Monday, August 31, 2015

Back To School: String Wrapped Pencils {& Washi Tape Mechanical Pencils}

Sophie wanted to do a back to school project and so we decided we would jazz up some pencils. When brainstorming ideas we decided we wanted to wrap them in string. On our trip to Guatemala we took this summer, Sophie got her hair wrapped in string. She has been begging me to learn how to do it. So we thought it would be fun to practice on our pencils. 

A couple of disclaimers before we begin: 
First... We did this little project in the middle of packing and I had to use my Iphone to document. Sorry, not the greatest pictures. 
Second... the strings can be a bit difficult for little hands to manage. They tangle easy. So I had Sophie help pick the colors she wanted, and help me cut the string after I measured it out. Then once I got the pencil set up, by doing Step 1 & 2 below, then I let her proceed with the wrapping. It took a bit of practice, but she got the hang of it pretty quickly. 

Things You'll Need...
Embroidery Floss: various colors

Step 1: Cut the pieces of embroidery floss in the colors you want to use, each measuring about 3 times the length of the pencil. {Aprox. 30 in.} You can do more colors than that, but you also don't want it to end up too bulky. 2-3 colors is just right, 4 max!
Step 2: Align the tops of the strings and tie them in a knot around the middle of the pencil. Now hold all of the strings down tightly against the pencil. 
Step 3: Grab the color string you want to start with and wrap tightly around the pencil, heading toward the eraser, in a clockwise direction. Be sure to cover it up the other strings as you wrap. Also, be sure to line up each wrap right next to the wrap before. Pick a number of times you want to wrap each color. I went with 10; an easy number for my littles to count too and keep track of. Then switch colors. 
Step 4: To switch colors, simply place the color you are using down against the pencil with the strings you weren't using. Then grab a new color and start wrapping where you left off, going in the same direction. Again, be sure to cover the strings that are not being used. 

Step 5: Repeat the wrapping technique, alternating thread colors until the pencil up to the eraser is wrapped. Then tie off all of the strings in a tight knot and cut the excess off.

We did a basic pattern where we wrapped each color the same amount of times. We kept it simple since it was our first time doing anything like this. But you could easily get fancy and mix up the number of wraps, or wrap with two colors at a time to get a striped look. 
Another fun idea is washi tape. Washi tape comes in so many fun colors these days! It's also a bit easier for the kids to manage than string. We used this for our mechanical pencils and they turned out awesome!
We also loved just adding this sparkly silver washi tape to the tops of our regular pencils...simple and cute!
I hope all of your kiddos are heading off to school and enjoying their time in the classroom! 
Happy Back to School! 

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