What to Do with Extra Pens and Pencils

We waste a lot of pens and pencils in our everyday life. As time goes by, most of them remain unused or become dead. Sometimes, we bring a new one to use for losing or not finding a running one.

Considering all these, I have been pondering what to do with the extra pen and pencils I got. Thinking a lot and considering the surrounding, I came up with an idea to recycle and use them in my life.

How? You can use a pencil and make different things out of it. Like I made some utensils and other stuff. Also, my wife made some gardening and decorative things with them.

You are getting a lot of tips in this article to make the best use of your extra pens and pencils. Their usage is not restricted to those things only. So, don’t go anywhere and give a good read.

Extra Pens and Pencils


The importance of Pens and pencils in our lives needs no saying. From our childhood to retirement from jobs, we use them. 

But have you ever thought about what tremendous amount of waste these extra pens and pencils produce? What impact does it have on our environment? Should we be dealing with this matter with more precautions?

Now at this age, people are more concerned about the environment. So we should be thinking about how we can utilize the extra pens and pencils in a more environmentally friendly manner. Recycling them is the best option. 

In this article, I’ll discuss how we can efficiently recycle these extra pens and pencils. I’ll be talking about making recycling products, making donations, and creating artworks. The importance of recycling should be everyone’s concern. I’ll be briefly discussing them. Stay tuned. 

How to collect and use extra pen and pencils

Before getting off with what you’re going to do with those extra pens and pencils, you need to collect them first. I used to find this process a bit confusing because I didn’t know what to do in the first place.

So I’m going to talk about some steps to collect and use the items properly. 

Step 1: Collecting the Items

You need to collect all the items first. And when I say all the items, I mean all of them.

Gather all your pens and pencils from your home, college, or workplace. This includes your small pen container, desk drawers, elite pen collection, everything.

Collect all the items. This can be your chance to eliminate all the unwanted and unnecessary items that are taking up space for no good reason. You can also partner up with your sibling or partner for the process.

Step 2: Purging the items

After you’ve done collecting, you can start purging. All you need is your collected items, a piece of paper, and a collecting bin.

Your task is simple. Take every pen or pencil and try writing it on the paper. If your pen works fine, keep it.

And if you’re pen doesn’t work or cannot perform according to your need, collect them in the bin. Now, you have the items you were looking for.

This will sort out the working pen and pencils from the extra ones. You can move further on.

Step 3: Making the outcome

After you’ve done collecting and purging, you can decide what you want to do with the extra pen and pencils.

You can create recycled art, make a donation (of the use-worthy ones), or use it someplace else. The outcome depends on you and what you want to do with writing elements.

I will be discussing some of them in brief below.

Ways to Recycle Pen and Pencil

Ways to Recycle Pen and Pencil

Extra pens and pencils produce plenty of waste every year. There is no denying the fact.

But if we could utilize these by recycling or turning them into something valuable and creative, we would be doing the environment a great favor.

So, now I’m going to discuss some ways to recycle pens and pencils.

1. Eraser stump

An eraser stump is one of the most accessible but helpful things you can make out of extra pens. The empty pen body will do the trick here.

Using an eraser at a difficult angle or in a sensitive part of a sketch can get tricky. A pen eraser stump will make it much more manageable.

First, you need to cut out a portion of an eraser according to your pen’s size. Use a sharp blade to do so.

Then, you need to cut the tip part of the pen and attach the eraser you’ve cut. Use glue or any attaching element you prefer.

Now you have your eraser stump. Simple and super easy to make.

2. Frames 

Another interesting idea of using the extra pens is a simple photo frame. You need to put your creativity to work.

A photo frame is a thing that is very close to someone. So, the idea of making an ideal photo frame depends on you. I’m just going to discuss this like the one I made for my friend. 

First, take the photo you want to frame. Then, start the frame-making process. I used a glue gun to attach 10-12 pens with different colors and made a square-shaped frame.

The size of the frame should be according to your picture. And that was pretty much it.

The one I made was to hang on the wall. So, I added a rope behind the frame so that it could be hanged.

3. Sprinkler heads

This is another good way of putting your finished ballpoint pens to use. You can easily set up sprinkle heads for your garden using a plastic bottle and used pens.

Create a hole in the bottle cap according to your hose attachment or water pipe size. And attach the part properly with hot glue. This will secure the incoming water part of the sprinkle head.

Now, make 10-12 holes in your bottle body.

Take out the ballpoint and ink insert from the pens and cut the pen to a length of 2 inches keeping the cone-shaped portion. Attach the pen and the bottle by using plumbing adhesive or hot glue.

Ensure the hose attachment and all the pens are correctly fitted and stuck. This makes things fun. And you can water your garden in a fun way using your creativity. And you’re good to go.

4. Gardening Essentials 

Not only just watering elements, but you can also make other creative, practical, and easy-to-make gardening elements out of the used pen. And you can use them in various ways.

The most common way of using it is as plant markers. You can use an old pen and pencils to mark plants and track where you’ve planted them. Since plastic is durable, it will serve for a long time, and you can easily keep track.

Another effective way of using the extra pens is a seedling stick. Put the eraser end of the pen into the soil according to your need. And remove the pen when you want the plant to be ready to go in.

You’ll have a perfect trace of the path without harming the roots. And since plastic is durable, You’ll get many years of service without any issues.

5. Pen jump ropes

I find this one the most interesting and fun. IT GAVE ME JOY when I made a jump rope out of used marker-pen caps.

I did it for my niece. I took her ordinary little jump rope and gave it a more artistic look. 

Take the marker pen caps one by one and make a hole in its center with a drill machine. The number of caps you’re going to use is up to you.

Insert the cap into the rope until you reach your desired length. Use a hot glue gun to stick them together to the rope. And when you’re done inserting the caps, make tie the rope, so it doesn’t fall out.

Finally, tie the rope firmly with a jump holder, and you are good to go.

6. Plant holder

Making a plant holder is one of the most exciting things you can do yourself. A plant holder is one of the exciting things you can make.

Collect some used pens of the same size. Now apply hot glue and attach them. This is going to be the base for your plant holder. So, choose the number of pens you will use according to your plant size.

This can be a beautiful addition to your home plants. The colorful pen base will highlight the plant in your room, giving it an aesthetic look.

7. Biodegradable Utensils 

Traditional plastic pens are harmful to our environment. There is no denying the fact. But if we shift to the biodegradable and environment-friendly ones, we will do our environment a big favor.

Nowadays, many pens serve this purpose.

There are recycled paper pens, newspaper pencils, refillable bamboo pens, recycled water bottle pens, biodegradable corn pens, etc. These pens and pencils not only help us to write but also protect the environment while doing the process.

We should consider this matter and try switching to these new writing elements.

8. Homemade stuff

You can create various homemade stuff out of extra pens and pencils. And this part is definitely up to you because you can decorate anything you want, the way you want.

Everyday things are toys for kids, keyrings, simple coffee stirrers, or birdhouses. It would help if you decided what you want to make and implement it.

I made a beautiful keyring for my friend last month. I took a used pencil and took the remaining graphite out. 

Then I cut off the eraser part of the pencil and attached a ring using a hot glue gun. And Like that, I made my friend a cool-looking ring in no time.

9. Art and decorations

This is probably the best thing you can do with an extra pen and pencils. Art itself is a language. 

You can show your artwork with some leftover shaving. Collect the leftover bits of pencil (it will take a long time to collect) and create artwork.

Use your creativity to make your unique piece of artwork.  And you can use the shaving of colorful pencils to add more variety to your art. Collect them properly and use your imagination to do the rest.


How do declutter pens and pencils?

Decluttering becomes a matter of essentially sometimes. Our desk and workplace become jammed with pens and pencils that don’t work. Decluttering pens and pencils can easily make things easier for you.

There are three steps in the decluttering process.

First, Collect all your pens, pencils, and markers. Collect them from your home, office, or anyplace else. Make sure to collect all of them.

You can utilize your desired pens. Then, take a large white paper and start writing with your collected items. And now separate the good ones from the ones that aren’t working correctly.

And finally, you can use the extra pens to recycle or make something. You can even consider a donation as well.

How to store pens on a desk?

Properly storing and sorting pens is a necessity for me. Your pens and other instruments should be very well organized. And you should know the proper way to do so. 

Felt tip pens, markers, sharpies, and permanent markers should be stored upside down. The tip should be at the bottom. 

The average ballpoint should be the opposite. Store it, keeping the tip on the upper side.

Gel pens are fine both ways. You store them upside or downside as you prefer.

When Pencils are sharpened, the tip can be harmful to your children. Keep the tip of the pencil downside if any is nearby.

How do you store a frixion pen? 

FriXion pens are a particular type of pen and require a different storing system than others.

They should be kept in a relatively relaxed environment. Any hot or warm environment may cause the pen not to function correctly, as we all know that this pen shows its characteristics in a relaxed environment.

And if you want your pen to perform well, I recommend putting it on ice for 3-5 minutes. You’ll see the results for yourself.

What is the best position to keep a pen on the desk?

Many people are concerned about how they should position their pens on a desk. The positioning will vary depending on what kind of pen you’re using.

Speaking in general, keeping the pen horizontally will evenly distribute the pen if you doubt whether to keep them horizontally.

Usually, ballpoint pens are best stored traditionally by keeping the pin on top. And if you’re using a marker pen, I advise you to do the opposite because it keeps the ink and tip in contact.

Gel pens are fine both ways. The ink in gel pens will work fine kept in any position.  But fountain pens should be kept horizontally. 

Final Words

You are not only making a proper usage of the pencils and pens, but you are also getting a lot of extra things out of it. This is indeed minimizing the wastage on the one hand and exploring your creativity on the other.

Days are over when you have to wonder about what to do with extra pens and pencils. A lot of options await proper steps and implementations. Use them properly and get the best out of them.

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Loard Eva

Hi there! I’m Eva, artist, designer, photographer and mom of three little gentlemen altogether. When I’m not playing with my kids, you’ll find me researching and writing for ChooseMarker.

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