Sign Here, Please: How to Make a Ballpoint Feather Pen

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If you’ve got a little writer in your house, try this easy way to transform an ordinary ballpoint into an old-fashioned quill pen worthy of scribing a masterpiece. Read on for the simple tutorial.

ballpoint pen 4

You will need:

A ballpoint pen (like a simple Bic pen)

A feather



Step 1. Deconstruct.
Take your ballpoint pen apart. You shouldn’t need scissors or a knife for most pens. You need the little ballpoint pen part hiding inside that tube of plastic. (Caution: pen can leak ink so put away your white table linens).

ballpoint pen 1

You should choose a feather with a decent sized quill (this is the hollow part of the feather also known as the calamus) because this is where you’ll be stashing the “guts” of the ballpoint pen.

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Step 2: Quill It Work?
Make a small snip at the end of the quill. Slide the thin ballpoint pen inside. If the fit is not tight enough, use a little scotch tape to secure it by wrapping the quill to bind the pen inside. It’s also a good idea to wrap the part of the pen that sticks out with scotch tape, to help avoid leaks onto tiny fingers. 

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Step 3: Pen It!
Voila! You’ve got a modern vintage writing implement! Now write a haiku or poem. Or your memoirs.

Tip: If your feather isn’t big enough to hold the pen, or if you prefer to use a pencil, you can just lash it to the pen using tape or yarn.

Do your kids have a penchant for pens? 

—All photos and copy by Amber Guetebier