Given that paint pens are expensive, have small amounts of paint and come in a limited range of colors, it appeared that a paint pen made from a tampon would be a good way around this issue. Tampons have tightly woven cotton for absorbing blood from a woman's menstrual cycle and come in plastic containers the width of markers, making them ideal for painting letters on wood. Also, they are less expensive on a per tampon basis. For example:
- CVS has 40 regular tampons for $7, coming out to 18 cents each
- 1 Sharpie White paint marker at Home Depot is $3.47
In addition, you can use Tampon Paint Pens to paint letters in any color you want, not just the ones that the manufacturer chooses for the paint pens.
1. Water-based paint
2. Tampon, preferably one for regular or light blood flow. In my case, I chose regular tampons in a 3 pack, but you can buy tampons in various numbers, like 20 or 40.
3. Wood surface to paint. In my case, I had a small wood box.
To create and use a Tampon Paint Pen:
1. Take the tampon out of the plastic wrap and push the cotton out of the tube so that only a small amount (.5 cm or .25 in) is sticking out.
2. Dip the end of the cotton tampon in the paint. If you want a wider line, dip the round end into the paint. For a thinner line, only dip the edge.
3. Holding the tampon like a marker, start to paint letters on a surface. The first coat may be a bit thin, but that is ok, since it will dry quickly. Afterwards, you can touch it up with a 2nd coat.
4. When you are done, wash the paint out with water. Since tampons absorb water quickly (as they were designed to absorb women's blood), keep squeezing out the water until most of the paint is gone. Then let it dry so that it can be used again.
5. If the cotton starts to fall apart at the end of the tampon, simply cut away the loose cotton to reveal the tighter woven cotton further down the tampon.