This morning during Teen Advisory Board, we had cake and ice cream to celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday. We celebrated early, his birthday is actually on July 31. There’s some HP trivia, in case you were curious.
I thought we needed a craft, so we made ourselves broomstick pencils. Want your own?
You will need:
- Pencil (wood is a must–don’t go for the gross plastic pencils)
- Paint (brown, gold, silver, black, etc.) and paintbrush
- Raffia, straw, or other broom-bristle-like material
- Fine-tipped permanent marker
- Double-sided tape
- Hot glue gun
- Jute or other string
- Jewelry wire (optional)
1. Sand your pencil. It will likely have been painted or varnished. If it has any lettering on it, you want that gone! Go crazy with that sandpaper. When you’ve sanded away all the design, wipe off the pencil with a damp (not wet) paper towel or rag.
2. The next step is to paint your broomstick’s handle. You can either use just a bit of several different colors of paint to mimic wood grain on the broomstick’s handle, or go fancy like the Slytherin Quidditch team’s Nimbus 2001 brooms and paint your broomstick a solid color. If you want your broomstick to look like mine, dip just the very tip of your paintbrush in the paint. Remove the excess paint on a scrap piece of paper, then swipe the brush over the pencil.
3. When your brush is dry, take a piece of double-sided tape and wrap it around the metal part of the pencil. Give up on using the eraser right now. It’s never going to happen. Buy yourself a cheap and cheerful eraser without a pencil attached. Pencils are broomsticks now. Broomsticks don’t have erasers.
4. Take some of the raffia or other material you’re using for broom-bristles and pinch it together. I used long strands of something labelled “moss.” The stuff bore no resemblance to actual moss. It doesn’t matter how it looks. Just make sure you stick on a bunch.
5. Now it’s time to add your string, jute, or whatever. You need about 8″ of string, but you don’t have to be too exact. Cut the length you need. You can also use jewelry wire. If you’re doing that, read the section down at the bottom marked with these * * before you continue.
6. Broomsticks have their bristles tied or sewn on. We are going to fake this. Put some a dot of hot glue where the broom bristles meet the broom handle. See?
7. Then, stick your string on the dot of hot glue. When it’s stuck on, use the hot glue to make a line around the pencil, starting where you put your dot and finishing at the dot. Wait a few seconds (so you don’t burn yourself) and then wrap your string around the bristles tightly. Use another tiny dot of hot glue to keep the string from unraveling. At this point, if you think your broom’s bristles look sparse, part them at the top and put a dot of glue on top of the eraser. Stuff some more bristles in there and press them down gently.
8. Trim your broom’s bristles into any shape you like.
9. Write out your broom’s name on the handle using permanent marker.
Now you can make a dozen more, because they are addictive. Experiment with using different materials to make the bristles, to wrap the bristles, different colors of paint, adding glitter, adding metallic paint, whatever. You can even use an OLD vegetable peeler (don’t use the one your family uses to peel vegetables, or your parents will be upset with you) to make your broomstick look less perfect. Just peel away at a section before you start painting.
Just think, you can use these all year at school and everyone will be jealous of your awesome pencils. Or, you can give them out to your friends when school starts!
* Using jewelry wire? Put a ring of hot glue around the pencil, over the top of the raffia. Do this where you want the wire to go. Wait a few seconds, until the hot glue isn’t so hot that it burns you. No really, WAIT. You want it sticky, but not hot. You can burn yourself if you skip the waiting. Burning hurts. When the glue isn’t like molten lava anymore, roll the pencil between your hands, flattening the glue and sticking it all in place. You will have squished it against all the broom bristles, keeping them right where they are, like magic. Now take a length of jewelry wire and wrap it around the hot glued area a bit, then continue wrapping it any way you like. Trim the excess wire or bend in the ends to avoid being stabbed by wire, which hurts. Now go back up and start reading with step 8. *