Painted Pencils

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Painted Pencils
Ages 5 to 8

Do your kids have sharp, fresh pencils, all ready for a new day of school? Spend a few minutes making Dipped, Painted Pencils to create bright, colored designs before you sharpen them. Writing is so much more fun with a spruced-up pencil, and your little ones will think of this fun craft every time they cross their T's and dot their I's. To make sure they don't lose these beautiful pencils, you can also create a personalized homework box!

What you'll need

  • bare wood No. 2 pencils
  • tempera (or poster) paints in various colors
  • brushes (optional)
  • canning jars
  • newspaper
  • paper clipsstring (for hanging pencils up to dry)
Helpful Tip:

We decided to swirl the paint on our Dipped, Painted Pencils because the effects of dipping (without supervision) were so haphazard and fun. If you want true stripes or lines of color, let the pencils dry between coats. We were too impatient for that—and loved the results.

How to make it

  1. Prepare your work area by laying down a few sheets of newspaper; and have your children climb into painting aprons. We used washable paint, but the label admits that it can sometimes stain fabrics, so read carefully.

  2. step 2

    Pour your paints into a few jars of different sizes. You can pour colors as they areor combine two or more colors to make your own.

  3. Slip a paperclip over the eraser of each pencil. This will give you something to hang the painted pencils from later, while they dry.

  4. Dip a pencil in a color you choose as the base.

  5. step 5

    Then choose another color and dip the pencil again, only part of the way to add another block of color. Continue dipping, at different depths, to create subtle stripes of color.

  6. If you want swirled color, use brushes to blend and swirl the paints on the pencils.

  7. step 7

    Hang the pencils on a string (from their paper clips) to dry in the sunshine. Once dry, sharpen, and wait, patiently, for class to begin!

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