Poly resin pens feature colourful designs embedded underneath a layer of clear resin. These manufactured pens are usually decorated with opaque, iridescent pigments embedded in the resin, close to the ink reservoir. Though you can buy these pens in speciality shops, they often cost a lot of money. If you want to start your own collection of poly resin pens, you can make them yourself for much less money. Just make sure to mix the resin properly. If you don't, the pens won't cure properly and will always remain sticky.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 1-inch thick cork pad
- 1/8-inch wide 6-inch long steel tubes
- Colourful cotton cord
- Cereal boxes
- White school glue
- Petroleum jelly
- Medicine measuring cups
- Permanent marker
- Wooden Popsicle sticks
- High speed rotary tool
- Fine sandpaper
Cut pieces of cotton cord about 1 inch longer than your tubes. Rub your tubes with a thin layer of glue and wrap the cord around the tubes. You can wrap them in vertical coils, creating wide stripes. You can also wrap them in a spiral around your tube, creating thinner, twisting stripes. Leave 1/2 inch of each tube bare.
Push each of your steel tubes about 1/2 inch down into the cork pad, spacing them about 3 inches apart. Rub the area around the base of each tube with petroleum jelly; this prevents the resin from sticking later on.
Cut 6-inch square piece of cardboard from your cereal box for each steel tube. Bend the squares into cylinders about 1 inch wide with the glossy side inside. Tape them to secure them. Run a bead of white glue around the bottom of each tube and slide them down over the steel tubes. Make sure the steel tubes are centred inside the cardboard ones.
Pour water into one of your cardboard tubes, filling it up to the very edge of the base of your steel tube. Pour this water into one of your medicine measuring cups. Mark the height of the water with a permanent marker and dump the water out.
Fill the medicine cup with poly resin to the permanent marker mark. Fill a separate medicine cup with the resin activator from your kit, measuring it according to package ratio directions. Pour the activator into the resin, stirring slow circles with a Popsicle stick the entire time. Breathe on the resin lightly to pop bubbles.
Pour the resin into your first cardboard cylinder. If making more than one pen, mark several medicine cups with the water measurement level. Use a fresh cup to mix each batch of resin, so the mix left in the cup doesn't contaminate your fresh mixture.
Allow the pens to cure for 24 to 48 hours. Peel the cardboard moulds from the pens and pull them up from the cork. Use a 1/2-inch drum on your rotary tool to carve away excess resin and taper one end for writing. Dampen the shaped pens and sand them to a high shine with fine sandpaper.
Tips and warnings
- Fill your pens with refills from the school supply section of your local grocery store.
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