Transform a ballpoint pen into a survival whistle mini-pen

Picture of Transform a ballpoint pen into a survival whistle mini-pen
This Instructable shows you how to transform a common ballpoint pen into a survival whistle which will fit inside an Altoids tin and still work as a pen. This multi-functionality helps to save space in the tight confines of the tin.

DISCLAIMER: Though this whistle is ear-splittingly loud when configured properly, I have not tested it in a survival situation. Please use your own judgment on whether your end product is good enough for a real survival situation, if that is its intended use. If it isn't good enough for that, please consider shelling out the money for a factory-made whistle.

Here are some pages I viewed which were very helpful in learning about the construction of whistles:
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
Consumable materials:
--small piece of sandpaper
--glue (optional)
--Papermate Eagle ballpoint pen
   --it is quite possible there are other pens which will also work; I have selected this one for several qualities. First, there is no hole in the barrel of the pen--for some reason many ballpoint pens have a tiny round hole somewhere on it. Second, the ink cartridge is easily removed with your fingers. Third, the end piece is a separate piece that can pop out.


Step 2: Remove the ink cartridge from the pen

Picture of Remove the ink cartridge from the pen
After removing the cap, pull the ink cartridge out of the pen with your fingers. Most of the ones I have made have come out VERY easily, but there were a few that resisted removal. I would suggest if you have one that resists removal you might want to save that for regular pen usage.

Step 3: Mark and cut pen barrel

Picture of Mark and cut pen barrel
Mark the pen barrel at 2 1/8 inches from the start of the straight part of the barrel. Cut at this point with scissors. Be careful--one or both pieces are liable to go flying off into the nether regions of your room. For the purposes of this tutorial, I will call these two pieces the mini-pen barrel and the original end piece.

Step 4: Sand the cut end

Picture of Sand the cut end
Sand the cut end of your mini-pen barrel until it is basically smooth and even.
S_Carney3 months ago

Perfect for my EDC. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Took a while, but made a successful one on my first try! Thanks for posting this.
stalker145 made it!7 months ago
Very nicely done 'ible. Easy to follow and fun to do. Thanks for sharing.
GRAY BULL3 years ago
я вообще не понимаю по английски
А также найти наставника
GASSYPOOTS3 years ago
u could use the cap from a bic crystal and suck on it idk why it works LOL
mistyp (author)  GASSYPOOTS3 years ago
Yes, some of the caps I tried you could just blow into and they'd work, but since I wanted to include a pen in my kit as well, I wanted to combine them.
on the cheat 50 cent ones you have to spit a little in the caps and suck on it
iPodGuy3 years ago
I totally made this.
mistyp (author)  iPodGuy3 years ago
How did it go?
iPodGuy mistyp3 years ago
Fine. I had trouble with step 10 because I didn't realize I was trying to make an air channel.
mistyp (author)  iPodGuy3 years ago
Thanks for the feedback! I added a bit to clarify that :-) Was your whistle pleasantly loud?
iPodGuy mistyp3 years ago
Aron3133 years ago
Wow thats a long instructable!
mistyp (author)  Aron3133 years ago
Thank you! :)
Aron313 mistyp3 years ago
Welcome. :D
ivanjacob3 years ago
i dont quite get it, but i will try this
mistyp (author)  ivanjacob3 years ago
What do you not get? Could I perhaps clarify something?