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

Read next

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

Scissors

Tape

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.

ballpoint pen 2

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. 

ballpoint pen 3

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