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How to Decorate a Pen? – 4 Best Ideas

Written by Robert S. Brown / Fact checked by Helen B. Harris

how to decorate a pen

Who says pens are boring? It depends on you, but from my perspective, they’re certainly not when you know how to decorate a pen, and besides, there are plenty of things to do with pens.

In this article, we’ll explore different crafting techniques and explore various materials that will take your ordinary pen to a whole new level.

Whether you are trying to personalize a writing tool or just looking for a cool art project, this one’s for you.

Idea #1. Magical Mermaid Tail Pen

Turn an ordinary pen into a magical mermaid tail with foam sheets. Depending on the type of pen you have, there are several ways to create these DIY decorative pens.

#1: Straight Pen Method

What you need

  1. Pen
  2. Foam sheets (18 x 8 cm)
  3. Markers
  4. Scissors
  5. Glue

Step-by-step Guide

Step 1: Cut one foam sheet into an 18x8cm size and fold it into half


Step 2: Lay out the tail


  • Draw the outline of the tail. The width of the tail’s base should match the width of the pen.
  • Use a bright-colored marker to lay out the details of the fins. Be creative, use glittery inks, or choose a color with great contrast to the color of the foam sheet.
  • Cut out the tail.
  • Duplicate the design you made on the 2nd cut-out.
  • Put the tips of the two cutout sides together using glue. Attach the wide sides of the tail first.


Step 3: Have your pen ready and prepare to attach the tails to its bottom.

Step 4: Apply glue on the unglued end of the cutouts and insert the bottom of the pen into them. Make sure the tail is inserted properly so that it doesn’t fall out.

Step 5: Press each side and set the whole thing aside.

Step 6: Cut 2 pieces of foam sheets of different colors, about the size of a half-inch ribbon.


Step 7: Apply glue and attach both ends of the pre-cut foam sheets.

Step 8: Glue one end of the precut bit over the base of the tail and wrap it around the barrel of the pen.

Step 9: Once you’ve covered the entire length of the pen, secure the leftover ends with glue.

Step 10: To complete this magical ensemble, use bright-colored markers and add scale-like patterns on the entire body of the pen.

#2: Twist to Open Pen Method

What you need

  1. Pen
  2. 2 pc Foam sheets (cut according to the size of your pen))
  3. Paper
  4. Pencil
  5. Scissors
  6. Acrylic paint
  7. Colorful or glittery markers
  8. Glue or glue gun with a glue stick

Step-by-step Guide

decorate-a-magical-mermaid-tail-pen-with-a-method twist-to-open-pen--1+2+3+4

Step 1: Remove the clip cap. Smoothen or sand out the excess material if there’s any.

Step 2: Cut out two foam sheets to cover the upper and lower parts of the barrel.

Step 3: Apply glue and attach each pre-cut to the pen’s body.

decorate-a-magical-mermaid-tail-pen-with-a-method twist-to-open-pen--5+6+7+8

Step 4: Lay out and make a pattern of the tail on a piece of paper first.

Step 5: Use the pattern to cut out the two sides of the tail on the foam sheet.

Step 6: Apply glue on the base of the tail cutouts and attach them over the bottom of the pen. Add more glue to put the tails together.

Step 7: Instead of using plain markers, color the tail with an acrylic paint of your choice. Create a color transition by painting it from dark to light. Start with the tail and slowly transition to a lighter color as you go.

Step 8: For a more magical touch, add the fins details and scales using a bright-colored or glitter marker.

Tip: You can use self-adhesive and glitter foam sheets too!

Idea #2: Cute Pom Pom Pens

Pom poms are not only for cheerleaders. They could be a great topper for custom pens too. Here’s how you can make this easy pen decoration with some crafting yarn.

What you need:

  1. Pen (preferably pens with thin barrels)
  2. Yarn
  3. Ribbons
  4. Scissors
  5. Glue or glue gun with glue stick

Step-by-step Guide:


Step 1: Take the yarn and wrap it around your 4 fingers, depending on how large you want your pom pom to be.

Step 2: Remove the yarn from your fingers and lay it flat.

Step 3: Cut about 10 inches of yarn and use it to tie the rolled yarn at the center. Tie it on both sides and do it as securely as possible. At this point, the yarn should begin to look like a ball.

Step 4: Cut along the sides of the yarn to create a rounder shape. Avoid tearing into the strings you used to secure it. You can push the scissors up to trim more evenly.


Step 5: Slight press and roll the unfinished pom pom in between your palms.

Step 6: Trim down and polish the cut into a ball.

Step 7: You can roll it in between your palms again and comb it to puff it up even more. Continue cutting until you get your desired shape and size.

Step 8: Prepare your pen. You can wrap and decorate your pen with ribbons or washi tape if you would like.

Step 9: Apply a small amount of hot glue on the inner part of the pom pom and fix it at the top of your pen.

Idea #3: Custom Donut Pen


This could be your go-to pen decoration. A donut pen is customizable and fairly easy to do. Just follow the instructions below.

What you need:

  1. Foam boards
  2. Compass
  3. Scissors
  4. Markers
  5. Glue
  6. Iron

Step-by-step Guide:

  1. Using a compass, draw two identical circles on a foam board. This will make the two sides of your donut topper.
  2. Draw a smaller circle at the center. This will serve as the donut’s hole.
  3. Cut them out.
  4. Apply a bit of heat to form and curve your cut-out. You can use a flat iron and tongs. Be careful, set it to low heat, and do not use your hands to avoid getting burned.
  5. Cut a small strip of foam board, and curl it to fit the center hole on the ‘donut.’ Secure the ends with glue.
  6. Apply glue and fix the curled strip to the center of the first donut cut-out.
  7. Spread glue around the edges and attach the other donut cut-out on top of it.
  8. After the donut is formed, you can now add other details according to your style.
  9. Cut another foam board according to the pen’s length and barrel size. Spread glue on the foam, and wrap it around your pen.
  10. Apply glue on top of the pen and put your decorated donut in place.

Idea #4: Paper Pen Craft: Quill Pen


Different pen crafting ideas with paper are easy to do, and making a paper quill pen is just one of them.

What you need:

  1. Pen
  2. Origami paper
  3. Scissors
  4. Pencil
  5. Glue or glue gun with glue stick

Step-by-step Guide:

  1. Cut out origami paper with a 12 cm by 15 cm size.
  2. Fold it in half lengthwise.
  3. Fold it again in the same direction.
  4. Draw a leaf-like pattern on the paper.
  5. Cut that out to produce two full-leaf patterns.
  6. Get one leaf, apply glue at the base, and glue in the bottom of your pen.
  7. Apply more glue on the rest of the leaf’s inner section.
  8. Cover it with the other leaf.
  9. Align the paper pieces and press the edges to make sure the pen is fixed.
  10. To make it look like a real quill, finely cut the sides of the leaf inward in a horizontal manner. Do this on both sides.
  11. Cut a strip of origami paper.
  12. Glue one end at the bottom of the quill and wrap it down to the tip of the pen.
  13. Secure the ends with glue.
  14. To make it look more elegant, add more details such as ribbons and pearls.

Ready for more? Check out these other DIY pen decoration ideas: 


See, learning how to decorate a pen is fun and easy. You can start with whatever material you have at school or home.

I bet you have art paper lying around. With it, you can already start creating a basic paper pen decoration like the quill pen.

Moreover, if you want to level up, go whimsical with those mermaid tail pens and custom donut pens, or try to achieve those fluffy pom pom looks.

Aside from decorating pens, you can use any of these methods to decorate a pencil as well.

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