Introduction: Pop-Can Calligraphy Pens

About: Instagram: oregonwoodworks. Dental school class of 2019 DIY-er.

In this Instrctable, We will be teaching you how to make your own calligraphy pen. It shouldn't take more than about 5 minutes.

You can modify the basic pen to create an array of different writing nibs for your own favorite style.

Step 1: Video Tutorial

Video Link for Phone Users

Here's the video tutorial and Writing Samples.

Read the instructable for further details on the last few nibs. My favorite one so far is the 4-tip pen.

Step 2: Gather Materials

Materials List:


Empty Pop-can



Step 3: Attach Alluminum to Stick

The first step of course, is to cut out a small square of aluminum from the pop-can. Or, if you prefer, the soda can. Or Coke can. To each their own.

Make a fold in the alluminum. (DONT bend and un-bend it though) just a small fold to be able to tape it onto the stick. If you fold it and unfold it again, it will split the side and you won't get very far.

Tape the folded piece to the stick.

Step 4: Shape the Tip

Pinch in the tip so the 2 sides are very close together. Don't pull them back apart. Then, cut straight across, then at a curve. The purpose of the first cut (at a 90 degree angle) is to make a flat spot at the corner for small writing. When cutting the curved angle cut, don't go from the fold. Start a millimeter or less from the corner, so there's still a flat spot on the very tip.

At this point, there's a chance the plates are too close together. Don't pull them apart, but you can slide another piece of tin between them as pictured, so create a small, very small gap for release of the ink. The last picture is what the tip should look like for writing well. An ever so slight slit.

So, it's that simple really. Put some ink, watercolor, coffee, whatever in there and try it out.

Step 5: Writing Samples and Modified Styles.

Here are some examples of what I've done with these pens. The pen at different angles will write different thicknesses, great for calligraphy. I use Dr. Ph martin's Bombay India Ink for ink, but I also really like using watercolors. Super cheap, and easy to work with in these pens.

I also made a 4-tip nib, and another wide flat nib, to write different styles with.

To best do this, make the basic one as instructed, but a little bigger. Then, cut slits in the side, fold over the in-between parts, and use the back of a chopstick to flatten the tin back down on the end, and trim it even with scissors again.

Here are detailed photos of the tips. You can modify them all you want, or just build another one. It only takes a minute once you've done one or two, and you will get maybe 50 pens out of one pop-can.

Have a great time with it, and Post some pics please! I'd love to see what new ideas you come up with.

There's nothing greater than making your own tools :)

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