Pocket Drawings




About: Cheating death for a living, since the day I was born.

Is that a masterpiece in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?

Step 1: Materials

Used Altoids tin.




I added some pennies later on...

Step 2: Sharpen Pencils.

Use my awesome lo-fi technique if you wish. Look at my instructable "Revenge of Post Office Drawings" for detailed steps.

Step 3: Cut Pencils to Length.

The inside of the tin is roughly 3/4" in height, so I'm going to trim the pencil leads to 1/2" to allow enough clearance.

I'm using some fairly specialized tools to do this: My tube-cutting jig and a jeweler's saw. Any other method will work, but I wanted a reasonable amount of consistency.

Set the back stop on the jig to 1/2", insert the pencil against the stop and engage the hold-down lever. Then cut through with the saw.

If you lose one or two, no worries, just chuck it up and resharpen.

Step 4: Assemble Stylus.

I laid out two strips of masking tape, roughly tin-sized, and attached the pencil leads to the sticky side.

After thinking on it a bit, I decided to add more tape to kinda ensconce the leads, because there was no way they would stick by themselves, and I didn't want the possibility of the paper sticking to the tape.

Step 5: Assemble Device.

Cut a piece of paper to tin-size, and place it inside. Put the stylus on top. Close tin.

Step 6: Something Not Quite Right....

There's no way that stylus is heavy enough to leave marks on the paper, so I added some pennies to the back to give it more heft. I spaced them out enough that the tape would be somewhat flexible.

Ok, now close it up and...

Step 7: Get Out There and Walk Out Some Art.

Jam it in your pocket and hit the bricks.

Step 8: Results.

Ok, so I cheated a little. After a while I noticed that the stylus was very limited in it's motion, so I removed about 1/3 of the stylus (two cents worth).

But don't tell anybody...

I had this in my front pocket at work for 8 hours after the modification.

Step 9: For My Next Trick...

I'm a little underwhelmed by the results. But hey, not every painting can be a Thomas Kinkade.

What I decided to do was make new, single, free-range styluses and set them loose in the same manner. I'll post a pic of the results soon.

Participated in the
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    21 Discussions

    Lost Moai

    11 years ago on Introduction

    I made this with a three point stylus. A regular pencil, a blue pencil and a soft, 6B charcoal pencil, each hot glued to a penny and all three pennies hot glued together to another, joining penny. Below is the first result. I call it "Chicken Pot Pie." I'm going to do it again with another stylus ranging from a 6B down to a lighter pencil to get a more pronounced semblance of shading. I'm going to mail one to a friend in FLorida next. Thanks for the inspiration!

    \\SEASV02\U641047$\My Documents\My Pictures\Kermit.jpg
    4 replies

    11 years ago on Introduction

    HAHAAHa, this is such a cool Idea! It owuld be great for a back pack, or even a car with a bumpy ride! + and faves!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    perhaps you could get a similar effect using conte crayon clipped into cubes. tumbling around in you pocket like so many dice.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    If you are going to broadcast to the world the awesomeness of Hay_Jumper, then knock yourself out, kiddo. Let me see the results. Weren't you a tad busy for this kind of thing??


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I was reading step 7 and was about to suggest doing something like you did in step 9. What about hot glue? Its probably easier than tape, and rigid.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Watch out, you don't want pieces of crayon/colored pencil in your wash, it will ruin your clothes....My brother was washing his backpack in our washer machine, and a small piece of crayon ruined all the clothes that were with it.