How to Make a Homemade Paint Marker

graffiti... image by rachid amrous-spleen from

Making your own paint markers is a good way to get around paying high prices at art supply stores. It also gives you more flexibility in your choice of colours and paint consistencies. Use your new markers to create colourful works of art or to customise shoes, cell phones and backpacks.

Lay down newspaper in your work area and put on a pair of work gloves that you don't mind getting dirty.

Uncap your Sharpie marker, then put the cap back on loosely without pushing it down all the way.

With the cap still on, bend the marker in the middle. It should snap into two pieces: one half the nib and cap, the other a long tube.

Using a pencil you don't mind getting dirty, push the marker nib out of its casing.

Cut a length of foam and stuff it into the wide end of the marker's top half. Push it snugly into this tube. This foam will prevent the paint from rushing out too quickly once your marker has been assembled.

Cut a strip of felt about an inch in length and wide enough to completely fill the narrow hole left by the old marker nib.

Push the felt strip into the place where the old nib used to be.

Drop a small screw into the bottom half of the Sharpie. This will serve to break up your paint and prevent it from clogging.

Buy paint in a colour of your choosing. Acrylics are best because they're fast-drying.

Pour paint thinner into the bottom half of the pen. This will keep the paint from clogging. Play with the amount of thinner you add to find the right consistency. Generally, the ratio of paint thinner to paint should be no more than 1:3.

Carefully pour the paint into the bottom half of the marker casing, the half you dropped the screw in. You don't want to fill that half completely. Leave a little head space at the top of the tube

Push the top half of the marker back into place, uniting the two halves.

Re-cap your marker and shake vigorously before using it the first time to get the paint distributed up to the nib.

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