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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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11 Comments on How to Make Twig Pencils

  1. It does not matter how hard it looks,it just matters how much fun you have making it

    • Scouter Deryck // November 19, 2010 at 12:44 pm // Reply

      Made these a couple of weeks ago and the Cubs and Scouts really enjoyed making them. Will be making a lot of them for Christmas gifts.

  2. its fun and esasy guys!!!!!!!!!!11

  3. I wish i could make it but…

  4. dude in scouts // July 12, 2010 at 11:18 am // Reply

    I’m going to do that with the arow i made in archery merit badge the arrow is long as a piece of paper

  5. thats pretty cool

  6. looks pretty cool but it sound pretty expensive for the supplies

  7. I might try this

  8. going to try making one. 🙂

  9. I got one from a suvener shop once and wandered how they made them,
    but now I know!

  10. CC da man // May 18, 2010 at 5:32 pm // Reply

    Looks hard, but COOL! I might try it!

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