Sunday, April 26, 2020

Tutorial - Miniature Coloring Markers from Paper Clips!

Coloring Markers – Here is a simple but cute tutorial.  These are the markers everyone uses for those adult coloring books (a current fad).  They look pretty convincing – with caps!  The coloring books in the photo were purchased from
and Ebay Seller

Large plastic covered paper clips, in white (2 inches long)
Small plastic coated paper clips in several colors (about 1-1/8 inches long).
White acrylic paint
Acrylic paint in colors to match the small paper clips
Heavy wire cutters (that will cut the heavy paper clips)
Ruler with at least 1/16 marks on it (metal one is helpful).
Small, sharp scissors
Small (miniature size) cup to set them in while paint dries

Here are the steps all in one photo:
  1. For the caps, use the large white paper clip.  Using the wire cutters, just crimp through the plastic coating about ¼ inches from the end (don’t cut through the wire).  While crimping the plastic, rotate the paper clip so it cuts through the plastic all the way around the wire.  Now, use the wire cutters to slide the separated white tube off. 
  2. To make the next one, cut off the extended wire and repeat step 1.  Avoid the curves of the paper clip and just use the long straight sides.
  3. Make several of these “caps”.  They will look bad at first, the ends will be ragged.  After you have enough cut, clean them up by snipping off one ragged end with the scissors.  It is hard to make them all the same size but try to cut them all about 1/8th inch or 3/16th.
  4. If you are ambitious, cut tinier snips for the marker end (or just use paint, see step 8, below).
  5. For the marker (photo above), cut pieces of the small colored paper clips 9/16” long.  (Hint: Hold the end of the paper clip against a metal ruler and crimp the plastic coating just to mark it at 9/16ths of an inch.)  Now remove it from the ruler and cut it all the way through on the mark (make sure it doesn’t fly away).  Cut several in different colors.
  6. Now, slide a “cap” onto one end of the “marker”.  I didn’t use any glue.  Slide on the tiny ends on the other end (if you made them).
  7. Now touch up all the cap ends by dipping in white acrylic paint.  JUST A LITTLE! You just want to fill in the end where the wire shows, don’t coat the entire cap with white paint.  Use tweezers to place them in a small cup to dry.
  8. When dry, do the cap end again (I did it twice).  Then when that is dry dip the opposite end in a little white paint.
  9. For the “open marker” (far right in the photo above step 1) I cut the marker (small paper clip) a little longer because when the cap is on the bottom, it is longer (maybe 11/16ths inch).  I then trimmed off about 1/8th inch of the colored coating from one end.  After stripping the plastic from the end, try to cut the wire at an angle so it looks like a chisel point. Paint JUST THE EXPOSED WIRE white and let dry.  When dry, paint just the very tip the color of the paper clip  -- to look like the ‘business’ end of the marker tip.  Slide a “cap” on the opposite end and touch that end up with white paint.
Photo of the markers in the loft of the "tiny house".  Enjoy!