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Monday, June 23, 2014

Luau Tropical Flower Pens

For our Relay for Life team for the American Cancer Society, I decided to make more flower pens.  The theme was luau and I just happened to have some artificial flowers that looked somewhat tropical.  I bought 15 pens at Walmart for about a $1.  
Supplies needed:
*faux flowers
*sharp scissors
*pliers to pull off the cap
*cheap ink pens
*heavy glue like E600 or Goop
*green floral tape (or ribbon)
For beaded pens:
*Use small mini glass beads instead of floral tape and Terrifically Tacky Tape to adhere

I had to get several pairs of small pliers to wedge off the back cap.

The end cap wasn't hard to get off but it did require some strength.  You can discard the pen caps because they will not fit back on the pens.

I finally ended up using this heavier set of pliers to do the trick. You can also throw about the cap as this is where the flowers will be shooting out.

The first thing I did was cut the faux flowers down to about two or three inches.  I have to use my super sharp Tim Holtz scissors as the plastic is quite tough. Then, I dipped that flower stem into E6oo or GOOP which is a heavy glue that glues anything to anything. If you have asthma or get headaches easily, wear a dust mask. I always wear a handkerchief around my mouth and nose because the smell of this glue is awful.
So after I coat the green plastic flower tip in glue, I jam it into the back of the pen.  I don't stick it down the ink part but to the side of it.  You can add more than one stem if you like depending on what kind of flowers you are using.  Push in the stem so just the flowers are showing.  Then, start to wrap the pen with floral tape. I use a dab of glue near the pen tip and around when I am down wrapping to seal it so it won't unwrap later.  The floral tape is a little sticky but try to smooth it down. I also added some "leaves" to make the pens look more tropical.

I also made a few pens using the tiny glass beads and Terrifically Tacky Tape.  
The tape is super sticky and kind of hard to use so mine never turn out that great.  I think you could also use a heavy glue for the beads but this could get very messy.  Also, these are not the seed beads but the extremely small beads that have no hole. (Are they still a bead? Probably not.)  You have have a shallow container slightly bigger than the pens.  Put some glass beads in and also shake some on the top. It helps to have a second container to do this a few times so you don't waste any beads.  I often end up mixing colors to use up more of the beads.  Be careful not to spill them.

The final products were a nice touch at the Relay.  We were selling tickets for baskets and raffles and no one walked off with our pens.  I will post more on our Relay later.