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How to make twig pencils

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

Twig pencils are fun, easy and cheap to make. And the expressions on your friends’ faces when you start scribbling with a stick will be writetious!



  • Huntsman Boy Scout Swiss Army Knife or utility knife
  • Pruning clippers or Huntsman Boy Scout Knife’s woodsaw
  • Drill and 3/32-inch bit
  • Clamp
  • Scratch awl, nail or Huntsman Boy Scout Knife’s awl
  • White glue
  • 2mm-diameter drafting lead, 2B grade (at art or office supply stores)
  • Adult permission or supervision


twig-1STEP 1: Find a twig. Look for one with interesting color, texture or with a forked shape. (The length of the twig, though, must be straight.) Hold the twig as you would a pencil to find the right size. Use pruning clippers or your Huntsman Boy Scout Knife’s woodsaw to trim away unwanted parts. Check the twig for bugs (you don’t want any).

twig-2STEP 2: Clamp the twig to the edge of a workbench or piece of plywood. Be careful! Too much pressure can crush the twig.

twig-3STEP 3: Use a scratch awl, the point of a nail or your Huntsman Boy Scout Knife’s awl to make a dent at the center of the twig’s end. The dent will become the starting point for the drill bit.

STEP 4: Drill to a depth of 1 to 1-1/4 inches. Make sure to keep both hands on the tool!

As you drill, you may need to back out the bit to clear wood chips from the drill’s flutes (its spiral grooves). To do this, stop the drill and scrub the bit with an old toothbrush.

twig-5STEP 5: Squirt a small puddle of glue on a scrap of wood or cardboard. Roll the end of the lead in the glue, then work it back and forth in the hole to spread the adhesive.

STEP 6: Trim the lead by breaking it sideways against the twig. Let the glue dry overnight.

twig-7STEP 7: Sharpen the pencil with your Huntsman Boy Scout Knife or a sharp utility knife. Whittle away from your body, removing thin shavings as you work around the pencil. Use your imagination to personalize your pencil, or simply enjoy the colors and textures that nature provides.

Make this project and more with the Huntsman Boy Scout Swiss Army Knife

huntsmanknife-300x27315 Cool Tools. Unlimited Uses!

From everyday fixes to equipping yourself for a hike or camping trip, the Huntsman Boy Scout Swiss Army Knife packs 15 useful tools — so you’re always prepared.

Available at — ask about custom engraving!

Submit a Photo of Your Project

Important Note: Please only upload photos of your project. Because of privacy rules, we can't post any photos that show people's faces. Always ask for your parent's permission before uploading anything to a website.

10 Comments on How to make twig pencils

  1. the me-person // September 30, 2008 at 5:56 pm // Reply

    This looks sweet. I’m gonna try it when I can

  2. That is ahhhmazing. My friends at school ‘ll flip!! :)

  3. I think that’s cool, even if I can’t make it.

  4. COOL i’m gonna try that.

  5. That’s pretty awesome!

  6. I want to make that!!!

  7. I think that is cool. I’m going to tell my mom (she is a boy scout den leader) that. I think she would like doing that in boy scouts.

  8. Now I don’t need to by pencil !

  9. I can’t wait to show this to my den leader!

  10. i like it

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