DIY Flower Pens

June 8, 2008 at 11:09 pm Leave a comment

In my admittedly limited experience, every teacher faces the problem of providing students with supplies. You would think that by the time they reach high school students would have learned that a writing utensil is a mandatory part of their daily ensemble, but noooo. Not every teacher will look out for his/her students in their irresponsibility, but it seems to me that being able to hand a kid a pen is an alternative preferable to the “does anyone have a pen?” cross-classroom scurry.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as “loaning” a kid a pen. Even a kid with the best intentions will end up walking out that door with your pen or pencil tucked absentmindedly into a bag, pocket, hand, or over-the-ear shelf.

This adds up.

My mentor teacher had an awesome solution, one that I have seen in other places as well and that was easily emulated for my own (future) classroom. (Hey wait! Tomorrow is the future! If only for 3.5 weeks…)

This project will add a feminine touch to your classroom, but if you want you can modify it to suit more masculine tastes. Personally, I think the goofier and girlier the pens, the better – boys are the chief accidental pen-pilferers.

Anyway, here are the directions with handy-dandy illustrations! Please excuse any dirty fingernails you may see; I did this all on a camping trip. 🙂

Supplies Needed:

1 Supplies

  • inexpensive artificial flowers (I got a “bush” of 10 flowers for $3)
  • florist tape (about $0.75)
  • ballpoint pens (pack of 12 for about $1)
  • wire cutters ($3, or use scissors you don’t care about)

Step 1: Slide the leaves up to the base of the flower,  or remove them if this isn’t possible.

2 Move Leaves

Step 2: Line up the base of the flower to the end of the pen. Trim the flower about half an inch or so from the pen’s point. (If you put the cap on the pen, you want the flower stem to stop a few millimeters before the edge of the cap.)

4 Line Up3 Trim Flower

Step 3: Wrap the florist tape around the end of the pen once to “get it started.” It took me some trial and error to figure out how to make the tape work; you have to stretch it to activate the adhesive, and it really only sticks to itself.

5 Start Tape

Step 4: Line up the flower to the end of the pen again… and wrap the tape around both pen and flower.

6 Start Tape Flower 7

Step 5: Continue wrapping the tape around the pen/flower. As you do, you want to remember three things: stretch, pinch, and overlap.

8 Stretch 9 Pinch 10 Overlap

Step 6: When you reach the end of the flower, cut or tear off the tape, leaving a two- or three-inch tail.

11 Near End  12 Cut End

Step 7: Wind the tail back up the pen, making sure to pinch the tape up against itself to leave a smooth surface. When you reach the very end of the tail, smooth it firmly against the pen. The ends will practically vanish into the pen.

13 Wind Back 14 Wrap End

Step 8: Enjoy the final product!

15 Final (Individual) 16 With Cap

If you make a bunch of these, you can collect them in a vase or flower pot and put it on your desk.

17 Final (From Top) 18 Final (From Bottom)

From what I can tell, a dozen of these (which costs about $5) will last all years, whereas a $1 pack of pens will last about four days. You do the math… 🙂


Entry filed under: FUN STUFF. Tags: .

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The Bee’s Knees

This is the teaching journal of a student first-year second-year THIRD-YEAR (!!!) English teacher. I am writing this blog as a reflection for myself, a way to keep friends and family updated, and a sharing-ground between other educators online. I love comments!

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