Sunday, August 23, 2015

Paper, Scissors, ROCK your DIY Folded Pen

Sunday Painters, I haven't forgotten about you.

This is what I have been doing today and I thought you might like to try it, too! Recently, some of my urban sketcher buddies have returned from attending the 6th International Urban Sketchers Symposium in Singapore. One of the instructors there taught them how to make a Folded Pen from soda cans.

I couldn't wait to see if I could do it, so I combined a few references I found online and came up with my own process that works so easily! (See links to those references at the end of this post.)

On the premise that a picture is worth a thousand words, here are the materials and steps that I used to make my folded pens. Tap or click to Zoom photos.

Note: If you prefer a shiny aluminum nib, just fold the soda can back the other way.

Here are a few finishing touches and the results!
Please follow these links for printable instructions, templates and YouTube tutorials. Thanks, guys, for the inspiration!

1. Erica, at Paperwhite Studio, offers a free printable PDF with instructions and templates.
2. PopCanPen dot com has step by step photos galore!
3. Here's a video demo for those with a short attention span and lightning fast cognitive ability.
4. I love this video, which shows you how to use your new folded pen!
5. My Instagram post with a photo of my very first one! My grandchildren took it home with them, so I don't have it anymore.

And, finally, an apology to you professional calligraphers out there. I won't be taking over the lettering world anytime soon. I just want to play around with this and see how it might work with my sketches. :)
What are you waiting for? Get some stuff out of the recycle bin and get started!
Stay tuned for watercolor and folded pen experiments!


  1. I saw photos from Singapore of people using the pens. Thanks for all the info. I'll have to try it. I love your twigy handle.

    1. Thanks, Joan, you'll love the marks you can make. Those Singapore artists are experts on using twigs and DYI folded pens.
      Added bonus: garden pruning AND pen making in one!