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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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17 Comments on How to Make Twig Pencils

  1. awesome

  2. ijust learnd lashing i can probably combine two pencils

  3. That’s so neet. My dad “wood” love it.

  4. Wow!!!!!

  5. It’s hard to shave a lead.

  6. That’s cool

  7. Ready or knot // August 25, 2015 at 8:20 pm // Reply

    Now, where are the plans for the mechanical version?

  8. This is cool

  9. We shall get a patent. Mass produce them. Sell them commercially. We shall call them pencils.

  10. where do you get the led?

    • it tells you in the instructions-at art or office supply stores

      • Anonymous // August 25, 2015 at 5:57 pm //

        Lead pencil refills. Walmart, staples etc

      • The key is to look in the drafting or art supply sections of craft and office supply stores. The 2 mm led is thicker than what goes in mechanical pencils. It is designed for use in lead holders. Mechanical pencil led would most likely break while you tried to insert it,

    • No lights needed for this project friend!

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