Place the snake in the freezer for about 20 minutes. When it’s cooled down and firmer, it’s easier to cut cleanly! Now you can use your blade to cut slices off the cane, about 1/8 inch thick. Look at that pattern!!
The first few slices off a cane are always rough, but when you get farther into it, they get really pretty!
I cut a whole bunch of slices to cover my pen, and still had some left over to use on other projects. You can keep polymer clay canes for years! Now go ahead and start by placing a slice on the edge of your pen, and smoothing it down over the edges. Start adding cane slices, working your way down and around the pen. Don’t worry about little spaces, as those will smooth out when we roll the pen.
Keep going until the entire pen is covered. Now we finish it exactly the same way we finished our first pen. Roll it on your tile to smoosh the canes together and smooth and even the pen out. Don’t use your fingers to smooth it out, as it will smear the cane slices. Some smudging along the edges of each slice is normal, especially near the tip of the pen where it’s tapered. Finish the open end the same way as we did the other pen. Now just add it to the accordion paper, and set the whole thing on top of your porcelain tile.
Bake your pens in a 275 F oven for 15 minutes.
When they’re done baking, take the paper accordion off the tile and let them cool for a few minutes. I set mine in the window sill. I just love them! They have more of a satiny matte finish. If you want them to be shiny, you can sand them with super fine wet dry sandpaper OR cover them with a layer of UV resin. However, I just leave mine as is! I think they’re more comfortable to hold with a grippier finish. Pop the ink cartridge back in. You don’t even need to use pliers to pop it back in.
You’re all done!! Aren’t they cute? You can customize these with colors to match your other school supplies, or even your favorite outfits!
I hope you found this Polymer Clay Pen Tutorial helpful, and have fun making a whole bunch of beautiful custom pens!!