How to Decorate Pens with Washi Tape & Nail Polish

I’ve been on this quest for the perfect pen for my planner since I got it and have pretty much failed at finding anything that met both of my requirements: be pretty to look at and write perfectly. See, I’m weird about pens. I like them to have extremely thin tips and write smoothly but not smear like most gel pens. I finally found that the Pilot G2 Ultra Fine Point pens met my writing requirements but to be honest? They’re ugly. I know it shouldn’t matter, but it totally does. So I took it upon myself to come up with a way to make them super cute with my two favorite crafting supplies: washi tape and nail polish.

The picture above has a pretty basic explanation of how to make these, but if you want a more in depth, step by step tutorial then keep reading!

You’ll want to start by gathering your supplies:

A pen
Washi tape
Clear nail polish
Black and/or glitter polish of your choice (not pictured)

Once you’ve got all your supplies together, you’ll want to start by taking your pen apart (if it comes apart) and covering the barrel in washi tape. I found the easiest way to do this is to actually tape it vertically, lining the tape* up with the top of the barrel and leaving it a little longer than necessary.

*Note- when you’re cutting your pieces of tape, use your scissors and try to cut as straight as possible.

You should be left with something that looks like this. Trim the excess tape off as close to the end of the barrel as you can. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect – it will get covered.

Now put your pen back together. You should have a slight gap between the tape and grippy part.

Take another piece of your tape and wrap it horizontally around the pen, as close to the grip as you can get. You can still take the pen apart if needed to change the ink or what have you, but this will cover the ugly gap and any uneven edges.

Once you have all your tape in place, it’s time to paint! Give the tape a thin coat of clear nail polish to seal it. You may want to add more than one coat just to make it a little more durable but you’re better off doing several thin coats as opposed to one thick coat since the nail polish can pull some of the color out of the tape. You can actually see in the picture above where some of the color came off near the grip and next to the clip, just above the P in Pilot.

To paint under the clip, I just slid the brush as far as it would reach but I didn’t worry too much about making sure it was perfect.

Hey look, we’re almost done! Now take your black nail polish (or whatever color you want, really) and paint over the text on the clip. I used solid black for this pen and black with silver glitter for the other pen shown in the photos below. It took 1-2 coats of polish to get the text completely covered.

Now for the last step. Glitter! Once my clear polish dried, I went back and added a coat of glitter to the tape. Why? Because I can’t leave well enough alone. And because I like sparkles. You can skip this step if sparkles aren’t your thing. Or use glitter washi tape like I did with the other pen shown below. If you go the glitter tape route though, don’t forget to still cover it in clear polish to protect the tape.

And that’s all there is to it! Including drying time, these took me about a half hour to make. The hardest part is trying to get the tape under the clip without tearing or wrinkling it.

Since I made these pens I’ve come up with several more ideas on how to decorate pens. I think my next project is going to be a throwback to the best movie of the 90’s.

Am I the only one who spent weeks after seeing Clueless obsessing over the fluffy pens? I vaguely remember a few stores selling them but the pens never wrote well and the feathers always fell off after a couple days of use.

Anyway, enough about my Junior High stationary habits. Anyone else have any ideas for making their favorite pens prettier?

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