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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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56 Comments on How to Make Twig Pencils

  1. looks cool I have to try it.

  2. to put an eraser on it: take a eraser off another pencil and glue on twig pencil.

  3. Mr. awsomeman // November 21, 2011 at 6:47 pm // Reply

    This looks fun. i’m going to try it

  4. Percy Jackson 2.0 // September 28, 2011 at 9:06 pm // Reply

    looks interesting to do

  5. mark the shark // August 16, 2011 at 9:48 am // Reply

    this thang is awesone

  6. girl that wishes she could be a scout // May 15, 2011 at 3:37 pm // Reply

    I’m gonna do this…oh and you could just remove the lead/graphite from a pencil. 1. remove the eraser 2. poke eraser end with nail 3. when lead starts to loosen, pull out from writing side….pretty simple

  7. looks like fun

  8. looks fun

  9. TENDERFOOT 1 // January 31, 2011 at 6:34 pm // Reply

    Here is a eser way. Whittle a stick burn the end bingo you have a pencil. This is very cool. 🙁 :/ :p 🙂

  10. Could you make a point and stick it in a fire?

  11. 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.

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

  13. I wish i could make it but…

  14. 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

  15. thats pretty cool

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

  17. I might try this

  18. going to try making one. 🙂

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

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

    Looks hard, but COOL! I might try it!

  21. I mighr try this! Looks very cool!

  22. I think I’ll try it some time looks cool!! 😎

  23. i found a pack of 12 leads on sale for $8 but that didnt include shipping. thats sort of expensive for a twig pencil isnt it?

  24. If the lead is loose just put some elmers glue in the hole first and let it dry for 1 day before sharpening. COOL!

  25. looks hard 🙁

  26. cool:-)

  27. I think it’s cool.

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

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

    Do you use lead or graphite?

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

    Looks kool! it’s graphite lead right?

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

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

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

    I thought you use graphite.

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

  35. That is cool

  36. gotta try it

  37. I might have to try that sometime

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

  39. awsome

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

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

    I’ll have to try that some time!

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

    Cool! I’m doing this…NOw

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

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

  45. now THAT is cool!

  46. well that’s a 1st

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

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

  48. cool idea. might try someday.

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

    this thang is awsome

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