Introduction: 5 Ways to Reuse Old Writing Utensils

About: Garvey's Office Products is the largest family-owned office supply dealer in Illinois. We are the nice guys in office supplies!

Every year, over 10 billion writing utensils are sent to our landfills. These utensils are made from plastic that doesn’t biodegrade. In an effort to make our offices and our world a little greener, here are five ways to reuse your old pens and markers.

Step 1: Cup Holder

If you have a bunch of pens that are slim, try making them into a penholder. Simply glue your pens (with caps on) to a plastic cup. You will be rewarded with a uniquely you, retro-looking utensil holder.

Materials needed: Old Pens, Glue, See-Through Plastic Cup

Step 2: Money Holder

Are you one of those people who like to keep cash on hand for a rainy day? For an emergency stash, place rolled-up bills into a large marker. Just remove the ink pad first.

Materials needed: Large Old Marker

Tip: Use pliers for easier removal of ink pad.

Step 3: Cord Preserver

Headphone cords have a tendency to fray easily. To preserve your cords, take an old pen and remove its spring. Wrap the spring around your cord’s end to prevent fraying.

Materials needed: Old Pen Spring

Tip: Rotate with the spring to avoid warping the metal.

Step 4: Plant Markers

For many of us, it’s hard to remember what was planted where. Keep your memory straight by taping your seed’s package to an old pen and sticking it in the ground.

Materials needed: Tape, Old Pens

Tip: Laminate your seed package if it's placed outdoors.

Step 5: Watercolors

Did your marker dry out? Surprisingly, many old markers still have ink inside them. Leave your markers in water overnight for 2-3 days. The end result will be watercolors you can paint with!

Materials needed: Old Markers, Water, Jars

Tip: The longer you soak them, the more vibrant and usable the colors will be.