Introduction: Unusual Things You Can Make With Pencils!
I love pencils, I sometimes buy them just for decoration. I love them so much that I started making stuff using them. But since these are all mini-projects, I never posted them before! I thought that the 'unusual uses' contest is a great place to put them all! I'm really glad all of my mini-projects finally found a home together :) So here are 5 projects in which I used pencils as the main building material. Hope you like my instructable as much as I enjoyed making it!
Lots of pencils!! Normal, colored, painted.. you choose! pick your favorite!
I made a list of supplies for each mini-project. I used a 3D printer for some of the projects, but it's really not mandatory in most of them! So I also added ideas for alternative methods.
Step 1: Pencil Pencil Holder (Step 1)
This is probably one of my favorites in this list, so I'll start with it!
Supplies - for this mini-project you'll need many pencils (a 3D printer would help, but not mandatory!)
This build is made of three parts. Finding a something to attach pencils to (the bottom part), preparing pencils, and attaching the pencils to the bottom part.
Tip - I 3D printed the bottom part, but if you don't have access to a printer, you can use
a jar lid and hot-glue the pencils. This would work our just as good (maybe even better!).
To prepare everything you need, print the 3D model I attached. Note that I made it to fit my 7.2mm (diameter) pencils, so if yours are slightly thinner or thicker you'll have to scale the model accordingly, which you can do within Tinkercad (let me know if you need help!).
Next, place a bunch of pencils inside your printed bottom, just to see how many you need. Once you figured that out, cut them to size. I used a hand saw and clamped a bunch of them together to do it quickly (last image)
Step 2: Pencil Pencil Holder (Step 2)
Squeeze the pencils in. I made my version so that no glue is needed. However, you could use some glue to make it more sturdy and permanent!
p.s. - you can use colored pencils instead! I really liked that version, and made some of those as well!
That's all! You're done with this mini-project! On to the next! :)
Step 3: Pencil Light Box (Step 1) - Preparations
I made a short video about this project, but feel free to skip to the explanations below :)
Cut the sharp end of 12 pencils of your choice. I picked colored ones.
Print out the 8 copies of the connectors (stl file attached), but before you do, make sure it fits the dimensions of your pencils! It's a pretty standard size, so it shouldn't be a problem.
Tip - if you don't have a 3D printer - you can use hot-glue to connect the pencils!
Step 4: Pencil Light Box (Step 2) - Box Assembly
Assemble the box (GIF & first image). Stick the pencils into the corner connectors as shown in the pictures. My pencils were a tight fit, but if yours are not, you may want to use a tiny bit of glue.
I think the box turned out really nice! I might make some more boxes as decorations for the house :)
To make the light box, we will need to add a floor and backdrop (images 3-6). Cut a foam board to side and glue it to the bottom of the frame.
Using scotch tape, glue a backdrop. I used white, but you can use any other color you like. Also, using scotch tape allows you to replace the backdrop to a different color later.
To add walls, cut 3 square pieces of white paper and glue them around the box to cover the open sides and the top.
Step 5: Pencil Light Box (Step 3) - Make 'Windows'! & Take Pictures
I decided to let some extra light in. To avoid shadows, you need the incoming light to be well diffused, so holes couldn't work. I decided to spray some cooking oil, on both sides of the box. It works great! Just make sure to use a tiny bit and wait for it to soak in. This makes a huge difference.
You're all set!
Tip - a white background also works perfect with background-removing software (4th image)
Step 6: Picture / Note Frame
This one is actually very simple, so I'll make it short!
Supplies - for this mini-project you'll need 6 pencils, and hot glue (or a 3D printer).
You'll have to connect 4 pencils to make a frame. Then, attach two more to act as the frame's legs.
I 3D printed these connectors, which are very similar to the ones I used in the light box (note that the Tinkercad link has 3 objects in it, two of them are almost identical, but they are actually a mirror image of each other!).
Tip - if you don't have a 3D printer you can also make a really nice
frame using only pencils and copper wire or hot glue
I would have taken more pictures of the making process, but I made it the day before my wedding, so I really had no time! Luckily, it's super simple, you just cut the sharp edge of the pencils and stick them into the connectors.
To connect the picture / note I thought of two options. (1) use scotch tape. (2) use mini clothespins (like the ones I used for the memo-holders). Like I said, I made this one in a hurry, so it's pure scotch tape!
Step 7: Memo Holder (Step 1)
This one is also a pretty simple thing to make. People have been asking me to make more of these ever since I made the first one! It is a great project do to with kids as well.
Materials - for this mini-project you'll need a pencil, a single nail, a small clothespin.
You may also need some plastic sheet to create the mold (as you'll see soon).
The memo holder is made of two parts - a weight at the bottom and a pencil to holder the memo/notes.
For the weight, I used concrete. You can also use plaster or even metal if you like. I made a cylindrical mold to create the weight. It's made of a circular bottom and a plastic shell. I printed the plastic bottom (stl attached) because I love printing (and because I could make a custom-sized mold!), but a bottle cap, or any other round object would work perfectly! Once have a bottom part, make a cylindrical using a plastic sheet, and use some scotch tape to hold it in place (GIF #1).
Once that the mold is done, pour concrete in, and lay a nail in the concrete. Try to make sure that it's pointing straight up, since it'll be holding the pencil later (GIF #2).
Tip - if you're making this as an activity for kids, you
can use hot glue instead of using a nail!
Wait for the concrete to dry. While it does, cut a that sharp edge of the pencil. Make sure that the pencil is long enough to hold the memo's you're using! Next, glue the clothespin to the top-edge of the pencil. To attach the pencil to the base, it's best to drill a small hole to the bottom of the pencil, so it fits the nail easily (GIF #3).
Step 8: Memo Holder (Step 2)
Once the concrete has dried, pour some glue (not mandatory) onto the nail and press the pencil in. If you made a hole in the pencil this should be really easy (see GIF). That's it! you're done! :)
Step 9: Science Experiment - Draw Your Own Resistors
For those of you who didn't see my previous work, this is actually a reference to a previous instructable I made about how to use pencils to draw resistors!
Ordinary pencils conduct electricity, which you can use to perform really nice experiments. If that sounds exciting to you, I invite you to check my instructable about it!
Step 10: More Ideas!
I have so many more ideas for pencils. I love how pencils look, and I think they make a perfect & unique working material. Here are some of my ideas (which I will definitely make in the future!) - coasters (for glasses / pans), spice-racks, book-stops & boxes! You can also use pencils as wooden dowels or use them as thin rods like I did to make the light box.
Let me know if you have any cool ideas or requests!
Thanks for reading, and see you soon in my next instructable!
In the meantime, you're more than welcome to visit my instructables page!
If you want to support me in making more projects, you can buy me a coffee!
Donations of any amount are appreciated, and 100% of your donations go to future projects! Thanks to all the people who have already supported me!!
First Prize in the
Unusual Uses Contest
4 months ago on Step 1
How do you find a lid like yours all i can find are jam lids etc with now inside rim.
Reply 4 months ago
Thanks for the question, katie :) It's not a lid, it's a 3D printed part! If you don't have access to a 3D printer, you can find someone to print the parts for you (someone around you!) at cubee3d.com
All you need is to provide them with the STL I shared in the instructable above.
Hope that helps :)
1 year ago
Reply 1 year ago
Thanks a lot! So glad you liked my ideas:)
Reply 1 year ago
I'm glad I like them to!
1 year ago
Cool idea .. Awesome
Reply 1 year ago
Thanks! :) Glad you liked it and thanks for the comment!
1 year ago
That's cool. Good ideas!
Reply 1 year ago
Thanks for the comment! I appreciate it:)