My dad is a lawyer, and when I was young he brought me a pencil from work that was shaped like a gavel, with two erasers on top. That was the coolest pencil I’ve ever owned, and even when it was too short to write with comfortably, I couldn’t bear to part with it. For years my dolls used it as a gavel, and my Littlest Petshop animals used it as a trophy (it was gold-colored and shiny). Whether you have a beloved pencil you want to keep in your life or a whole drawer full of pencils past their prime, there are lots of fun ways to recycle your old pencils. You may remember our Pencil Crafts article. This is a good place t start, but the focus of this article will be on how to recycle pencils and give them new life with form and function.
Recycle Pencils as Lincoln Logs
If you have pencils of various lengths lying around, you can carve notches into them and fit them together to build unique and creative structures to decorate and organize your shelf, coffee table, or desk. Think Lincoln Logs, but with pencils! Even the simplest rectangular design can serve as a corral for erasers, paper clips, hair ties, and other small bits and pieces that would be cluttering up your drawers or workspace otherwise. Hot glue or wood glue can also be used to solidify and strengthen your project and make it easier to transport.
Recycle Pencils as Coasters
Pencils and colored string go together like milk and cookies. Tie/weave pencils together side-by-side – think of a raft – to make unique coasters. Use different colors of string so guests can tell their drinks apart. If you’re really adventurous, sharpen very short pencils as much as possible first, then sink their tips in a small ball of air-drying clay so that they stick out in a circular fashion like the rays of the sun. Wait for the clay to harden, then weave string all the way around – going over and under or looping around each pencil before going on to the next – to make round coasters.
Recycle Pencils as Ring Holders
While you’ve got your clay out, roll out a thick log and flatten the bottom. Sink pencils tip-down, evenly spaced, in the top of the clay log, and let dry to make a ring holder. You can get creative with this one as far as colors go as well – shape the clay base to resemble a fluffy cloud and use old colored pencils in rainbow order, or give the base legs and a tail and paint it like a dragon so that the pencils appear to be scales.
If you want to try these ideas but don’t have enough materials, make sure to shop our pencils and retire some old ones early!
Do you have some ideas that you use to recycle pencils? We’d love to hear them in the comments section!