Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Colored Pencil Ring (DIY)

This tutorial is the result of a project I participated in from ArtHouse Co-op called #RandomSpark.

 Hundreds of people submitted creative prompts via Twitter for a mystery project.  Each prompt (along with the suggester's Twitter name) was printed on a card and sent to another participant with a free colored pencil  (my color: Spring Bud) from Michaels.  After creating something special with the prompt and pencil, the participants were encouraged to post a photo of their masterpiece on Twitter for the world to see.  The inspirational prompt on my card was 'Recycle', so I recycled the colored pencil.
I think this sweet, simple ring would be an especially cute gift for an artist or a teacher.  Here's how to make a colored pencil ring of your own:

You will need:
- pencil
- ring base with a small pad attached to it
- strong adhesive glue
- clear nail polish
- X-Acto knife or hacksaw

The first step is cutting a slice of pencil for your ring.  First, I tried using my heavy duty wire clippers, then an X-Acto knife, but neither tool worked very well for me.  The clippers crushed & splintered the pencil & the X-Acto knife was taking waaaaaaaay to long.  I'm kind of impatient, so this issue may not make you as crazy.  

But lets talk about the hacksaw:
I realize that not everyone has one lying around their house.   I bought mine in college for wood shop classes.  Since then, its rarely used, but great to have around.  Don't be intimidated by the hacksaw: this a very basic and helpful tool that can cost as little as ten dollars.

Use a clamp to hold the pencil in place as you hack it into two pieces.  I like saying 'hack', but its actually a very smooth, quick cut. For my ring, I cut a section that's about .20" wide.

<-----This little guy is only seven dollars at Ace Hardware.

If you you'd like the surface to be smoother, use a fine grain sandpaper. I decided that I wanted my pencil section to be thinner, so I sanded it down.
The ring base was purchased at Hobby Lobby.  Its plated in black with a small metal 'pad' attached.  I also sanded the pad to add grip.
Glue the pencil section to the ring.  When it comes to glue, I'm branching out and trying new things.  Instead of superglue, I used Amazing Quick Hold craft glue - and I'm happy to report that it lives up to its name.
For a touch of shine (and to prevent the lead from accidentally marking things) I coated the surface with a layer of clear nail polish.

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