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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!



  • Pocketknife or utility knife
  • Pruning clippers
  • Drill and 3/32-inch bit
  • Clamp
  • Scratch awl or nail
  • 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 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 or the point of a nail 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 pocketknife 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.

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27 Comments on How to Make Twig Pencils

  1. cool:-)

  2. I think it’s cool.

  3. that might be much harde unless it in a stick maybe

  4. runescapeguy // December 6, 2009 at 8:49 pm // Reply

    Do you use lead or graphite?

  5. Cheesepizza! // July 18, 2009 at 5:45 pm // Reply

    Looks kool! it’s graphite lead right?

  6. That is a really good idea! I have to share this with the other scouts!!! Looks fun…

  7. It’s pretty cool!!!!!Got to try it some time.

  8. hi12334456788 // July 9, 2009 at 11:10 am // Reply

    I thought you use graphite.

  9. I love this idea, I will try it with my dad.

  10. That is cool

  11. gotta try it

  12. I might have to try that sometime

  13. Yes I must admit, it is very good, but THE QUESTION IS, WHERE WILL WE FIND THE LEAD???!!!???

  14. awsome

  15. AWESOME. My summer camp makes these. They are really cool :mrgreen:

  16. Videorascal // May 15, 2009 at 12:28 pm // Reply

    I’ll have to try that some time!

  17. Dean,Frank,and Sammy // April 19, 2009 at 9:36 am // Reply

    Cool! I’m doing this…NOw

  18. Im going to tell our cubs about this, they will love it

  19. ^.^ this i cool! i MUST try this soon!

  20. now THAT is cool!

  21. well that’s a 1st

  22. FliegentheCockatiel // March 23, 2009 at 8:31 pm // Reply

    Interesting…similar to my feather pen I’m famous for at school!

  23. cool idea. might try someday.

  24. mark the shark // March 14, 2009 at 7:11 pm // Reply

    this thang is awsome

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