I had some sewing thread that was too old to use for sewing, and I really didn’t want to just throw it away. So I came up with a goofy little monster pen topper. They are a cute way to dress up a plain ballpoint pen, and since it’s the cap that’s decorated, you can swap the pen out if it runs out of ink. I’ve made them in several different colors, and they are super easy and fun! Even kids can make them, and they make great little gifts, party favors, or stocking stuffers. You only need a few items:
- A ballpoint pen with a removable cap (I like Bic, but doesn’t everyone?)
- Sewing thread in four different shades
- A credit card or other stiff card of a similar size
- Two tiny googly eyes (I like the 4mm size) or small beads
- Glue (I’m using my favorite fabric glue)
- A pair of pliers that will cut the end off the pen cap
To assemble the monster, start by cutting the very end off of the ballpoint pen cap.
It’s a good idea to take your spools of sewing thread and put them in a bowl so they don’t roll all over the place as you’re unwinding them. Gather up the thread ends from all four spools at once, and wrap the bundle of four threads 75 times around the shorter side of the credit card. Now cut the spools loose.
Take a piece of thread about 3 feet (1 meter) long and fold it in half, and then in half again, so that you have a quadrupled length of thread. Slide the quadrupled thread in between the thread wraps and the credit card, and tie it tightly around the thread wraps.
Now slide the thread bundle off of the credit card. If the thread is wrapped so tightly that it doesn’t want to slide, just bend the card a little bit with your thumb like I’m doing in the picture, and it will slide right off.
You can use hot glue for this, but your fingers are going to be right up in there, and since I can be a little bit of a klutz, I always use this fabric glue. It’s my favorite brand because it dries fast and sticks really well, plus I won’t burn my fingers, so yaaaaay. If you’re making this craft with kids, I’d definitely recommend that you use some kind of cold glue.
Pinch the thread bundle where you tied the quadrupled piece of thread. Fold the tail ends of the quadrupled threads up into the bundle with the rest of the thread. Put some glue on the pinched end of the thread bundle, and also inside the cut end of the pen cap. Push the thread bundle into the pen cap. You can give the bundle a twist if you need some help getting it into the pen cap.
When the glue is dry, cut the thread loops at the top so that your monster has a funky hairdo.
The last step is to take a little more of your glue and attach the googly eyes to the pen cap. I usually set one eye to each side of the pocket clip, so that it looks like the clip is the monster’s nose. But sometimes I make one-eyed monsters, and you could definitely get creative and give your monster more facial features, if you want.
And there you have it! A cute little pen topper that’s a great back-to-school craft, rainy day project, stocking stuffer, or party favor!