Decorated Pencils

The secret to overcoming writer's block is a pencil so marvelous that you can't help but pick it up and start scribbling.

Decorated Pencils

Source: Martha Stewart Kids, 2002


To create one, a kid winds extra-thin tape around a plain pencil, paints it, and then unwraps the tape. Each design has a personality all its own: A pencil with parallel stripes, for instance, makes math homework fun, while dreamy blue spirals are lovely for writing secrets in a journal.

Tip: Natural-color cedar pencils work well. Kids can make different styles by varying tape size, wrapping tape in different ways, and painting alternating colors between bands.


  • 1/16- to 1/8-inch-wide skinny masking tape

  • Acrylic paints

  • Paintbrush

  • Plain pencils


  1. Begin by wrapping tape around pencil; try a candy-cane design, or wrap in individual circles for parallel lines.

  2. Paint over whole pencil generously with acrylic paint. When paint is dry, remove tape.



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