So you’re getting started with Polymer Clay and you aren’t quite ready to use cane slices or handmade polymer clay canes? Don’t worry, you can make decorative pens using different colors of clay on top of a hard plastic pen tube. Let me show you how!
Making polymer clay pens is one of my favorite projects to make with students in my class. Kids and adults alike love these! This is because an original pen with beautiful colors makes a great gift for the holiday season or any special occasion! Or…make one just for you! Plus…it’s easy! I promise!
What Type of Pens Can You Use With Polymer Clay?
Before you start your journey on becoming pen makers, you’ll want to do what all polymer clay artists do and that is to start shopping for your supplies.
I have highlighted the full details for what you’ll need below. I recommend shopping for your supplies on Amazon because it has free shipping and you can get the pen blanks and everything you’ll need to get started.
- BIC ROUND STICK PENS – this is important! Other brands will melt in the oven and this brand does not. Do not buy white bic pens or any other brand! They will melt in any type of oven bake and you do not want to deal with the smell that burnt polymer clay work emits. I do not think pen kits are necessary – save money and just stick with Bic!
- SCULPEY or any polymer clay brand – I like this Sculpey sampler for beginners because it comes with so many different color combinations which you can use to make a bunch of pens. There are many amazing polymer clay brands but I typically use Sculpey iii because it is easy to work with for any age. Trust me, you’ll be entertained for hours.
- TOOTHPICK or POINTY TOOL (pictured above) – I don’t think when starting out that it is necessary to buy every tool under the sun. For this project, you really only need a sharp tool.
- WORK SURFACE – The best surface for making polymer clay are ceramic surfaces. This is because you can bake the clay directly on the ceramic tile and it is a great way to not have to move the clay during the work process. This could make the clay a little bit warped and you do not want that!
- If you do not have a ceramic tile handy, feel free to use aluminum foil. Also, I have a complete guide to everything polymer clay related here.
- ACRYLIC ROLLER– if you do not have one, don’t fret! You can use a washable marker as a rolling pin. You can even use a can of soup. If you use the soup can, take the wrapper off first. Acrylic is the best material to clean and it tends to not stick as much as other surfaces.
Affiliate disclaimer: Although I stand by all of the products I use, I can receive a small commission from any products purchased via my affiliate links.
Making Your Decorative Polymer Clay Pens:
Follow these step by step instructions and you will have an incredible handmade decorative pen in no time!
- Take the ink cartridge out of the pen barrel. You will need to use a pair of pliers unless you have long fingernails to pull the ink out. Do not throw the ink out. Just put it aside for later. You will need to put the cartridge back in later!
- You will need a different piece of clay of each color to make these handmade items. Take the raw clay pieces and roll them into a ball the size of a gum ball. They do not need to be perfect! Be sure to remove any air bubbles. If there is even a little gap between the pen and the barrel, this technique might not work as well.
- Roll the clay into snakes. Once each color is in the shape of a snake, press them together to make one big snake. Roll one more time.
- Next, twist the snake. Twist and twist and twist some more. This ancient technique is known as marbling.
- Once you see a lot of stripes, you can roll the clay flat using an acrylic roller. If any clay particles fall off, do not worry – just stick them back on and roll some more!
- If you want more of a Missoni look on the clay, take a toothpick and drag it to create somewhat of a zig zag pattern. Roll again so that there are no rough edges. It works best if you alternate the directions in which you drag the tool. For example, make a line dragging the clay up and then the next line should be dragged down.
- Next wrap the clay in pen. Gently squeeze to make sure there are no air bubbles. Also, be sure not to clog the pen barrel. If necessary, put a toothpick into the hole ahead of time to avoid clogging.
- Baking times: you might want to grab an oven thermometer to be sure your oven is the right temperature. Burnt clay is the absolute worst! Bake according to the manufacturer’s instructions. I typically prefer to bake at a slightly lower temperature when getting started because my oven is strong!
- Let the piece cool and harden for 24 hours.
- Once the clay is cool, you can put the ink cartridge back in and you can use liquitex acrylic ink or paint to add surface decor. Now your pen is ready to use!
As always, let me know if you make these! Need more polymer clay craft ideas? Check out this post
Affiliate disclaimer: Although I stand by all of the products I use, I can receive a small commission from any products purchased via my links.
Want a full video tutorial on making clay pens? Check out my youtube tutorial here.